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43 votes
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Why do some birds fly in a V-formation?

They fly on the wing currents produced by the birds in front of them. It's similar to drafting someone in front of you while cycling or racing. The leader is breaking trail, and the followers are ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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23 votes
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Why does this blue tit bird desperately want to come inside?

Two possibilities: There's something it thinks is food on the inside. Note that blue tits are quite clever at accessing food, to the extent of opening foil-topped milk-bottles (though the linked ...
Chris H's user avatar
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20 votes
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Do bees at the hummingbird feeders keep the birds away?

Yes, there is actually quite a bit of discussion you can find online. Bees in large numbers can keep hummingbirds away. They don't want to get stung either! However, you can lessen the bees by doing ...
El Bromista's user avatar
14 votes
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Why would a Canada Goose sleep on a frozen pond?

it's not cold for a goose, as they bring their insulating down-filled sleeping gear with them. ponds/lakes are safer for them than a field where predators are more common. Typically in a flock, not ...
michael's user avatar
  • 996
14 votes

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

TLDR: Yes they eat them, No they don't feel the heat. The tiny Bird’s Eye Chili originated in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, and surrounding countries, but they can now be found all ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
14 votes
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Why do they turn the 9/11 Memorial Lights off for birds?

The basic idea of turning them off temporarily is to let the birds readjust to their surroundings. For reasons still unknown to science, artificial light attracts birds, from fledgling seabirds to ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
12 votes

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

Paul Lydon could be right. The behavior is designed to encourage worms to come to the surface, to make it easier for the geese to find and eat. From the same Wikipedia page he quoted, entitled Worm ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
12 votes
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What is the ecological justification (if any) for bird feeders?

If we exclude the birdwatching explanation Shem gives, the only possible ecological reason for a bird feeder is to counteract the negative effect we have on the bird's habitat by having our house ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
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12 votes
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Sparrows eating grains strewn on floor but not the grains in a nice bowl

There are a number of different birds in the sparrow family. In Massachusetts, USA, I think what we technically have most of is the House Sparrow. This page has a whole sparrow list with their sounds. ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
11 votes

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

I have seen gulls do exactly that. It is known as: Worm charming, worm grunting, and worm fiddling are methods of attracting earthworms from the ground. The activity is usually performed to collect ...
Paul Lydon's user avatar
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11 votes
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Do any birds hibernate?

According to the RSPB, which @muru found spelled out at the bottom of the linked page below as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, there is one species of bird that does truly hibernate. ...
ab2's user avatar
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11 votes
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How do songbirds and small animals know when there's a hawk in the immediate vicinity?

All it takes is one of the birds to notice and give the alarm and then the other birds join in. Even the chipmunks and squirrels will listen to the birds and then pass the message along. Birds' ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
10 votes
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Why are common grackles standing on our bird feeders with their heads pointed straight up?

Those grackles are engaged in a courting behavior, most frequently called “bill tilt.” It's also been called “head up” or “head up threat.” While establishing pairs for mating, males vie for the ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
9 votes
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What must be causing a decrease in sparrows and an increase in pigeons in my town?

Common Sparrows, which are the State Bird of Delhi, and also of Bihar, have indeed been on a massive decline in India in recent years. What you're seeing is not a fluke. It's happening in many urban ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
9 votes
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What happens to the eggs after American robins are born?

They eat them. It's true, egg shells are edible, and birds will eat them. Mommy robin probably snacked on the shells while she was sitting on her babies keeping them warm. After laying their eggs, ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is it safe to feed swans in the United Kingdom?

The "swans can break your arm" concept is rather lacking in evidence, though one once caused a kayaker to drown. They are a nuisance on the water, especially if you get between adults and their ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.6k
9 votes

Why would a Canada Goose sleep on a frozen pond?

There are a few reasons why Canada Geese sleep on the ice. michael has covered them, so this is supplementary. In simplest terms, it's because they live in the water, and are able to tolerate frozen ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
9 votes

Bald eagle vs. vultures?

As bon says in the comments, the most likely explanation is that the vultures and eagle were fighting over a carcass. The answer to your question "do eagles eat carrion?" is an emphatic yes: Unlike ...
Pont's user avatar
  • 3,752
9 votes

Bird migration across Atlantic?

There is a route known as the East Atlantic Flyway used for migration between Eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Siberia, Northern Europe, Western Europe, and on to Africa. There are 297 species ...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
9 votes

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

The smallest owl in the world is the elf owl (Micrathene whitneyi). It's about the size of a sparrow, and weighs about an ounce and a half, which is just less than the weight of a golf ball! Wingspan:...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
9 votes
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How to defend against swooping Torresian Crow

You might try an umbrella. See this article from The Guardian, Rogue owl caught after year-long reign of terror in Dutch town. A rogue owl that has terrorised a northern Dutch city for the past ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
9 votes
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What can I do to get garden birds back after hawk has made my bird-feeder his hunting ground?

The hawk will leave after its food source is gone. It may not be after the small birds you are feeding, but it may be after the rodents that eat the birdseed that falls to the ground.
B540Glenn's user avatar
  • 1,847
8 votes
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Swans jammed together in a small pond

If the swans are forced to stay next to shore (as opposed to casually being there), they flock together to avoid predation. In addition to flock safety by numbers, Swans are very tough, and very ...
Escoce's user avatar
  • 4,822
8 votes

Do backyard birds prefer birdbaths with moving water?

I found a paper from Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Providing Water for Birds While it does mention the usage of a pump or circulating water, it doesn't suggest it to attract birds. However, it says: ...
Jani Hyytiäinen's user avatar
8 votes
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Is a sentinel (guard) Canada Goose always a male, or a female, or does it vary?

When geese are feeding it is not specified as far as I can tell, but during nesting it is the male who does the guarding. Wary - Alert for danger. Often while the flock is feeding, individuals ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
8 votes
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Is it realistic that a duck would raise a swan?

As you suspected, in general it's not realistic that a duck would raise a swan, especially in the wild. INCUBATION: A swan's egg is much bigger than a mallard's, so the mother mallard (hen) is not ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
8 votes

Can dirty bird feeders make birds sick?

Dirty bird feeders are known for causing problems for birds, CPW said the disease has not yet been confirmed in Colorado, but the agency wants to warn people that house finch eye disease, along with ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
8 votes

Is this a Starling Egg in a Robin's Nest?

Perhaps there are now eggs of three species - robin, starling and cuckoo. Starlings do attempt to take over others birds' nests, see European Starling Life History Starlings often take over the nests ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
  • 4,755
7 votes

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

Because there are so many different migratory birds, each with their own unique pattern, this is a rather broad question. The answer, therefore, will be based on the general study of migration, rather ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar

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