MB

 

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: BIRD BEHAVIOUR


Status: Offline
Posts: 481
Date:
BIRD BEHAVIOUR


Ivan Ellison and myself were out in Salford today. We saw a pair of Kestrels mating...not something one would expect to see in November!



-- Edited by Adrian Dancy on Wednesday 9th of November 2022 07:33:33 PM

__________________

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24940353@N03/



Status: Offline
Posts: 358
Date:

When fishing I have witnessed Moorhens diving for anglers baits on several occasions. On checking my notes the last time was 30/31 of May this year whilst in Shropshire.

I was fishing a peg where an angler had dropped bait in at the margins just six feet from the bank and in water that was only two feet deep ,and very clear almost crystal.

At least four young Moorhen were taking turns to "dive" for the bait and an adult would also join in. I added a small handful of sweetcorn which they were more than happy to hoover up however when I put the corn in water of around three foot deep they would not even attempt a dive, they did know it was there as their actions appeared to be of frustration in not being able to get at it.

In recent years I have also witnessed diving Mallards. Being an angler as well as a birder allows a little study time as I am often at the water for a few days.

The places I have seen this behaviour are nearly always clear water, I believe Moorhens have terrible eyesight this is based on personal experience. The waters also hold coots (do the Moorhens learn this behaviour) and the margins don't taper down they have a small drop straight away and Moorhens don't appear to like the water too deep, the other common denominator is anglers. Having said all this, these are my observations only I am pretty sure somebody could  throw a curve ball at my theories and come up with their own.

Not too sure how common this one is but I have also observed Magpies wade into the water where it tapers to pick up corn and maggots. They would not wade out if the water touched their feathers.

Black-headed Gulls are experts at being able to chase an anglers bait known as a boilie (marble shaped) through the air and once it hits the water, physics make the boilie spin sub surface allowing the Gull time to get it before the spin stops and the bait starts to sink. The baits are normally fired out via a throwing stick causing spin through the air.  Interestingly I have only ever seen the BhGulls do this which I put down to its smaller size giving it agility to be able to follow the bait and manuvoure quickly enough to retrieve the bait



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 544
Date:


A first for me yesterday.
I was watching dragonflies at one of my usual places when the head of a bird slowly rose out of the water a la Loch Ness Monster or Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, it was about 15ft away approx. 4ft from the nearest edge. It came up with just its head and a bit of neck showing and stayed there for a couple of minutes. I thought it was a Little Grebe so stayed still so as not to disturb it but eventually I lifted my binoculars and was surprised to see it was a young Moorhen. I have seen Moorhen duck under water when caught off guard but this was something I didn't know they could do.

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1273
Date:

John Watson wrote:

Male Sparrowhawk y'day just outside garden

It was somehow mimicking a Black-Headed Gull in flight - rooftop level, not trying to hide, wings brought in & pointy tips (well, as much as it could), jaunty flight not quite in straight line, continuous but irregular flapping. Not a peep from any prey species, they didn't mind

Nothing like the usual hunting style: strong low glide on broad wings with occasional power applied

No doubt about the ID, but I did have to do a second take! Colour & long tail dead giveaway

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I've now seen them mimicking Wood Pigeon display, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, and now BH Gull





I seem to remember reading somewhere that they also mimic Mistle Thrush flight too. Haven't seen that but have seen the Wood Pigeon variation.

__________________
No one on their death bed ever said they wished they'd spent more time at work. http://bitsnbirds.blogspot.co.uk


Status: Offline
Posts: 447
Date:

Male Sparrowhawk y'day just outside garden

It was somehow mimicking a Black-Headed Gull in flight - rooftop level, not trying to hide, wings brought in & pointy tips (well, as much as it could), jaunty flight not quite in straight line, continuous but irregular flapping. Not a peep from any prey species, they didn't mind

Nothing like the usual hunting style: strong low glide on broad wings with occasional power applied

No doubt about the ID, but I did have to do a second take! Colour & long tail dead giveaway

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I've now seen them mimicking Wood Pigeon display, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, and now BH Gull

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 422
Date:

Heard a barn owl screeching last night as it flew across a field, took a few seconds to realise why it was screeching. It was being mobbed by lapwings whose territory it had entered.

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1568
Date:

Peter Nolan Woolley wrote:

Bad behaviour! But pricelessbiggrin

Sorry Ian, If this is in the wrong thread.

https://www.bailiwickexpress.com/jsy/news/watch-seagull-shoplifter-caught-camera/#.X0flgBjTVgU





Well at least it's not junk foodbiggrin

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 524
Date:

Bad behaviour! But pricelessbiggrin

Sorry Ian, If this is in the wrong thread.

https://www.bailiwickexpress.com/jsy/news/watch-seagull-shoplifter-caught-camera/#.X0flgBjTVgU



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 358
Date:

pete berry wrote:

Whilst out fishing with my grandson on the moss today I saw something I've never seen before. There is a large brood of nearly fully grown Mallard which patrol up and down looking for handouts,they were making a right commotion and all charging after the adult female which was carrying a dead fish about 6 ins long. As it drew level with me ,followed by it's offspring, it stopped and swallowed the fish whole,can't ever remember seeing a Mallard feeding on fish before !!!
Was wondering if anyone else has witnessed this behaviour??


 Whilst out fishing  I've also seen Mallard on several occasions with a dead fish in the bill but never seen them actual eat the fish which are usually roach or rudd.

This " dabbling" duck is also very good at diving down to a depth of two foot and pick up baits, it then comes up very quickly with a plop due to it not being able to expel air from their lungs as proper diving ducks are able to do before they dive, according to what  an "expert" source once explained to me.

Moorhens will also take fish again I've witnessed them with dead fish most recently a roach around four inch which was obviously being taken to its chicks as the nest was feet away from me but deep within an overhanging willow. Sadly I was not able to witness the actually feeding or gorging practice!

Although I never witnessed it but had  been "told" about an incident where  Moorhens raided a shallow pond  that had been set up to photograph feeding Kingfishers. The photographer had set the pond up and to find all the small fish had gone in the morning. He told me he was really excited to check the footage only to find the Moorhens had feasted at his set up scene!!

Mallard and Moorhen are classed as omnivorous so lets not be too surprised if one comes past with a mouse in its bill.



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 3240
Date:

Ive got a similar photo somewhere Richard of a Whimbrel thats caught a shore crab on Hayle Estuary in Cornwall a few years back. I was quite surprised when it kept tossing it up and dismantled it.

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1163
Date:

I find many who witness Mallards (or simular dabbling ducks) eating fish (dead or alive) are usually taken by surprise. However, fish do make up part of their natural diet, it only down to the fact that they have limitations to catch them that makes sightings of them eating fish rare. They have even acquired quite a taste for fish to such an extent they will be willing to fight over it!

Birds who regularly hold a stable diet that we are used to them having, can have a wider taste of variety that seems to us odd or out of the ordinary. For example; who would think that Water rails would eat on a dead carcass? Or a domestic Chicken catching and eating a mouse? Or ive photographed a curlew once dismembered and eating a crab which at the time surprised me? (pictured)

This shows that there is much to learn about in world around us and one person could end up spending a lifetime studying just one species.

Ta!

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Saturday 11th of July 2020 09:10:15 AM

Attachments
__________________
Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 80
Date:

pete berry wrote:

Whilst out fishing with my grandson on the moss today I saw something I've never seen before. There is a large brood of nearly fully grown Mallard which patrol up and down looking for handouts,they were making a right commotion and all charging after the adult female which was carrying a dead fish about 6 ins long. As it drew level with me ,followed by it's offspring, it stopped and swallowed the fish whole,can't ever remember seeing a Mallard feeding on fish before !!!
Was wondering if anyone else has witnessed this behaviour??


 Never seen a Mallard actually catch a fish but Ive seen them feeding on dead ones a few times when the oxygen levels have been low so theres been dead fish on the surface but even then they tended to eat them in pieces not whole. 



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1198
Date:

Whilst out fishing with my grandson on the moss today I saw something I've never seen before. There is a large brood of nearly fully grown Mallard which patrol up and down looking for handouts,they were making a right commotion and all charging after the adult female which was carrying a dead fish about 6 ins long. As it drew level with me ,followed by it's offspring, it stopped and swallowed the fish whole,can't ever remember seeing a Mallard feeding on fish before !!!
Was wondering if anyone else has witnessed this behaviour??

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1273
Date:

I haven't been massively successful with my lockdown listing. Mr Thorpe who lives not a million miles away has outshone me considerably! However, whilst I haven't seen loads of species I have been observing some interesting behaviour. The birds in question are Blackbirds, four of them, two pairs. At first I watched both males happily feeding together in the flower bed, or one scratting around whilst the other was in the bird bath. Similarly, the females shared the garden quite convivially. I fully expected this to change once territories had been established, but apparently not. All the birds still visit regularly, and often two or more at the same time. They are perhaps not quite so courteous to each other, but it certainly is not all out war. I am assuming that my garden forms a 'no mans land' between the two territories, but am still slightly surprised by the level of tolerance shown by the individual birds.

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Monday 11th of May 2020 11:16:05 PM

__________________
No one on their death bed ever said they wished they'd spent more time at work. http://bitsnbirds.blogspot.co.uk


Status: Offline
Posts: 1163
Date:

Dave Tennant wrote:

Day four and the bird had started to bond with a new Dunnock things seem to be going slow but there are encouraging signs that they could be pairing up.




Dunnocks have long fascinated me and it's interesting to note that each pair of dunnocks have a secret affair. Usually the female will have a 2nd male and both will mate with her. Mating usually occurs first with the "rival" male who will sing quietly to her and mate in secret. Her mate will then "peck" at her underside to get her to eject the rivals sperm before mating with her himself. This will create a 2nd male who may or may not help feed the young that belongs to the original pair since now, after mating, in his mind, the nest is likely to contain a possible chick from him. In this case (from Dave's post), I would suspect that the female was calling for her original mate, as she may have wondered why he vanished and needed to make sure first that her original mate wasn't just out of sight before "bonding" with the other.

I mostly see 2 dunnocks in my garden, but only on the odd rare occasion, I will see the other male. If the original male catches sight of him, he will viciously chase the other away. The original male will often tailgate his mate or follow her closely to try and prevent the rival from mating with her as he doesn't trust her loyalty. So as you can imagine, the dunnock has a more complex and interesting life than what appears to the eye!

Ta!

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Tuesday 14th of April 2020 11:11:10 PM

__________________
Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 422
Date:

Been watching the birds in the garden displaying there courtship displays over the last few weeks. Was saddened when one of the dunnocks was found to have hit next doors window and died, the previous few weeks they had been inseparable, the Male seemed to follow the female everywhere, so it was painful to watch and listen to the remaining bird calling from one of its song posts constantly for the next 24 hours. This became less and less over the next 3 days and we Werent sure what would happen. Day four and the bird had started to bond with a new Dunnock things seem to be going slow but there are encouraging signs that they could be pairing up.

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1030
Date:

Whilst my urban back yard is not producing very much especially when all the neighbours are out in theirs too I spoke to my brother who lives down in south Oxfordshire and he has been adding very nicely to his garden list including a Chiffchaff and an extraordinary bird regularly visiting his feeders: a Rook!

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 137
Date:

Wonder if anyone can answer a question for me. I was pretty sure that the robins in my garden are on eggs, the male frequently bringing food to the female, who seemed to be in the box most of the time in the past couple of days. They seemed to stop bringing nesting material a few days ago too.  However i have just watched them mating on one of my garden chairs, so am I wrong to think already brooding.



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1163
Date:

That's incredibly helpful feedback. Certainly rare but obviously it does happen. It's amazing the things that we can learn when we least expect it and I'm very glad too about this discussion forum as it helps to get a much clearer picture asto what goes on. So many thanks indeed for your information and for your own experiences. Ta!

__________________
Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 128
Date:

I had a similar experience about three years ago with my Great Tit nesting box. I had been watching the nesting pair threre in April and May. Later on (perhaps late June or even early July) , thinking the nesting season to be well and truly over I climbed up and opened the lid early one afternoon and looked in , and to my surprise there was a sitting adult bird.



-- Edited by Ian Chisnall on Monday 15th of July 2019 08:09:26 PM

__________________
Ian Chisnall


Status: Offline
Posts: 773
Date:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3297445/

Have a go with this one Richard .... "Promiscuity, paternity and personality in the great tit" ... it's all going on out there !!

I need a lie down in a dark room.

Roger.

__________________
Blessed is the man who expecteth little reward ..... for he shall seldom be disappointed.


Status: Offline
Posts: 3240
Date:

Hi Richard,
I touched on this subject back in May 2014 when I posted on the bird box advice thread.
Take Blue Tits as the prime example here, they are regarded as a 1 brood bird, and although they will lay repeat clutches if the 1st one is lost, it is very rare that they will try and raise a 2nd brood, but if it is rare... then that suggests it has been documented they have done!

Hope this helps.

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1163
Date:

I'd sent an email to the Wildlife department in the RSPB as I enquired about some very unusual activity from my great tits that visit my garden. The answer i received was inconclusive as they haven't heard of any record or experience like this before, but suggested the following question was a possibility. Therefore, I'm going to throw the same question open to discussion here.


I've always known that great tits (or like all the tit family) only have one brood which quite often varies from 6-9 chicks on average.

However, early in April, it was noted that a very freindly great tit has been taking food away no doubt to feed his chicks. The chicks (now juveniles) were seen with him from around the 2nd and 3rd week in may and these were eating on their own before the 4th week of May had ended and usually they would then stop taking anything away. However, this year, the male great tit was still taking some food away throughout June!

Only in the last week in June after 3 weeks and also now into July at least 3 or 4 young juveniles are again following him begging for food (after 3 weeks of quiet). This is definitely the same male as his character/ feather markings and tameness are all unique to this individual. The "new" younger great tits have now started eating on their own by the 11th July.

So my question is;

1. Is it possible for tits to have a 2nd brood if they have enough food and time?

2. (The key question) If yes, has this been heard of before?

3. If No, then what else could be the reason on what's happening here since the april/may juveniles dispersed and seperated by early June??

Any input would be very much appreciated please.

__________________
Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 937
Date:

Great piece in British Birds today about Swallows opening an industrial unit's door by flying by the infra-red sensor.

__________________



Status: Offline
Posts: 1163
Date:

Some time ago I first watched Sir David Attenborough "Life of Birds" and someone later gave me a book on it. There are a few things that really caught my attention and one of those things were our House Sparrows.

Sir David compared the sparrows to a military ranking system since the males black bibs are of different sizes from different ages and the more senior ones are the ones that rule. Which goes something like this....

Large black bib = Colonel
Medium bib = Captin
Small bib = Sargent

No bib (females etc) = Private

This is where things get more interesting:

I have several sparrows that visit me in my garden and for the most part, their behaviour described by David has been largly accurate. However, over the years they have been getting used to my presence and this year they have been the most comfortable with people I've ever had. This means that they are not nervous to display their natural behaviour in my presence and one female private who is the "wife" of the Colonel often crouches with her shoulders out and tail up shaking in his presence. At first I thought she was just displaying to her mate, but apparently this isn't the case. The Colonel uses a simular display to the captin and this is obviously a display of dominance. Now this female private is having the same dominance over the other privates AND...... ANY OF THE OTHER MALES AND EVEN HER OWN MATE!

So it appears then, that the Colonel could be likened to a King and this makes his mate a Queen who is no longer a private, but a key figure in the ranks of the sparrow colony! I am somewhat surprised at this as I've never heard or seen any of this female dominance in house sparrows before and I'm curious if anyone else has seen this kind of behaviour from female "privates" too.

Hope its ok that I've attached a picture of the female displaying this behaviour so you can see exactly what to look for....

Ta!

Attachments
__________________
Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 2664
Date:

2 Ravens today at Ludworth Moor. Both were digging with their beaks in the snow trying to find food then one started bathing in the snow rolling around, sometimes completely on its back with legs kicking in the air.

Cheers John






__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1163
Date:

Rob Creek wrote:

They may well be considered as intelligent birds, but it would depend on what type of stimulus was used, or experiment was being carried out to measure the level of intelligence by producing a particular result for that test. .....................You say they won't mistake hail for seed or grain etc, well the pigeons that come onto our bird table and sometimes quite a few of them, they just peck at anything on the table and half the food ends up on the floor as they just seemingly fling it about with no real purpose, they certainly don't act intelligent.
I also think there'd be a lot more science involved than likening birds eating hail to humans eating ice lollies. Hail is simply water, no refined sugar, chemicals etc.




Excellent points. In order to give more details with what I know; First to quote from just one reference scorce "Experiments have proved that pigeons can consistently distinguish between the works of impressionist and cubist painters. And not just by "learning" particular paintings, but by recognising their style, which enables them to identify any work by the same artist. In other words, they can be an abstract visual Concept to make decisions about the world around them - something once held to be beyond most Birds." (Birdwatching magazine May 2005)

In my line of work which delt with 100 plus pigeons day in day out, I've found their intelegence level to be true in that they are even capable to distinguish one item for another. So, if this is true with (as above) works of art- they certainly can easily tell between seed and ice. Your observance on the bird table is typical pigeon behaviour. This is more to do with behavioural instinct survival then intelligence level, especially if they want their favorite pieces first and will try and scoff them before the others get them. Besides, their instinct tells them that the more they manage to scoff quickly, the more chance they have to get enough food to survive the day. When we fed the pigeons (at a local bird rescue centre), seed would fly everywhere (naturally messy eaters) and they would leave some certain bits of wheat and would not eat those bits unless they were really hungry.

I cannot say anything about the documentary you've watched as I've not seen it myself and don't know the circumstances, but, my guess here, perhaps it may possibly be down to either get water or die of thirst?

I will agree with one thing, that there must be more 'science involved' with ice eating, but don't forget, I did say "they must love the sensation of ice water" (in a simular way we love the cold sensation of icecreams) but excluding of course, the flavours etc.

Hope this helps clear things up a bit.

All the best to you.smile
-- Edited by Richard Thew on Thursday 18th of January 2018 06:35:01 PM

__________________
Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 3240
Date:

They may well be considered as intelligent birds, but it would depend on what type of stimulus was used, or experiment was being carried out to measure the level of intelligence by producing a particular result for that test. Apparently they can't deal with 2 stimuli in an experiment but are fairly well adept at solving problems.

I did see a documentary a while back showing Caracal's catching Doves (think it was one of the Turtle Dove species) by a waterhole. Apparently the Pigeon / Dove family are renowned for having short memories as within minutes they were dropping back in the same place where they'd just had a near miss cat attack or indeed just seen one of their own plucked from the sky.

You say they won't mistake hail for seed or grain etc, well the pigeons that come onto our bird table and sometimes quite a few of them, they just peck at anything on the table and half the food ends up on the floor as they just seemingly fling it about with no real purpose, they certainly don't act intelligent.
I also think there'd be a lot more science involved than likening birds eating hail to humans eating ice lollies. Hail is simply water, no refined sugar, chemicals etc.

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1163
Date:

It's likely the pigeons see it as an alternative to ice lollies. Last month (posted in the County Garden Birds) I reported that my goldfinches went crazy over the snow that gathered on our conifer tree, they must love the sensation of ice water in a simular way we love our icecreams. Pigeons are quite bright birds and it's most very unlikely they will mistaken the hail for seed. (At least it's not as chilli as taking a bath in ice water which I've seen happen a number of times). Hope this helps, Ta!

__________________
Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 3240
Date:

Do you think they could be mistaking the hail stones for grain, seed, or breadcrumbs? I suppose in the process they are also getting a form of hydration, just a thought!

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 544
Date:

Another pigeon post!

This morning there were about a dozen Feral Pigeons in our garden picking around under the feeders when a brief hail shower started, immediately all the birds started pecking at the hail as it landed, they were actually swallowing it. The hail was that light, white type, like small pellets of compacted snow. I have never noticed this behaviour before but wouldn't be surprised if it has been observed previously.

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 524
Date:

sid ashton wrote:
Peter Nolan Woolley wrote:

Observed a Male Goldeneye this morning, swimming very fast around in very tight circles. Would there be any reason it may be behaving like this?

 

Rgds, Pete.


Pete

Phalaropes and Shovelers spin, this forces water away from the bird on the surface, causing an upward flow from as deep as a foot or more. With this flow come the tiny animals on which it feeds. Perhaps this was what the Goldeneye was doing.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 16th of December 2017 05:49:38 PM


 Thanks Sid smile



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1855
Date:

Peter Nolan Woolley wrote:

Observed a Male Goldeneye this morning, swimming very fast around in very tight circles. Would there be any reason it may be behaving like this?

 

Rgds, Pete.


Pete

Phalaropes and Shovelers spin, this forces water away from the bird on the surface, causing an upward flow from as deep as a foot or more. With this flow come the tiny animals on which it feeds. Perhaps this was what the Goldeneye was doing.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 16th of December 2017 05:49:38 PM

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 524
Date:

Observed a Male Goldeneye this morning, swimming very fast around in very tight circles. Would there be any reason it may be behaving like this?

 

Rgds, Pete.



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 304
Date:

John,

I noticed this behaviour a few years back, our local Woodpigeons would lie in the middle of the road doing exactly the same,
to start with the kids thought the birds were injured, upon approaching to assist they shot off.....

Cheers


__________________
Aint birdin brill......


Status: Offline
Posts: 2664
Date:

In a downpour this afternoon a Woodpigeon was bathing but then stopped preening and held each wing skyward to give the underwings a good soaking. It held this pose for some minutes.

Cheers John

Attachments
__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1528
Date:

I watched a Jay today, at Sale Water Park ,caching Acorns into the ground, Over a period of 20 mins it put 30+ acorns into  the ground, a great number of these were regurgitated fascinating to watch, and as dog walkers went passed showing no interest, I lost faith in humans.

Keep Birding



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1163
Date:

Interesting post Simon. I know pigeons are usually fairly bright and can work out some issues that involves problems in getting at food. However, like you pointed out they don't usually go to the extent of using tools as they tend to lack the brain cells to do this properly. I think what has happened here is that a female picked up a stick suitable for nest making which in itself is a classic behaviour pattern for pigeons. She then obviously may have gone to the feeder to try and get some food at the same time whilst refusing to let her 'perfect' stick go. Thereby this can accidently lead to the bird discovering it can use a stick to dislodge seeds. The others that watch can pickup these habits observing the behaviour and may attempt it themselves. Hope this info helps shed some light on this. ..

__________________
Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 544
Date:

Just now in our Dukinfield garden I saw a Feral Pigeon attempting to use a twig as a tool.
Firstly I noticed this bird perched on the bird table with a thin twig in its beak, it then flew onto the hanging feeder (as 1 or 2 have learned to do). I thought the twig may have gotten lodged in its beak somehow but when it left the feeder a few seconds later the twig was gone. I watched the same bird then pick up a few different twigs from the ground discarding each one in turn but finally picking one that it was happy with. It then flew onto the bird table and again onto the hanging feeder, I could see it was trying unsuccessfully to poke the twig into the feeder port, presumably trying to dislodge seed. Certainly something I haven't seen before or would have expected from a pigeon.

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1044
Date:

So last night I stupidly decided to go out birding before the thunderstorm and ended getting stuck in the hide for nearly 2 hours whilst the storm rumbled on over head!

As the rain started all the ducks .. Mallard, Teal, Gadwall all tilted their heads and bills skywards has anyone one else witnessed this before?
I wasn't sure if it was to prevent water from running into their nostrils? A lot of them even got out of the water puffed their chests up but again all had their heads and bills pointing towards the sky!

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1163
Date:

David, this is typical motherly instinct behaviour. The instinct of some species can be very powerful, so much so they will look after and protect any other species to the best that they know how. I think it was last year at Martin Mere, a black headed gull took over a moorhen nest. The black headed gull didn't eat the moorhen chicks but "adopted" the moorhens as it's own and from what I gathered, survived well. This all depends on the species and how strong that instinct is, which in my experience from working with wild and domestic birds for about 20 odd years, their broodyness can change literally overnight. Hope this info helps.

__________________
Which bird is ideal for keeping cakes in? I asked. The answer: a Bun-tin. http://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


Status: Offline
Posts: 1713
Date:

This morning, I carried out my usual routine of tending to the hens, which obviously includes collecting eggs. One hen, currently in lay (ie not broody) was occupying a nest box, which usually indicates that she is about to lay an egg, and usually, if I put a hand towards her, she will vacate the box. Today, however, she didn't budge, and in fact began to peck at my hand. Eventually, amid much squawking, she left the box and joined the other hens in the garden, to reveal two white eggs, and to my amazement, a very young Blackbird chick. The chick attempted to follow the hen, but the coop is about three feet off the ground, accessed by a ramp, so I picked up the chick and placed it in a sheltered corner of the garden, adjacent to the hen hut, at which point I noticed another very young chick huddled in the corner. Both started cheeping, then a female Blackbird appeared, alarm calling along the hedges.

Eventually, the adult Blackbird seemed to shepherd the two errant youngsters into the shelter of the undergrowth, then proceeded to collect and carry food into the area, whereupon the chicks became very vocal. She continued doing this for the rest of the day.

I know that adults will attempt to continue to feed chicks which have left the nest early, for whatever reason, but I am sure that the hen was sitting and protecting the Blackbird chick, which I find only slightly more amazing than the fact that the young Blackbird found its way into the nest box in the first place.

I wondered if anyone else has experienced this sort of behaviour?

-- Edited by David Walsh on Sunday 19th of June 2016 11:19:04 PM

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 160
Date:

I've been a birder for over 50 years but yesterday was a first for me. We put seed out for the House Sparrows, Woodpigeons, Collared Doves etc and we have a feral pigeon that comes often in the company of a Woodpigeon. Yesterday the Woodpigeon was mating or attempting to mate with the feral pigeon on the patio. I can find little or no reference to this. Has anybody ever come across a hybrid between the 2 species?

Another unusual behavioural occurrence concerning Woodpigeons  is landing on water. Having been birding on Audenshaw Reservoirs for 30+ years I have on 2 occasions seen them land on the water, stay there for at least 30 secs with outstretched wings and then take off with no apparent trouble. On each occasion the waters were flat calm (a rarity itself on Audenshaw) and the birds were way out in the middle of the water.



__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 447
Date:

I'm always impressed by Sparrowhawks emulating other species in flight, such as crows, woodpigeons, feral pigeons, collared doves, etc

The other day, a male swooped up in the fashion of a displaying woodpigeon, then down, and hurtled over a fence into a neighbour's garden. Nice trick

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 2664
Date:

Old Hall Lane, Woodford.

A Buzzard dropped from a low Hawthorn onto what I thought was a Carrion Crow carcass and began pecking. A Magpie immediately joined it to try and snatch anything going. But it turned out that the black lump was only a small piece of farmyard plastic wrapping. Nevertheless neither bird let it go. The Buzzard rose repeatedly about 4 feet from the ground in a series of small loops to try and get away from the Magpie. The Magpie continued to pursue. All the time the Buzzard kept a close grip on the plastic. After about 5 minutes of this behaviour the wrapping detached from the Buzzard's talons and blew away across the field. Neither bird followed it.

Cheers, John

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1477
Date:

I was walking close to home yesterday when I heard a blue tit give it's regular alarm call from a nearby clump of trees and bushes, and at that exact second the flock of feral pigeons that haunt the local area took flight in a mad panic, scattering in all directions. I looked all around (as I always do when a bird gives a known alarm call), but there was nothing to be seen in any direction. I just think it is fascinating that a semi-domesticated bird like a pigeon (which is not alarmed by humans approaching) would take flight upon hearing a wild bird utter a warning. Has anyone else witnessed reactions to alarm calls involving unusual species?

__________________

Ever wondered what the Earth was like before life evolved? Stick around.



Status: Offline
Posts: 1605
Date:

Apparently Phalaropes will spin in either direction, though clockwise is most usual, and it's not that some birds are right-handed and others left-handed. Individuals will change direction from time to time. Also, spinning is relatively unusual as a means of obtaining food. They tend to do it in shallow water though, which I guess would be the case at Burton Mere.

Don't know if you did any counts, Tim, but one of the paper's authors counted a "record" of 206 consecutive spins at an average of 54rpm (pun intended smile)

__________________
Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


Status: Offline
Posts: 1030
Date:

Steve Suttill wrote:

There has been quite a bit of research done on this issue, Tim. The February and March 2015 issues of British Birds are the place to look.

-- Edited by Steve Suttill on Friday 5th of June 2015 02:13:58 PM





Thanks Steve. I had to cancel my British Birds subscription last year as I found I just wasn't reading them - too scientific for me and (then) too little time. I read that Grey Phalaropes tend to spin clockwise so wonder if this was a typical or atypical direction of spin for a Red-necked Phalarope. The other behavioural observation was that it felt safe and untroubled feeding amongst Black-tailed Godwits but was severely hassled by Avocets (which species, incidently, seem to be simultaneously terrible parents leaving their fledged young to wander all over the place after defending their nests ferociously!)

__________________


Status: Offline
Posts: 1605
Date:

There has been quite a bit of research done on this issue, Tim. The February and March 2015 issues of British Birds are the place to look.

-- Edited by Steve Suttill on Friday 5th of June 2015 02:13:58 PM

__________________
Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


Status: Offline
Posts: 1030
Date:

I made a detour for the lovely breeding-plumaged female Red-necked Phalarope at Burton Mere Wetlands from the IMF hide yesterday on the way back from Shropshire. Those of us in the hide watched as it span in fast circles feeding and always turned anti-clockwise. Presumably it was creating a kind of whirlpool of aquatic insects. Anyone know if this is the case and why always without fail turning in one direction only?

__________________
1 2 35  >  Last»  | Page of 5  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

RODIS

 

This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar.