Category Archives: Bird Friends Around the World

WHY WAS A CHAFFINCH CHASING A WOOD PIGEON?

From Julia

 

Yesterday I saw a male chaffinch chasing on the tail feathers a wood pigeon… I thought I was seeing things.

 

-0-0-0-0-0

Why?  Why?  Why would a chaffinch chase a wood pigeon.  Could it be because of this bad weather we are having and some sort of food was involved?

Please let me know why you (yes you, the reader) thinks  this chaffinch chased a wood pigeon – realistic reasons please.

FRIENDLY PERSUASION. TWO ROBINS EATING OUT OF FIONA’S HAND

ISN’T THIS WONDERFUL

 

From Fiona –

 

I contacted you last year about the little female robin that I have managed to persuade to eat out of my hand.

 

She has now found a mate who has been regarding me with considerable suspicion while she pops onto my hand for meal worms and suet.

 

Yesterday he became brave enough to grab a piece of suet from me. I am guessing the dreadful weather conditions may have encouraged him .

 

I wonder if later in the year I will have the whole family eating from my hand? That would be amazing.

-0-0-0-0-0

It would  be so special if you have a family of robins eating from your hand.  You must let us know.

Thank you so much for telling us about these two robins.  You are so lucky.  I get robins and lots of other birds, but none of them would come onto my hand, but they do zip round the garden and seem to start singing when they see me

I can’t imagine g having two robins eating out of my hand

This does bring up the fact that you are doing a brilliant job of helping our garden birds survive this winter.  It is a harsh winter at the moment for them – with snow, freezing days and long freezing nights.  If these two robins do nest and have young it is because you have fed them and helped them survive.  I think that is almost as good as winning the lottery!

Cheers Fiona.  I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow morning when I trudge out into the snow to feed my wild birds

Bev’s Garden Wonderland with help from some guardian birds

Hi Trish,
Glad to see you back with bird table news!

 

I agree that there are two many sparrow hawks and the song birds seem to be really suffering in numbers these days.

 

I have indeed joined song bird survival a few weeks ago and find it very useful and interesting. Anything we can do to help the decline of our song birds is well worth doing I believe!

 

I didn’t realise we had four sparrow hawks visiting our garden until two weeks ago. I knew we had a male and female but then a smaller male and female appeared in a tree at the top of the garden. I think they may possibly be the offspring of the two adults, consequently its doubled our predator population. If all the song bird population would double to the same extent we wouldn’t have a such a decline in song birds.

 

At last the jays and jackdaws have returned to the garden after a short spell away and boy did we miss them! I have seen swallows chase and mob the male hawk a few times but of course they have now gone to warmer climates till next year! I thought sparrowhawks owned territories but obviously in our area there seems to be room for 4 they think! Anyway the wire trellis round shrubs, bamboo canes and caged feeders really seem to help most of the time.
We were very upset last week when we were watching a nuthatch hiding a peanut in our stone wall when suddenly the male sparrow hawk swooped down and took him away! He certainly wasn’t sick or weak when his life came to an awful end!

 

Anyway the jackdaws are on “patrol” again so I feel a bit happier. They seem to think our garden is theirs and 12 or so are always perched in the trees during the day watching and eating. The other birds all eat when they are around too including the jays so its nice to see.

 

There’s often a standoff between two of the jackdaws and a male pheasant who always makes them wait until he has had his fill of food.

 

The crows are across in the wood at the moment they come on the garden occasionally now but more in nov/dec .While the jackdaws are in the trees all is well on the garden and the birds seem to know it and there’s a feeding frenzy going on at the moment as I write this!
Kind regards, Bev.

18 Loaves of bread a week

I was in a shop today and an elderley Gent was in the queue before me.

 

He was buying about 6 loaves of bread.  The shop assistant asked him if he was stocking up for winter

 

the Old Gent’s face lit up as he said –

 

‘ I buy 18 loaves of bread a week to feed the birds with.  I love seeing them in my garden.

FROM ONE SIDE OF THE WORLD TO THE OTHER

Diane has got in touch from New Zealand because of my DUNNOCK FACT SHEET article

http://birdtablenews.com/2010/04/dunnock-fact-sheet/

From Dianne

Hi from NZ.

 

This bird I have yet to find in my garden but all the others on the list I have seen in the garden survey. Does it prefer rural to urban sites I wonder?

 

Thanks for you photos and especially saying its beak is not as thick.

Sincerely Dianne

 

-0-0-0-0-

Hello Dianne.

It’s great that you have got in touch from New Zealand. It likes hedges and undergrowth and I’m glad you like the photos. You must have a lot of birds in your garden.

We’re at the other side of the world to each other but we’re both interested in birds. It must be worldwide thing

Junco feeding a young cowbird

There is a junco feeding a a young cowbird in my garden.

The cowbird is twice the size of the junco and she works non stop feeding him. Amazing!

-0-0-0-0-

I have found this video of a Junco feeding a cowbird.  It’s similar to English cuckoos.  Take a look

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyEvb0WbXjs

Really interesting.  Thanks for getting in touch

Nicola got in touch  because she had seen this story of Blackbirds feeding and caring for robins in their nest

http://birdtablenews.com/2010/05/wild-birds-feeding-other-birds-nestlings/

 

But the difference is that the cowbird has purposely laid its egg in a Junco’s nest.

The blackbirds must have just seen these robins in a nest and started to feed them.

A WORLD WITHOUT ANY FLOWERS

Rose has just read an article I wrote in October 2009!  It’s about a world without any flowers, or birds.

Great song to help school children feel grateful for the world around them. Should be sung in all schools!!!

If you would like to read  please click the link below

http://birdtablenews.com/2009/10/think-of-a-world-without-any-flowers/

-0-0-0-0-

It’s strange to think that something I wrote in 2009 is still being read and still floating about in cyberspace!

Happy reading.

BLACKBIRDS STORY PART 3

The snow kept falling.

Chaffinches, sparrows, blue tits, rooks , crows and may more birds gathered round her.  In their own way they tried to move her, but knew in their hearts it was impossible.  Blackbird told every bird to sing loudly to wake the old lady up. But that did not work and she lay unconscious  in the snow, slowly being covered by a blanket of snow

We must get her inside her home.  We will have to go to our roosts soon yet we can’t leave her here.

For what seemed like hours but was in fact only ten minutes all the birds frantically flew around her and tried in vain to wake her.  All the time the snow kept falling and the freezing wind blew around her.

The fence that ran round the garden had long ago fallen down so there was no barrier between the garden and the small wooded area.  Out of the twilight and snow a shape seemed to appear.

‘Stand firm’ said dunnock ‘We cannot leave her’. 

Robin said ‘We need to look after her’

Rook said he liked her because she does not shoot rooks so they must protect her.  ‘A lot  of people do shoot rooks you know’ he squawked

Blackbird said  ‘What is that THING coming out of the wood.’

They instinctively formed a barrier between the old lady and the dog – for that is what is was – a large, fierce looking dog.  Blackbird  was very brave and flew towards the dog and tried to peck its head  but somehow could not balance and land on this large dog.

Wise Old Owl said ‘It’s Bruno’

I’ve never seen him before – chirped all the birds

‘You won’t have’ said Wise Old Owl ‘ he died 3 years ago’

-0-0-0-0-0

TO BE CONTINUED

A BLACKBIRD’S STORY – part 2

The old lady slowly turned away from the blackbird and walked towards the ground feeder – holding the different bags of bird food tightly in her hands.  Then she stopped and slowly turned around to look at the blackbird who was sitting sadly on a branch.

‘Wait’ shouted the old woman.  ‘ I know what we can do.  You can sit on my hand and eat the bird food from my hand.

‘I can’t do that’ said the blackbird ‘We blackbirds know never to touch a human.’

” I  won’t hurt you.  Said the old woman. ‘You must know that’.

‘Five and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.  We blackbirds have an ancient knowledge that humans put blackbirds in pies and eat them!  Our law is that we never touch a human – they may catch us and put us in a pie!’

‘Such a stupid blackbird’ shouted the old woman as the wind and snow blew around her.  ‘ Have I wasted all these years feeding stupid blackbirds.  I offer you a chance of life and you say your law forbids it.  Well I tried.   Goodbye

‘You said you could not get us any more bird food.  Are you short of money?’  asked the blackbird.

‘How do you know about money’ said the old woman who was so surprised that she had to ask the question.

‘My town cousin told me’

‘You have a blackbird cousin in the town.’  The old lady slowly walked towards the meshed ground feeder as she was talking. 

Yes,she watches people, and knows the word ‘money’.  She is fat and well.

Why don’t you go and join her then.

‘SUCH NONSENSE’ squawked the blackbird – trying to get the energy to shout.  ‘I am a country blackbird.  You will never find me in a town.  SUCH NONSENSE me in a town.  I could ask you why you don’t go and live in a town.   All I need is some bird food.’

I am freezing cold out here’ sighed the old woman.  ‘I must go inside and get warm.  I need my breakfast and a warm cup of water .  I am not going to argue with you.  I do not have much bird food left.  I do not have much moneyand I cannot get to the shops anyway as the road is thick with snow.  I am going inside.  You should fly to your cousin in the town.

The blackbird found the effort to reply ”NEVER.  I will live and die a country blackbird.  I was born and will die in your garden.

‘So be it’  whispered the old lady. 

The blizzard became fierce and swirled around her, pushing her this way and that.  She clutched the bird food in her hand and let it fall through the wires of the meshed ground feeder.  sparrows, blue tits, dunnocks, chaffinches and robins flew like the wind inside the feeder and started eating.

‘Stupid Blackbird’ whispered the old lady ‘ are you still here.

‘Yes’

I have an idea that may save you

She started walking towards her door and the safety of  her home when she tripped.  She  tried to regain her balance but the wind gusted around her and helped to push her to the ground. As she fell into the ice cold snow her head hit a piece of wood (it was the remains of an old birdtable that had fallen down and she did not have the energy to move).

It seemed to be happening in slow motion.  For a moment the old lady tried to crawl towards her front door, but unconsciousness came and stopped her.  As she lay unconscious in the snow the snow fell more thickly and fiercely and started to cover her in a pure white blanket of snow.

TO BE CONTINUED