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Unusual bird behaviour

Hello all

Inspired by this fantastic video of a crow apparently using a margarine tub lid to sledge on a snowy roof (, I wondered if anyone else has observed unusual bird behaviour in their gardens? It would make a lovely topic for a future issue of Gardeners' World Magazine.

I once spotted a pair of wood pigeons having an argument - or so it seemed! They were sitting on a branch and batting each other over the head with their wings. And generally looking grumpy.

Kate Bradbury

Contributing Editor, Wildlife
BBC Gardeners' World Magazine



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,526

    I have a large squirrel buster feeder, filled with sunflower hearts , on a hanging basket bracket by the back door. Nuthatches land on the bricks and then jump onto the feeder. Bluetits learned how to do it, and now a robin does the same. Finches go straight on to the feeder. Robins are generally thought of as ground feeders, but mine have learnt how to perch on feeders.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,526

    I suppose everyone has magpies that dip  stale bread in water to soften it?

  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029

    I once had four magpies in the garden making a squirrel's life very difficult. The squirrel was after peanuts that had fallen from the feeder and the magpies positioned themselves all around him, pecking at his tail, and whichever way the squirrel moved a magpie would be right behind him. After a few minutes of this torment the squirrel ran awayimage

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,536

    I've seen rooks sliding down our slate roof when it's very icy, but never using another object.

    One funny story the keepers of the Tower of London once told me - One day one of the ravens was found dead in the grounds of the Tower by one of the keepers. This was a serious matter because the legend goes that if all the ravens leave the Tower then the crown will fall. The keeper saw the dead bird, walked over to it, tstopped, bent over, picked it up and carried it away for disposal. The next morning he came out to find another dead raven lying in the same place, walked over to it, bent down and leapt in the air as the bird took off and flew up to the rood, cawing away in laughter.

    Ravens live a long time and clearly have ample spare time to contemplate the crazy ways of the human race.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • I've seen small birds like great tits and sparrows attacking car wing mirrors because they can see their refection and think its a rival!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,206

    I watched a squirrel in a previous garden who was very industrious - removing nuts from the feeder a couple at a time and going round the garden burying them. After each  burial, often just under a little moss on the grass, a magpie following him just dug them up and ate them. That poor squirrel spent ages at his task - completely oblivious to the magpie.  I felt really sorry for him, and often wondered  if he'd returned in the harsher weather to  dig up his hoard only to be puzzled by the lack of food!  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • The resident 'gang' of sparrows visit our pebbledashed walls around a sheltered courtyard and 'hang' in various attitudes whilst they search the crevices for tiny spiders and other tasty morsels. They revisit several times within the day and then leave the area to be recolonised before their next foray about a week later!

  • Hi Philippa: I've been 'spuggiewatching' whilst enjoying a quiet cuppa in the garden. Adult birds were feeding fledged chicks with small pieces of grit from the weathered cement capping along my limestone boundary wall. Occasionaly the adults would dive into the nearby clematis/ forsythia thicket and tender a tasty caterpillar morsel to the waiting brood!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,206

    We have a fine 'crushed shell' finish on the houses here.  I've even seen magpies trying to hang on to bits. image  The blue tits manage it no bother image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ElusiveElusive Posts: 992

    I have counted 14 Sparrows living in our smallish garden. One day they were all lined up on the fence taking in turns to go to the water feature for a drink. Cutest thing I have ever seen! image

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