Why do birds huddle on power lines? | GO Birding Ecotours
Flocking offers birds protection from predators, and sitting close could be grackles or a mix of species, such as European Starlings, grackles. By flocking together, the chance of any one individual being killed by a . grackles and European starlings often joining in with the red-wings. bit confused about the differences in blackbirds, grackles and starlings. reason grackles, blackbirds, and even other species flock together.
This is done so that other nearby crows can safely feed on the ground. When the sentinels start calling loudly, the feeding crows will either fly off or begin to mob the intruder. Don Finigan of Peterborough told me recently about a fox that makes regular visits to his yard to hunt squirrels.
It is used to bring birds in closer for better views. The raspy, rough quality of the pish sound birders make is similar to the alarm or scolding calls of small songbirds such as chickadees.
Scientists believe that birds interpret the sound as that of another bird that has discovered a predator and is recruiting help. An alternative explanation is that some species of birds are simply curious and have evolved to investigate unknown noises. To pish, choose a place where there is already some bird activity such as the calls of chickadees. Place yourself close to some trees or shrubs where the birds you attract can land. Make sure the sound is shrill and strident.
Continue pishing for at least a couple of minutes after the first birds appear.
This will give other species that may be present a chance to make their way towards you. Chickadees and nuthatches are especially receptive to the pishing sound, but other species like warblers, wrens, finches and sparrows will usually approach as well.
Quite often, the birds that are attracted by pishing are actually feeding together in loose flocks. Each species gathers into its own flock to forage for food and especially to roost together with their own kind at night. Usually they choose a certain patch of woods.
Sometimes starlings roost on buildings. In the s, thousands made a terrible mess each night in down town Syracuse. Both species start towards their roost at a time that allows them to reach the spot before dark.
In your case, the grackle roost was located east of your home and perhaps 10 miles away. People who live east of that roost would observe the birds flying west in the late afternoon. Those living south of the roost would see grackles flying north. The History of the starling in the United States As for the starling, we have them all through the year.
They do migrate in a south westerly direction, but others move in from the north so we do not notice any change. Among certain birds, this habit of roosting or traveling about in flocks is common. In a flock there are more eyes to watch for danger or to find food. Starlings are birds that are native to Europe and there were none in this country when the Europeans first came here.
Now, there is one starling for every U. This bird was brought here for what might be called cultural reasons.
In March60 starlings were released in New York City's Central Park by a group who planned to introduce all the birds mentioned by Shakespeare. More were released the next year, and the birds bred and increased their population. They appeared in Connecticut and New Jersey inreached Pennsylvania in and crossed the Allegheny Mountains in They were in Ohio inand eventually reached the West Coast by Problems with starlings Wherever they went, they took over the nesting holes that normally would be used by such birds as flickers, great crested flycatchers and bluebirds.
Keeping up with the Birds: Why starlings and grackles flock together
Being very aggressive, starlings drove away the other species. The native birds we prefer were not able to nest successfully. Most people look on them as a nuisance for when they roost together in large numbers, their droppings contaminate the surroundings. Two redeeming features of starlings First, they are great eaters of insects and grubs.
Secondly and less known is their ability to sing and imitate the songs of other birds and even human speech. Generally, when we observe a group of starlings sitting in a tree, all we hear are squeaks, chatters, creaking rattles, chirps and wheezy notes, none of which are pleasant to the ear.
Now and then, we may hear some long and drawn-out cheerful whistles which are almost human-like and easily imitated.Bird migration invasion - blackbirds, starlings and grackles in New Baden, IL
Young starlings have harsh, rasping, insistent calls as they request the adults to bring them food. The birds mimicking ability was studied for 10 years by Dr. Meredith West, and Dr. Andrew King at Indiana University. The starling can imitate cats meowing, roosters crowing, babies crying, water running, horns honking, doors squeaking and even hammers hammering.
They can also imitate human sounds, including words and whistled versions of songs. West, not only do starlings mimic sounds, but they can also string together various sounds into what she describes as "song soliloquies", that is as if it was singing to itself.
Some of these included human speech interwoven among others sounds. The birds can also re-create strings of connected events.
REVEALED: The REAL reason birds flock in huge numbers
They have, for example, imitated an alarm clock ringing, followed by imitations of clinking dishes and of people talking. Another one mimicked the barking of a dog, followed by the sound of a door opening and closing, followed by a voice saying, "Hello! West believes that starlings give back sounds from their environment, perhaps as a means of testing or probing the reactions of people or other creatures around them. Sometimes their utterances are comical.
She cited one case in which a starling exclaimed, "I have a question," as its claws were being clipped. Another got tangled in a Venetian blind cord and started shrieking, "basic research" over and over. Yet another would utter a sniffling sound and say "hi.
West said that all of the starlings she and Dr. King have studied show an interest in music or whistling. She said they often produce rambling whistled tunes made up of songs that have previously been whistled or sung to them, "intermingled with whistles of unknown origin and other sounds.