Questions tagged [bird-behaviour]

Questions relating to specific or unusual behaviour shown in birds.

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9
votes
1answer
196 views

Why do they turn the 9/11 Memorial Lights off for birds?

On the morning of September 11, 2001, two airplanes flew into the "Twin Towers," part of the hub of the World Trade Center in New York City, United States. The towers, which at one time had been the ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Can Cormorants swallow and digest large prey like eels whole?

Can a cormorant really manage to digest a huge, living eel, bones and all? Does the poor eel (it was quite a bright/pretty green color) stand any slim chance of escaping (that thrashing, biting, etc.)...
3
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0answers
138 views

Birds singing and dancing on telephone wire

Location: UK East Midlands, suburban garden. Bird: possible marsh tits, something in that size range with a black cap. Time: late July. Two similar-looking birds were observed making high-pitched, ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

How to tell the difference between Lesser and Great spotted Woodpeckers?

Around my work I walk in local parks for a couple of hours a day, and I've noticed we have Green Woodpeckers, and I've seen them quite a few times and can now recognise them rather easily. Recently I ...
3
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2answers
146 views

How do they tell the sex of Peregrine Falcon chicks?

Related to this question where the difference in size might possibly be due to one of the 3 peregrine falcon chicks being male, how do they tell whether a peregrine chick is male or female? ...
6
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1answer
143 views

Why might a larger peregrine falcon chick take longer to molt than smaller siblings?

It has become a bit of a fad in the last few days at my current workplace to open a browser tab to either http://www.lbwl.com/falcon.htm or http://www.lbwl.com/falcon2.htm , take a quick look now and ...
8
votes
1answer
315 views

Can dirty bird feeders make birds sick?

We have bird feeders of all shapes, sizes, and types of material. Some we've had for years. We dump out leftover bird seed and shells when we refill them. If there are obvious dangers, like algae, ...
2
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0answers
40 views

White Throated Magpie Jay - Costa Rica

My wife and I have been watching these magpie Jays for a while and I was just wondering what if all would be the purpose of the plume on their heads. It's strange in it's a single strand with a few ...
11
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1answer
132 views

Can a tag on the prey's leg harm a peregrine falcon if eaten?

I saw a bird (the mother) swallow the birdring of another bird it was eating on live camera (while feeding its chicks) link (the site is in Polish) and I am wondering whether: Can it actually cause ...
6
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2answers
223 views

Why aren’t birds using these feeders?

I've been hanging these fat balls for a good while and they're intact. Previously I was hanging a feeder filled with seeds (for birds) in front of the window and that was also intact for a while; so I ...
7
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2answers
154 views

What can I do to get garden birds back after hawk has made my bird-feeder his hunting ground?

I put up a bird feeder in my backyard over the summer and have been enjoying taking care of the birds. Unfortunately, sometime in the fall a hawk decided to start hanging around my yard. I shoo him ...
6
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2answers
174 views

How can a Common Kingfisher bird balance on a tiny swaying reed without moving its head?

This is a one minute video of a Common Kingfisher bird standing on a tiny reed swaying in the wind. It's from the BBC Network in England. For much of the video, especially the beginning, the bird ...
6
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0answers
82 views

How common are avian diseases?

I feed the local birds quite a lot, and am wondering about the possibility of contracting any avian-related illnessess. How often is it for us to come across a disease-ridden bird anywhere, as well as ...
3
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0answers
83 views

How common is it for a mother duck to adopt ducklings?

There is a recent story of how one mother duck kept adopting more ducklings that weren't hers and eventually ended up with 76 ducklings. This is called "brood amalgamation", how common is it among ...
3
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1answer
505 views

Do doves go through a molting time of shedding and replacing their feathers?

We live in Massachusetts, Northeastern United States. It's late July, and our temperatures this month have ranged between 70°F (21°C) and 90°F (32°C). Mourning doves, Zenaida macroura, live here ...
8
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1answer
203 views

How do songbirds and small animals know when there's a hawk in the immediate vicinity?

At any given time in our yard, we have at least 20 birds, up to the same number of squirrels, 15 or so chipmunks, and a few rabbits. Our many feeders and birdbaths are mostly under big trees and next ...
5
votes
3answers
259 views

Why are birds so nervous around humans?

I bet the first thing that came to your mind, was... because humans are evil and hurt animals because we're bigger than birds because we are louder than birds because of all of the above ...right? ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Do any birds hibernate?

A friend said she heard there's a species of bird that hibernates during the winter. I was surprised because I've only heard of birds that either migrate to warm weather as it gets cold; or stay ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

How big do ducklings get before they can fly?

The ducklings are getting much bigger very quickly, to the point that it's almost hard to tell the mother duck from the ducklings, (mother duck in back of procession) How much bigger are these ...
6
votes
2answers
515 views

Is it realistic that a duck would raise a swan?

One of the older fairy tales is The Ugly Duckling where the one oddball of the bunch is considered ugly by the other ducks but turns out to be a swan at the end of the story. From what I have read, ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

When and why were House Sparrows originally brought to the United States?

The common House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, is one of the few birds not protected under federal law in North America, because it's considered a non-native species. However, it currently lives in ...
6
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2answers
3k views

How should I rescue a baby bird, including when it's wet?

A baby black bird fell in my baby's pool and I think he was there about 30 min. I took him from the pool and put him under the sun for 3-4 min to dry and then left him under the tree where there is ...
3
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1answer
197 views

How do mallard mother ducks tell their ducklings from others?

Right now the irrigation ditches and ponds have lots and lots of mallard ducklings, sometimes multiple families to a single pond. The way to tell is that there will be too many ducklings for one ...
5
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1answer
583 views

Sparrows eating grains strewn on floor but not the grains in a nice bowl

Have the good fortune of having sparrows around my house. I feed basmati rice + big bowl of water to sparrows. I sprinkle basmati rice and other grains in the balcony. The sparrows flock once in ...
9
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3answers
880 views

How do I safely move around Canada Geese?

I live in an area with a lot of lakes/ponds, with many paths around them. Many humans and dogs enjoy walking on these paths. However, the Canada geese have recently set up shop on the lakes. They don'...
5
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2answers
481 views

Is it possible for birds to develop mental problems?

A buzzard seen nearby has been continuously attacking people for over a year now. As far as I know this isn't normal behaviour, especially not outside breeding season. Please correct me if I'm wrong. ...
11
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2answers
406 views

Why was I attacked by a bird (twice)?

Last night, I had to climb a tower at work. When I reached the top platform (about 40 feet up), and turned my back to close the swinging gate behind me, I was whacked on the back of the head. ...
18
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2answers
3k views

Do birds eat chillies? Do they feel the chilli heat?

We had a few white browed bulbuls visit us recently. One of them seemed to have a peculiar interest in the chillies that grew in one of our pots (I believe these are bird's eye chillies [no pun ...
5
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0answers
561 views

Why are vultures attracted to rubber on vehicles?

I was looking up some things for some of our recent questions when I saw this line in the safety guide for Everglades National Park, Vultures are attracted to the rubber on vehicles and have been ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Is a sentinel (guard) Canada Goose always a male, or a female, or does it vary?

While there are a number of recognized sub-species of Canada geese, this question pertains to the main species, Branta canadensis. This answer to a question asking how many hours a day Canada Geese ...
9
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2answers
640 views

How to defend against swooping Torresian Crow

6 weeks ago a pair of Torresian Crows ("also called Australian crow or Papuan crow") began roosting in close proximity to my residence. Their chicks have left the nest and they do not seem to be ...
3
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2answers
123 views

What is the meaning and proper usage of the term “irruption” in bird behavior?

The author of a question on this site wondered if they had possibly seen a snowy owl. A quoted source in this answer to that question used the word irruption in part of a sentence about where the ...
22
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2answers
5k views

Why do some birds fly in a V-formation?

When birds gather into groups, they fly in a variety of different formations and patterns. Some birds fly in a formation that looks like the letter "V". Several species of geese, pelicans, and ibis ...
9
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3answers
364 views

Possible snowy owl seen in the trees

I was out hunting last weekend (end of October) near Yellow Pine, Idaho. While walking up a hill during the late morning with moderate timber coverage (thin enough to ski comfortably but thick enough ...
10
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1answer
245 views

What's the ecological impact of bird-baths?

When reading this question (What is the ecological justification (if any) for bird feeders?) on bird feeders I wondered if there would be an ecological impact on having a bird bath. Especially in ...
16
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2answers
596 views

What is the ecological justification (if any) for bird feeders?

Like many people, we have bird feeders, and a bird-bath. We also have a feeding station (replenished in the mornings only) that attracts squirrels and chipmunks and some of the larger birds. During ...
7
votes
3answers
681 views

Do backyard birds prefer birdbaths with moving water?

It's spring here in the Northeastern United States, and we're getting a large influx of the wonderful birds who will spend the summer and fall with us. Although we feed and water birds, and any other ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

Why are common grackles standing on our bird feeders with their heads pointed straight up?

I live in Northeastern United States, where it's spring at the moment. We keep bird-feeders throughout the year, so those that over-winter always have something to eat. As is usual at this time of ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the smallest owl in the world, and where can I see one?

I've read that there are up to 200 species of owls, encompassing many sizes, shapes and colors. Ornithologists and scientists continue finding new species and sub-species. They also re-name ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Bird migration across Atlantic?

Which bird species migrate between Europe and the Americas? I know there are some species which migrate over vast distances, such as the Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica), which flies through ...
10
votes
3answers
492 views

Is this bar-headed goose's behavior an indication of a problem?

After seeing this question which had this animation: I was left wondering whether this behavior was "normal" or at least healthy. I know sometimes when an animal exhibits odd behavior there's ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Do American mourning doves only make their plaintive cooing sound where people can't see them?

We have American mourning doves in abundance in Massachusetts. They spend months in our yard, eating seeds both on the ground and in the feeders. They also peck around in my flower garden, so I think ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

Why does this blue tit bird desperately want to come inside?

There's a strange thing going on since a few days ago in the office. Suddenly we recognized a blue tit flying like crazy up and down on our window. It looks quite average, a beautiful bird, not like ...
9
votes
2answers
552 views

What must be causing a decrease in sparrows and an increase in pigeons in my town?

Has your city seen a noticeable decrease in population of common sparrows? And, on the contrary an increased population of common pigeons? As per my opinion prime suspects appear to be stronger ...
7
votes
1answer
157 views

How and why is the red kite bird disturbed by wind turbines?

Recently my region in Germany had great success in bringing back the red kite bird. Unfortunately a few decided to stay near newly built wind turbines. Thus the turbines are turned off from time to ...
8
votes
3answers
686 views

Would a Canada Goose deliberately try to keep a section of water from freezing?

I just passed the pond where the geese in this question are, and it turns out that while some of the geese are sleeping ontop of the ice, there is a section right there, about 20ft by 80 that is open ...
9
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3answers
5k views

Why would a Canada Goose sleep on a frozen pond?

I just passed one of the town parks, and there was a flock of Canada geese sleeping on the frozen lake. It seemed like that would be a rather cold place to sleep, is there a reason beyond the ...
10
votes
2answers
668 views

Does feeding migratory birds in the fall affect the timing of migration?

On the east coast of the United States where I live, various species of birds migrate South (sometimes West) for the winter. Some stop briefly on their long trek, others have been here for months. ...
7
votes
2answers
461 views

Does the male or female Emperor penguin incubate their egg, and for how long?

I've been told that the only place Emperor penguins live is Antarctica. They live in colonies which can be anywhere from 500-20,000 birds. Unlike some other birds, including other penguin species, ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Do bees at the hummingbird feeders keep the birds away?

Although not greater in number, our hummingbirds this summer seem to be larger than in the past. I think it may be because my husband started making our own nectar, so it's fresher, and might taste ...