Questions tagged [birds]

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

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18
votes
3answers
783 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
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
887 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'...
25
votes
7answers
7k views

Why is there such a singular place for bird watching?

There are a lot of interesting things in nature, but of all land vertebrates, birding has highly disproportionate attention. People (perhaps including birding enthusiasts) may note and appreciate ...
9
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
354 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
486 views

Is dirty birdbath water worse than none at all?

For the last few months, we've experienced long spells of drought and heat in Massachusetts, on the East Coast of the United States. At least thirty birds and three generations of squirrels and ...
5
votes
1answer
136 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.)...
6
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How does a European Robin differ from an American Robin?

I live in the Northeastern region of the United States, and am an avid bird-lover. I love robins for their looks, and because they're harbingers of spring in my area. I thought robins were the same ...
3
votes
0answers
139 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, ...
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
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Feather found on chicken coop

I live in the southern part of Zealand, in Denmark. I assembled a chicken coop yesterday, and found this feather on top of the egg-collection box lid this morning. I have been unable to find out which ...
10
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
414 views

Where can I find help identifying an owl by its call?

I am in a semi-rural area of Aldergrove, BC Canada--close to the US border. From our house we can hear the call of what we think is an owl, but would like to know what particular species. We were ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Are perches on humming bird feeders bad for the humming birds?

Apparently, there is a theory that says Hummingbirds can become hypothermic if they sit on a feeder perch and drink several cropfuls of cold sugar water early in the morning. The birds fall to the ...
6
votes
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
votes
2answers
98 views

Birds not eating Nyjer (thistle seed)?

I purchased a sock filled with thistle and a large bag of bulk thistle from the same store. The sock is hung and the bulk thistle is in a feeder, but the birds don't eat from either. Is there ...
8
votes
2answers
180 views

Who to contact for a bird with broken wing in Portugal, Algarve?

I saw a bird with an injured wing among the rocks on a beach in Portugal (Algarve). The bird has been on the beach since Friday evening, and her wing feathers have completely dropped off by now. It's ...
5
votes
1answer
64 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
votes
2answers
149 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? ...
14
votes
4answers
16k views

How to help birds with water?

In India, the monsoon lasts for 4 months between June and September. Since last week or so the rain is gone, and this monsoon hasn't been decent, the rainfall had been it's lowest since the 1970's and ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

What can I do with a lone young cardinal I found in my yard?

A pair of cardinals have nested in my yard for years. Yesterday found a young one in the yard, made it comfortable, just didnt want a cat to get it. Still alive, cant fly. What to do?
7
votes
1answer
416 views

When to clean out old bird boxes?

We had birds (blue tits) at who work last year nested in a metal wall mounted cigarette bin, this year we provided a hand-made wooden bird box specifically designed for blue tits and then blocked up ...
8
votes
1answer
319 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
690 views

Are there any tips to help hummingbirds find a new feeder?

Once a hummingbird feeder is set up and the hummingbirds know about it they will come back over and over again on a regular basis. They even seem to remember after the winter and will come to check to ...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this animal with orange webbed feet, a white head with black stripes, and 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.
4
votes
1answer
71 views

How do you situate a protected bird house that is not under a branch?

According to the Audubon book on bird houses, they should not be constructed under a branch or other support that a squirrel could use to jump down to them. However, in that case, how do I make a ...
8
votes
3answers
979 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the best way to give an injured bird water?

There is this pigeon that I found the other day, it couldn't fly, had a chewing-gum attached to its wing, and probably a hurt neck, it would just sit and weep. I fed the bird with water using a ...
4
votes
2answers
105 views

What kind of bird in Michigan looks like a cardinal with black wings?

I have been seeing a bird that looks like a cardinal but has black wings and has an orange-red color. Closest photo I've found is the hooded oriole, but this is Michigan and early March. Any ideas of ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
890 views

What is this gray bird that has black stripes on the side and around the head?

The bird in this picture is mostly gray but has black and white stripes on the flank area. It also has a white head, red beak and red-rimmed eye. The head is outlined with a black stripe which goes ...
11
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
133 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
493 views

Bird identification from feathers - brown-black feathers, medium size, West Sweden

While hiking in western Sweden in October this year, I came across a bunch of feathers on my trail: To me it looked like the leftovers of a small to medium bird of prey, which was seemingly eaten by ...
10
votes
1answer
209 views

What kind of bird is outside my window?

I live in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
289 views

How should I choose a submersible bird bath heater which is reliable and effective?

I live in Massachusetts, United States. A large number of backyard birds overwinter in our yard. Some of the smaller varieties include American Goldfinch, American Tree Sparrows, European Starlings. ...
6
votes
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 ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do Robins tilt their head to the side before pulling a worm out of the ground?

I've seen this happen several times. The robin hops along, stops, tilts it's head slightly and then grabs the worm/grub, etc. What's the purpose of this gesture? I'm thinking it maybe helps them ...
5
votes
0answers
576 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
127 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, ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Does the color of hummingbird nectar make a difference?

I've seen different types of hummingbird nectar, some red and some clear. My question is, will the red be able to attract more hummingbirds, vice-versa, or will they both attract the same amount? Note:...
7
votes
2answers
462 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
522 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, ...