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61 votes
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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 ...
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44 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 ...
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40 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, ...
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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 ...
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  • 2,557
29 votes
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Why do robins tilt their head to the side before pulling a worm out of the ground?

You are indeed correct that robins use their eyes individually as they tilt their head from side to side. It's known as monocular vision, and is how they, and many other birds, locate their food, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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20 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 ...
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19 votes
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How to humanely kill an injured bird?

In the UK you should probably contact the RSPCA or RSPB. I think RSCPA is probably best as they actually do welfare stuff whereas RSPB is about conservation. They should have the best knowledge of ...
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18 votes
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Why do seagulls circle around at high altitudes?

For the same reason carrion birds circle over fresh kills: They're waiting for an opportunity to swoop in and get some food. All the gulls see is a large gathering of humans, which typically means ...
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17 votes

Does a bird really abandon the nest? Will similar birds re-use it?

Birds do not typically reuse nests, as pests and parasites typically move in and use it as a habitat after the birds are done with it. Those birds who do reuse nests often don't have much success ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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14 votes
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What should I feed ravens/crows?

We love crows! I live in America, where there are three main breeds of crow, including American Crows, Fish Crows, and Northwestern Crows. They're a bit different from the Common ravens, and other ...
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14 votes
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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 ...
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  • 4,654
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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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13 votes

How to humanely kill an injured bird?

As a rancher, I routinely have to dispatch injured birds. If you don't have a knife handy, there are two ways: Grasp the bird by the head and use a whipping motion to decapitate. The body separates ...
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13 votes
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How to help birds with water?

Providing water for birds in summer is always a brilliant idea, not just to drink but for them to have a nice bath in! Usually bird baths are actually kind of shallow, or rather the edges usually are ...
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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 ...
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  • 146
12 votes
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How to encourage birds into the garden of a rented house?

Before we did the following we had barely any birds in the garden... We put up one of those stick in the ground multiple feeders which has three hooks with three different feeders on, a table/bowl ...
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12 votes
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Why are two birds obsessed with a chopped-down tree?

This usually means that they had a nest in the tree. If they are still there after a few days it probably means they also had young. Either still in the nest or young enough that they still returned ...
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12 votes
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What is the best way to give an injured bird water?

There are several ways to give birds a drink. if it is calm just dip the beak in water and let it drink naturally. Your method of dropping water of cotton wool is fine. Dropper, syringe or drop-wise ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 23.2k
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 24.4k

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