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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11
votes
2answers
434 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
322 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 ...
20
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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 ...
5
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0answers
913 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
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2answers
71 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
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3answers
161 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 ...
3
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0answers
2k 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
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2answers
239 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 ...
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 ...
5
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1answer
7k 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?
4
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1answer
131 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
847 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
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6answers
15k 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
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2answers
2k 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
2k 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 (...
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 ...
10
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3answers
507 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
7
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2answers
10k 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 ...
12
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4answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
235 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
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1answer
3k 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
287 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 ...
19
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4answers
941 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
1answer
948 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 ...
7
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3answers
2k 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
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1answer
10k 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
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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 ...
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
3answers
734 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 ...
29
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.
5
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1answer
2k 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
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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 ...
9
votes
2answers
677 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
votes
3answers
354 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 ...
7
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2answers
10k views

Best food to attract Blue Tits

We have a bird feeder in the garden and fail to attract Blue Tits. Which food should we put in there?
7
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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 ...
7
votes
2answers
332 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. ...
8
votes
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 ...
9
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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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
755 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
510 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
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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 ...
12
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1answer
568 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
225 views

Where have all the sandpipers gone?

(long time passing). I walk along Del Monte beach in Crow City, USA (Monterey, California) quite often. For quite awhile, sandpipers were there in abundance - more than any other bird. I haven't ...
4
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2answers
2k views

What are these large black and white waterfowl with red around the eyes?

There's a pond located at a restaurant near where we live in Massachusetts. It's always very busy because the restaurant gives out food for the ducks, geese and swans. We've been there often and ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Swift, Swallow or House Martin?

What are the identifying features that allow you to tell the difference between these 3 common UK summer visitors? I've been looking at the RSBP advice but it seems that a swift and a house martin ...
10
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
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 ...