Questions tagged [bird-behaviour]

Questions relating to specific or unusual behaviour shown in birds.

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22
votes
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 ...
21
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
19
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4answers
940 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 ...
18
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2answers
22k views

Why do seagulls circle around at high altitudes?

I was recently at a music festival in a field here in the UK. It was a nice hot day and I was staring up into the lovely blue sky. I noticed there were high numbers of seagulls circling above, ...
15
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1answer
5k 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 ...
14
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4answers
5k views

Does a bird really abandon the nest? Will similar birds re-use it?

This may appear a bit opinion-based. Birds take a while and a lot of effort to build a nest. Is it okay to take that pretty nest as a sample or a show-piece to put in a personal balcony or a garden? ...
13
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1answer
2k views

What should I do if I disturb a bird of prey with a kill?

A friend of mine disturbed a bird of prey (I think it was a kestrel or sparrow hawk) that had just killed a pigeon in her back garden. The pigeon was still alive when she found it but died soon after. ...
11
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3answers
699 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 ...
11
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2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
541 views

Why are two birds obsessed with a chopped-down tree?

Where I work, there was a great pine tree which was recently chopped (actually, sawed) down. Prior to its demise, this tall pine was visited often by lizards and birds. After its removal, though, ...
11
votes
2answers
427 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. ...
11
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1answer
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
505 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
votes
2answers
6k views

Bald eagle vs. vultures?

I witnessed a bizarre scene on the James River in Richmond, VA, USA (1000 yards west of Mayo Bridge if you want to examine Google Maps). It was on a large rock in the middle of the river, where nearly ...
10
votes
2answers
749 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. ...
10
votes
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What happens to the eggs after American robins are born?

When American robin chicks fledge, meaning leave the nest, it is pretty much empty. It's also fairly clean, as the parents have been removing the waste from the babies after each feeding. Aside from ...
10
votes
1answer
221 views

Lots of birds together at the same time

This year in October I saw a lot of robins, male and female, finches and chickadees, and geese flying south. Surprisingly I didn't see many juveniles from previous broods. My guess is that juveniles ...
10
votes
1answer
284 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
440 views

Why do I never see robins in the woods?

I know that there might be robins in the woods that I just never see. But why don't I see any robins. I see lots of birds including chickadees, cardinals, and blue jays. There are Hawthorn trees out ...
9
votes
2answers
811 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
230 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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'...
9
votes
2answers
665 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 ...
8
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3answers
1k 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 ...
8
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3answers
2k views

What can I provide to help a robin build her nest?

We went away for five days and came home to find a robin building a nest in the crook of the downspout of our gutter. I live in Massachusetts, in Northeast United States, so she's probably an American ...
8
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1answer
1k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
409 views

Have attacks on humans by raptors other than owls been documented, excluding cases where they were defending their nests?

The Washington Post recently reported that a juvenile owl was attacking early morning joggers on a trail near Bethesda, MD. Signs have been put up on a section of the trail reminding users that the ...
8
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1answer
408 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
103 views

How do Plover sentinels give the “move out” signal?

During my usual weekend morning jaunt along Del Monte Beach in Monterey (California), I noticed for the first time the Plovers, who normally seem to forage nonstop, actually taking a communal break. ...
8
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
164 views

How should I position my hummingbird feeders to attract the most birds?

I'm trying to increase the hummingbird population in my yard in Northeastern United States. I grow certain types of flowers specifically designed to keep them happy, and have often found them drinking ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
162 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
508 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, ...
7
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
148 views

Swans jammed together in a small pond

Due to heavy rain, the water level raised drastically in the last days and arose a few small "ponds" besides our local river. Also the main stream is accordingly extremely wild these days. Recently ...
7
votes
1answer
162 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
259 views

Are the seagulls begging or contentedly sighing?

For any Dr. Doolittles out there, when a seagull makes a "cooing" sound, is it more like the "miaow" of a cat, or the purring of a cat? Specifically, when the seagulls "talk" to each other, it is ...
6
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

Is it safe to feed swans in the United Kingdom?

I've heard that a swan can break your arms with a flap of its wings, etc., but am not sure if that's true. There's a nature reserve - local to me - where the swans come up on foot out of the water and ...
6
votes
2answers
343 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
votes
1answer
196 views

Blue tits looking in nesting boxes

I have had blue tits coming to my garden for a few years and have had a couple of bird nesting boxes up for about 2 years, but these have never been nested in. I have seen blue tits occasionally land ...
6
votes
1answer
152 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 ...