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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Social Life

A backyard bird feeder is a great way to learn a bit about the social life of birds. At first it seemed that the sparrows and finches that frequent the feeder related to each other mostly through brief squabbles - some angry chirps and bits of pushing and shoving for feeder perches. But I've also begun to notice a bit of the above behavior too. The top reddish bird, a male House Finch, is here bending down to give a sunflower seed that he has shelled to the bird on the perch below him. I suspect the lower bird is a female and he is feeding her as part of a courtship ritual. It might also be possible that the lower bird is simply a juvenile who is receiving some parental support but whatever the reason it's nice to see that there is more to a bird's life than squabbling over food.