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Questions tagged [birds]

Egg laying, two legged, warm blooded, vertebrates with feathers. Use this tag to ask questions about our feathered friends.

6
votes
2answers
94 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
0answers
57 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
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
189 views

How can I help birds know how to feed from feeders?

In Malaysia, the country I'm from, almost nobody puts up bird feeders. I have just bought a bird feeder from overseas, but the birds don't seem to know what the feeder even is, as they may not have ...
8
votes
1answer
128 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
146 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
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
190 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
98 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
votes
2answers
278 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
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How much weight can a bald eagle carry?

Just recently, a photographer was watching some foxes hunt rabbits. One of the foxes caught a rabbit when a bald eagle swooped down grabbed the rabbit and pulled both rabbit and fox into the air. The ...
8
votes
2answers
228 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
votes
2answers
229 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. ...
8
votes
2answers
971 views

Finding dead hummingbirds on my property

I'm hoping that this isn't the beginning of a trend, but over the past week I have discovered an alarming number of dead hummingbirds on my property. For reference, I live in a suburban area on the ...
11
votes
2answers
293 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. ...
10
votes
1answer
117 views

What kind of bird is outside my window?

I live in Phoenix, Arizona. Recently, there has been a bird sitting in the mesquite tree outside my window, singing. This bird comes in the middle of the damn night. Once 3am, once 5am, and now around ...
12
votes
2answers
583 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
votes
0answers
269 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
54 views

Possible resources to identify birds while outdoors (preferably in the Indian subcontinent)?

I get to travel a lot in the richly biodiverse western ghats of India. While hiking, one of the most difficult tasks I face is to identify birds that I come across. I'm not a professional or even ...
4
votes
3answers
125 views

Is there a way to attract more birds to my yard without a bird feeder?

I live with my parents. I love bird watching, and would love a bird feeder, but my mother does not want to keep one fearing it will attract rodents which may carry lyme disease. We've had bad ...
4
votes
0answers
136 views

Seagulls flocking by night?

I just went outside (11:30pm) and could hear seagulls screaming/cawing overhead. I looked in the direction of where the sound was coming from and could see a couple hundred of them being illuminated ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

What factors should be considered when helping to feed crows/ravens in the yard?

We've had at least one discussion about what to feed birds in the crow and raven families in our yards. This question is about the most effective way to do so. When setting up the feeding areas of ...
12
votes
1answer
528 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How many hours a day, on average, do Canada Geese sleep?

How many hours a day do Canada Geese typically sleep in a 24 hour period?
5
votes
1answer
123 views

What features should I look for in a free-standing heated birdbath for below zero temperatures?

I live in Massachusetts, in the Northeast United States. Our backyard is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat. We're responsible for providing shelter, places for raising young, ...
9
votes
2answers
332 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

Is the correct term Canada Goose or Canadian Goose?

The author of a question on our site referred to a certain type of goose as a Canadian goose. Some people thought that the correct name is Canada goose, rather than Canadian. Wikipedia refers to them ...
2
votes
2answers
430 views

Dead Canada goose stuck frozen to top of lake

I saw a Canada goose stuck frozen on Ramapo Lake in the Ramapo Mountain State Forest near Oakland, New Jersey. I was told that it had been dead for a while. Can a goose freeze to the ice and get ...
6
votes
3answers
358 views

How to correctly identify a bird that looks like a Cooper's Hawk or a Peregrine Falcon?

This bird showed up on the website NextDoor. A bunch of people were saying it's a Cooper's Hawk. To me it's clearly a Peregrine Falcon. My reasoning is: there are Peregrines around here all the time (...
20
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
273 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the European robin associated with winter?

Reading some of the comments on this answer: ....they're seen in the UK as winter birds. Not, I think, that they're not around in the summer; more that other birds aren't around in the winter ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How does a European Robin differ from an American Robin?

I live in the United States and am very fond of birds of all kinds. One of my favorites, because it's a harbinger of spring, is the robin. I thought robins were the same here and in Europe, but I was ...
12
votes
4answers
823 views

Is it a pheasant? A grouse? What do I feed it?

I live in the United Kingdom. This cheeky fellow recently wandered into the house, scaring the life out of the missus, much to the amusement of the child. I put him out in the porch with a bit of ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

What is this brown bird with a white area over its eye, found on the top of a pine tree in Ohio?

Any ideas what bird is making this song? Unfortunately, this photo was the best I got, but I did get a lot of audio of it's call (the YouTube video has a bunch of them clipped together). At the end ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Do birds get ticks?

This has been an especially prolific year for ticks in the northeastern region of the United States. We've had so many in our yard that I've given up gardening and switched to planting in pots! We ...
10
votes
1answer
198 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
votes
2answers
485 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
370 views

What is this black and white bird with thin brown legs and a multi-colored beak, found in Massachusetts USA in January?

I live in the central region of Massachusetts, United States. Last January we found this lovely bird eating suet in our suburban back yard. It's in a section of about ten feeders, mostly in the ...
8
votes
3answers
455 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
3k 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
1k 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. What's the smallest of all the owls? I'd like the name and some information about its characteristics, ...
11
votes
2answers
653 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
3answers
374 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this specific bird that really likes breadcrumbs?

Quite simply: What is this animal? I have searched through various wildlife identification guides (particularly ducks and geese) and have so far not found anything close.
5
votes
1answer
509 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
3k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
394 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
247 views

How can I tell the difference between an American Crow, and a Common Raven that lives in America?

I live in Massachusetts, which is part of New England, in the Northeast section of the United States. We have a large number of birds I identify as crows, and only crows. I've heard of ravens, but ...