Sunday 28 February 2010

How wildlife adapts to the challenges of feeding

One of the food options that I put out in my garden is a suet/fat/seed/nut mix that I wedge into the cracks in trees and my mark 2 feeding tree.  I place it for Woodpeckers and Tits to feed on.  All the other species have plenty of other options.

But as the Chaffinches, Blackbirds and Sparrows eat all of their food, they then start to adapt their feeding techniques to go for the fat/suet mix.

I have always put the feed into areas where the trees are leaning over so the wildlife has to work to get it and does not have an easy option.  It also makes more difficult for any marauding squirel.  

However while I spent some time watching the birds yesterday, I noted two different and unusual behaviours that I thought I would share with you.

Firstly, I saw the Blackbirds flying up to the underside of the overhangs and either pecking (more like head butting) or footing the suet/fat to dislodge it.  Then they shuttled around on the ground eating up their gains.  This continued for quite a while.  They clearly learn quickly as different birds where doing the same thing in different parts of the garden.

The next behaviour of interests was from the Chaffinches.  Now I have seen them come into a seed tray or one of the feeding stumps and hover overhead just before setting down on many an occasion.  But with the suet/fat, they would approach the tree and go into the hover while eating the mix while on the wing, just like a humming bird.

Will come back later today with the female Sparrowhawk images.

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