62 votes
Accepted

Why is there such a singular place for bird watching?

This is rather speculative, but draws on a few birding/wildlife books I've read and it's too much for a comment. It also has a little UK bias, but I've visited 4 continents on wildlife trips, and much ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
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
  • 53.5k
41 votes
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What is this animal with orange webbed feet, a white head with black stripes, and really likes breadcrumbs?

I believe this is a bar-headed goose. Source Source The Bar-headed Goose has a white head with distinctive black bars or stripes on its head, black extending down the front and back of the neck, ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
31 votes

A bird is stuck flying in circles in my room. How to make it fly away?

I have never had to do it but my mother used to do it like this: Switch off all lights that show in the room, close the door. Close the curtains. When it goes dark the bird will sit down. All birds ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 4,058
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
  • 26.4k
22 votes

Is the correct term Canada Goose or Canadian Goose?

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the name is Canada Goose. The big, black-necked Canada Goose with its signature white chinstrap mark is a familiar and widespread bird of fields and ...
ab2's user avatar
  • 23.9k
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
20 votes
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Seeking advice on getting a wild bird out an open window or door, alone, with no help. (Location, Virginia)

Do the opposite, make the room dark, as dark as you can get it. Almost all birds will sit down when they can not see. Then you can either cover it with a box, (slide cardboard under it,) or a towel (...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 4,058
15 votes

Why is there such a singular place for bird watching?

It's also a case of accessibility, birding really doesn't take any special equipment beyond say a pair of binoculars and birds will visit peoples backyards and bird feeders. While mammals can be shy ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
15 votes

A bird is stuck flying in circles in my room. How to make it fly away?

I took a large wooden board and started waving at it, to make it fly in a more chaotic manner. After several minutes, it finally found the window! I think it started to get tired, so it started ...
anatolyg's user avatar
  • 4,518
14 votes
Accepted

What would cause sudsy surf?

The suds are caused by protein. Protein is usually consumed by the nitrogen cycle and finally plant life, but if there is enough water churning by wind and white caps and breaking waves it can froth ...
Escoce's user avatar
  • 4,812
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
Accepted

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

Looks like a female capercaillie to me. What killed it could be anything. Because the feathers seem pretty much intact I'd suspect a bird of prey like a goshawk. Here is a picture of a female ...
ATJN's user avatar
  • 146
12 votes
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Did I see an Osprey?

The osprey does seem the most likely option. There are only a handful of breeding pairs in North Wales, but they are in your area so it's credible. The wingspan of a small common buzzard starts at ...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
12 votes
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Are the birds that snatch bread out of the air "more citified" (tamer) than those who let it drop?

No, gulls (of some species at least) steal food from other birds by moving them until they drop it. They must then be adept at snatching the falling food in mid air. There's material of interest in ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
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
Accepted

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
  • 24.9k
11 votes
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How can I tell the difference between an American Crow, and a Common Raven that lives in America?

According to this article, (How to Tell a Raven From a Crow): Ravens often travel in pairs, while crows are seen in larger groups. Also, watch the bird’s tail as it flies overhead. The crow’s tail ...
Charlie Brumbaugh'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
  • 5,980
11 votes
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What is this black and white bird with thin brown legs and a multi-colored beak, found in Massachusetts USA in January?

It looks like a Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), which are quite common over here in the UK. https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/s/starling/ Starlings love suet....
Martin Hügi's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

How much weight can a bald eagle carry?

According to the Alaskan Fish And Game department, "The wings of an eagle need to support the eight to 12-pound bird as well as whatever the bird is carrying, and best estimates put the ...
B540Glenn's user avatar
  • 1,847
11 votes
Accepted

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
  • 23.9k
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
11 votes

Why is there such a singular place for bird watching?

I'm not a bird-watcher myself, but I have bird-watchers in my family, so I had rich opportunity to observe their conversations on their hobby. Here's a collection of points that I think contribute to ...
Schmuddi's user avatar
  • 213
10 votes
Accepted

Does the color of hummingbird nectar make a difference?

Most hummingbirds are attracted to red flowers in the wild. Therefore, a hummingbird feeder should mimic red flowers for best results. The color of the "nectar" itself doesn't matter. After all, ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 21.4k
10 votes
Accepted

Are the seagulls begging or contentedly sighing?

The sound you are referring to is probably a plaintive call used to attract attention (of a mate or from the little ones to the parents for feeding) it might just be them wanting to be fed. You can ...
Erik vanDoren's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

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

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