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garden birds ,mixed group co operating?

 
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dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32618
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 16 2:26 pm    Post subject: garden birds ,mixed group co operating?  Reply with quote    

i just looked out at a few cubic meters of urban yard with,a feed station, a bramble hedge and a few overwintered plants plus the mini beasts living on the above and in a few seconds i spotted

a pair of robins
a male blackbird
a wren
several blue tits
and a few flashes of movement of undetermined species

they all arrived together and having fed for a short while all left together

do urban birds work the district in a mixed flock ? i can see how not competing for the same foods and providing security by varied vigilance would work but until just now i had thought they were just in the same place rather than working as a team.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8399
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 16 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I know it's common to see mixed flocks of farmland birds feeding together. I don't know about urban.
Robins are about the most territorial towards others of their own but I see them close to blackbirds, dunnocks & finches quite often.
Whether that's cooperation or circumstance I don't know.
I suppose in winter when there isn't competition for breeding grounds having a larger flock with many eyes is safer.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8482

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 16 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Don't know in gardens. In the woods we tend to get winter groups of mixed blue and great tits, chaffinches and greenfinches. In the garden we get small flocks of long tailed tits coming through, but robins and wrens tend to be fairly solitary. Don't see blackbirds mixing particularly with others either.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32618
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 16 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i will continue to observe and try to work it out

they do seem to be working their collective territory as a mixed pack

they don't all turn up if i put out crumbs etc like fat walter and mrs "i dont know what a wood is" pigeon or the round blackbirds from the tree over the alley ,the mixed mob seem to visit ,check what there is to eat that suits them and go.

the blackbird with this crew isnt in it's nest territory (it aint round),the wren is very local and sometimes visits alone but more often comes with the team.

it might be as simple as none of them have spotted a cat so they all feel safe but they do seem to share vigilance.

i know if you want to find a new species it is best to look within a few yards of home but i spose that can apply to observing"new"behaviour as well

having watched chooks use (not follow an opportunity but direct and USE )a pig as a jcb to dig up tasty snacks i recon keeping an open mind about critter behaviour is sensible.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8482

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 16 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Robins certainly use us to provide tasty treats. If we are working they sometimes hop round and expect us to stir up the ground for them.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32618
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 16 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

when robins know you well enough they will get very tame and polite my grannie had a series of ones that would eat out of her hand or ask for a bit of earth to be turned,chaffinches are also quite good at asking for a snack or a perch on a head or still boot tip ,i have had a few of those as chums.

iirc robins often are symbiotic with wild pigs ,they get snacks,the pigs get avian eyeball and alarm for ground predators.

im beginning to suspect the yard visitors do sometimes have a common interest in staying as a mixed flock.

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