INTERESTING BEHAVIORS

 <b>SOME INTERESTING BEHAVIORS (AND CONDITIONS) IN BIRDS (Images below)</b><br />
This page contains descriptions and photos – with links to articles or videos – of some interesting behaviors in birds:<br />
<br />
<b>ALIGNING FOOD</b><br />
<b>ANTING</b><br />
<b>BROKEN WING TACTIC</b><br />
<b>CRECHING</b><br />
<b>DRUMMING</b><br />
<b>FIGHTING</b><br />
<b>FLUFFING</b><br />
<b>IMPRINTING</b><br />
<b>LEUCISM</b><br />
<b>MANTLING </b><br />
<b>MURMURATION</b><br />
<b>PARASITISM</b><br />
<b>SHELL-CRACKING</b><br />
<b>SLEEP</b><br />
<b>SUNBATHING</b><b> (OR SUNNING)</b><br />
<b>YAWNING</b><br />
<br />
<b>ALIGNING FOOD</b><br />
Birds have a vast diversity of bill shapes and sizes, which allow  them  to capture their prey and pick their food according to their diet  in  the environment where they live. Their tongues too are specialized  for  the same reason.<br />
The photos below appear to show the capacity for birds to neatly  align  their prey – or food – in their bills, in such a way that it takes  less  space. They can <u>‘optimize their bill holding capacity’</u> this way. To better appreciate that behavior, please click on the + sign on the photo to enlarge it.<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lGBqtQ54ynk/Xk3BljWlWXI/AAAAAAAAEvM/WUbKt0_STJYKXMfUE7-YnlCath4s3YwagCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Atlantic-puffin-back-from-a-fishing-trip-sand-eels-by-Steve-Garvie-Scotland.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Atlantic puffin ‘back from a fishing trip’ sand eels – by Steve Garvie, Scotland" border="0" data-original-height="550" data-original-width="801" height="136" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lGBqtQ54ynk/Xk3BljWlWXI/AAAAAAAAEvM/WUbKt0_STJYKXMfUE7-YnlCath4s3YwagCLcBGAsYHQ/s200/Atlantic-puffin-back-from-a-fishing-trip-sand-eels-by-Steve-Garvie-Scotland.jpg" title="Atlantic puffin ‘back from a fishing trip’ sand eels – by Steve Garvie, Scotland" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">'Back from fishing trip' <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/atlantic-puffin.html" target="_blank">Atlantic puffin</a><br />
with sand eels, by Steve Garvie</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tzfsO635UXQ/Xk3Bj10_A2I/AAAAAAAAEvI/V-Wn0MFcG88ZV6bBB4uKR6sMsw6J4eyGgCEwYBhgL/s1600/American-crow-stuffing-up-with-peanuts-Charlottetown-PEI-Dec.-12-2015-by-Matt-Beardsley.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="American crow stuffing up with peanuts – Charlottetown, PEI – Dec. 12, 2015 – by Matt Beardsley" border="0" data-original-height="666" data-original-width="999" height="133" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tzfsO635UXQ/Xk3Bj10_A2I/AAAAAAAAEvI/V-Wn0MFcG88ZV6bBB4uKR6sMsw6J4eyGgCEwYBhgL/s200/American-crow-stuffing-up-with-peanuts-Charlottetown-PEI-Dec.-12-2015-by-Matt-Beardsley.jpg" title="American crow stuffing up with peanuts – Charlottetown, PEI – Dec. 12, 2015 – by Matt Beardsley" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/american-crow.html" target="_blank">American crow</a> stuffing up on peanuts<br />
by Matt Beardsley, PEI, Canada</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p7XoorYX0dg/Xk3Btg6sscI/AAAAAAAAEvo/Wr5VoG06bCgz9piMGBTU86O0YUiek_yBgCEwYBhgL/s1600/Dark-eyed-Junco-male-Souris-area-PEI-%25C2%25A9-Kathy-McCormack.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Dark-eyed Junco male hunting caterpillars – space for more – Souris area, PEI – © Kathy McCormack" border="0" data-original-height="662" data-original-width="999" height="132" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p7XoorYX0dg/Xk3Btg6sscI/AAAAAAAAEvo/Wr5VoG06bCgz9piMGBTU86O0YUiek_yBgCEwYBhgL/s200/Dark-eyed-Junco-male-Souris-area-PEI-%25C2%25A9-Kathy-McCormack.jpg" title="Dark-eyed Junco male hunting caterpillars – space for more – Souris area, PEI – © Kathy McCormack" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/dark-eyed-junco.html" target="_blank">Dark-eyed junco</a> with caterpillars, by<br />
Kathy McCormack, PEI, Canada</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>ANTING</b><br />
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grackle">Grackles</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay">Jays</a>, as well as the <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/northern-flicker.html" target="_blank">Northern Flicker</a>,&nbsp; are known to practice ‘<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anting_(bird_activity)">anting</a>‘,   i.e. rubbing ants on their bodies. It is not known exactly why birds  do  this, but one explanation would be that they use the formic acid  from  ants as a pesticide to get rid of parasites. Another explanation  would  be to rid the ants of their formic acid before eating them (as a  ‘thank  you’ after they cleaned their feathers).<br />
<br />
<b>BROKEN WING TACTIC</b><br />
Some bird species are known to use the ‘<b>broken wing tactic</b>‘ to try and distract a potential predator away from their nest. The <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/killdeer.html" target="_blank"><b>Killdeer</b></a> is a good example of that strategy (<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distraction_display">distraction display</a>):<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yOAcdc-Pwl8/XlRKXzwNZHI/AAAAAAAAFxA/mT9OKNrQBIYXlzIeyvN7wj_hesYXYD-QwCKgBGAsYHg/s1600/Killdeer-faking-an-injury-May-2017-Andy-Reago-Chrissy-McClarren.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Killdeer faking an injury, by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren" border="0" data-original-height="710" data-original-width="990" height="143" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yOAcdc-Pwl8/XlRKXzwNZHI/AAAAAAAAFxA/mT9OKNrQBIYXlzIeyvN7wj_hesYXYD-QwCKgBGAsYHg/s200/Killdeer-faking-an-injury-May-2017-Andy-Reago-Chrissy-McClarren.jpg" title="Killdeer faking an injury, by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/killdeer.html" target="_blank">Killdeer </a>faking an injury, by Andy Reago<br />
and Chrissy McClarren</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>CRECHING</b><br />
This term comes from the French word ‘crèche’, which refers to a day   care center for young children, and also the Nativity scene. Creching is   an animal behavior observed in birds and other animals.<br />
In birds, it is mainly associated with the species that breed in   colonies, such as Canada Geese, penguins or Common Eiders. Mother birds   will lead their young in large groups and will take care of all the   birds together, even those that are not their own in the group.<br />
So far it seems that the record of the ‘Mother’ of all mothers would be a <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/common-merganser.html" target="_blank">Common Merganser</a> with a creche of <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-wednesday-edition-1.4761081/mom-of-the-year-photographer-captures-images-of-mama-duck-with-76-babies-1.4761093" target="_blank"><b>SEVENTY-SIX ducklings</b></a>!!<br />
A similar behavior is called ‘Communal Brooding’, where the chicks of several nests close by are raised by all their parents. <a href="https://www.birdsofhawaii.info/p/california-quail.html" target="_blank">California Quails</a> practice that rearing method sometimes.<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iN5VqjJxAn4/Xk3Brbjxn2I/AAAAAAAAEwQ/3Idna1rkvAoRG_B0koh4X45sIuWlyjb1wCEwYBhgL/s1600/Canada-Goose-Creche-Fairview-Heights-Illinois-2006-by-Robert-Lawton.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Canada Goose Creche – Fairview Heights, Illinois – 2006 – by Robert Lawton" border="0" data-original-height="666" data-original-width="999" height="133" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iN5VqjJxAn4/Xk3Brbjxn2I/AAAAAAAAEwQ/3Idna1rkvAoRG_B0koh4X45sIuWlyjb1wCEwYBhgL/s200/Canada-Goose-Creche-Fairview-Heights-Illinois-2006-by-Robert-Lawton.jpg" title="Canada Goose Creche – Fairview Heights, Illinois – 2006 – by Robert Lawton" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/cackling-goose.html" target="_blank">Canada goose</a> creche, by Robert Lawton</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VaGfLJvJCyo/Xk3BvQPRefI/AAAAAAAAEwE/EF6hwMcIq7EfloYbbuaGOGhO5vwESNGwACEwYBhgL/s1600/Emperor-penguins-creche-Antarctica-Jan.-2004-photy-by-Matthieu-Weber.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Emperor penguins creche – Antarctica, Jan. 2004 – photy by Matthieu Weber" border="0" data-original-height="1067" data-original-width="800" height="200" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VaGfLJvJCyo/Xk3BvQPRefI/AAAAAAAAEwE/EF6hwMcIq7EfloYbbuaGOGhO5vwESNGwACEwYBhgL/s200/Emperor-penguins-creche-Antarctica-Jan.-2004-photy-by-Matthieu-Weber.jpg" title="Emperor penguins creche – Antarctica, Jan. 2004 – photy by Matthieu Weber" width="149" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_penguin" target="_blank">Emperor penguins</a> creche<br />
by Matthieu Weber</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>DRUMMING</b><br />
How can a woodpecker drum  repeatedly on hard surfaces without  sustaining brain damage? There is a study trying to answer that  question. Researchers found that woodpeckers can peck millions of times  in their lifetime without any apparent brain damage. Yet, the  acceleration force (Gs) of their pecking is in the 1,300 range. Compare  this with a force of only 80 Gs sustained by a human, which will result  in a brain concussion! Here’s a video below of a <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/northern-flicker.html" target="_blank">Northern Flicker</a> drumming and calling.<br />
<br />
<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DlBPqzwBZeQ?rel=0" width="474"></iframe><br />
<br />
<b>FIGHTING</b><br />
There are various reasons why birds will fight or squabble. It can be to  defend a territory against rivals and predators. It can be for a mate,  or to establish dominance in a colony. This is called ‘pecking order’,  and this behavior was first observed in chickens. The establishment of a  kind of hierarchy in a group has many survival qualities for the  species.<br />
Birds can also squabble over a source of food, or they can fight for  ‘fun’, just like young mammals do. The photos below illustrate this  fighting behavior, although the cause is not known. Note the deadly  power of the eagles’ talons.<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MXgYNn5f8x0/Xk3BmwwgWxI/AAAAAAAAEwI/_WFrHUnPWlEKKjNoVP2_BzHiXShby1R0wCEwYBhgL/s1600/Bald-Eagle-juvenile-sparring-with-an-adult-North-Lake-PEI-June-7-2017-%25C2%25A9-Isobel-Fitzpatrick.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Bald Eagle juvenile sparring with an adult – North Lake, PEI – June 7, 2017 – © Isobel Fitzpatrick" border="0" data-original-height="774" data-original-width="999" height="154" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MXgYNn5f8x0/Xk3BmwwgWxI/AAAAAAAAEwI/_WFrHUnPWlEKKjNoVP2_BzHiXShby1R0wCEwYBhgL/s200/Bald-Eagle-juvenile-sparring-with-an-adult-North-Lake-PEI-June-7-2017-%25C2%25A9-Isobel-Fitzpatrick.jpg" title="Bald Eagle juvenile sparring with an adult – North Lake, PEI – June 7, 2017 – © Isobel Fitzpatrick" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/bald-eagle.html" target="_blank">Bald eagle</a> juvenile sparring with an<br />
adult, by Isobel Fitzpatrick, PEI</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WPTQH1DVSNI/Xk3BqfMg4cI/AAAAAAAAEwM/KK4yl89vIogmpl66u_9lqB2PR-Ltct6-wCEwYBhgL/s1600/Blue-jays-squabbling-Souris-PEI-Jan.-2-2018-%25C2%25A9-Wanda-Bailey.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Blue jays squabbling – Souris, PEI – Jan. 2, 2018 – © Wanda Bailey" border="0" data-original-height="666" data-original-width="999" height="133" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WPTQH1DVSNI/Xk3BqfMg4cI/AAAAAAAAEwM/KK4yl89vIogmpl66u_9lqB2PR-Ltct6-wCEwYBhgL/s200/Blue-jays-squabbling-Souris-PEI-Jan.-2-2018-%25C2%25A9-Wanda-Bailey.jpg" title="Blue jays squabbling – Souris, PEI – Jan. 2, 2018 – © Wanda Bailey" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/blue-jay.html" target="_blank">Blue jays</a> squabbling, by Wanda Bailey</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>FLUFFING</b><br />
Birds fluff their feathers for all kinds of reasons. They do this  when  they are relaxed and sleepy. Another one is when they are sick. But   they also do it <a href="https://insider.si.edu/2015/01/keeping-warm-winter-birds/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">to keep warm</a>.   Fluffing their feathers creates air pockets in them which act as an   insulation that helps them keep warm. This behavior is especially   important during the winter. There are also <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/how-birds-survive-winter-1.4465936" rel="noopener" target="_blank">other adaptations by birds to survive the long and cold Canadian winters,</a>   such as : going into hypothermia at night and huddling together like   chickadees, or storing extra seeds into a pouch like the redpoll, and   then digesting them slowly. Here are some examples of fluffy birds   below.<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tfTPxsLIAz0/Xk3BwZfQvkI/AAAAAAAAEwI/6sBRC7XRSwQJfR40qknOksgIGu8OMdJrQCEwYBhgL/s1600/Fluffy-American-goldfinch-trying-to-stay-warm-Jan.-3-2014-%25C2%25A9-Wanda-Bailey.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Fluffy American goldfinch trying to stay warm – Jan. 3, 2014 – © Wanda Bailey" border="0" data-original-height="629" data-original-width="999" height="125" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tfTPxsLIAz0/Xk3BwZfQvkI/AAAAAAAAEwI/6sBRC7XRSwQJfR40qknOksgIGu8OMdJrQCEwYBhgL/s200/Fluffy-American-goldfinch-trying-to-stay-warm-Jan.-3-2014-%25C2%25A9-Wanda-Bailey.jpg" title="Fluffy American goldfinch trying to stay warm – Jan. 3, 2014 – © Wanda Bailey" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Fluffy <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/american-goldfinch.html" target="_blank">American goldfinch</a>, Wanda Bailey</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tk8AYns97sI/Xk3Bx6jSLKI/AAAAAAAAEwM/ajI3_gVsLI8G05a7V8PLjvdpPUhLyPJKACEwYBhgL/s1600/Mourning-Dove-fluffing-its-feathers-to-keep-warm-Summerside-PEI-Feb.-18-2018-%25C2%25A9-Marie-Smith.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Mourning Dove fluffing its feathers to keep warm – Summerside, PEI – Feb. 18, 2018 – Marie Smith" border="0" data-original-height="749" data-original-width="999" height="149" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tk8AYns97sI/Xk3Bx6jSLKI/AAAAAAAAEwM/ajI3_gVsLI8G05a7V8PLjvdpPUhLyPJKACEwYBhgL/s200/Mourning-Dove-fluffing-its-feathers-to-keep-warm-Summerside-PEI-Feb.-18-2018-%25C2%25A9-Marie-Smith.jpg" title="Mourning Dove fluffing its feathers to keep warm – Summerside, PEI – Feb. 18, 2018 – Marie Smith" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/mourning-dove.html" target="_blank">Mourning dove</a> fluffing its feathers to<br />
keep warm, by <a href="https://islandmusingswithmarie.blogspot.ca/2018/02/busy-busy.html" target="_blank">Marie Smith</a></span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>IMPRINTING</b><br />
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imprinting_(psychology)" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><b>Imprinting</b></a> is the attachment of a young animal at birth to a mother figure. It has been studied extensively on geese by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_Lorenz" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Konrad Lorentz.</a>   An unusual case of inter-species imprinting has taken place between   bald eagles (parents) and a red-tailed hawk (presumably brought to the   eagles’ nest as food for their chicks). It turned out <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/hawk-survives-with-eagles-1.4221651" rel="noopener" target="_blank">very differently however.</a><br />
<br />
<b>LEUCISM</b><br />
<a href="https://www.thespruce.com/bird-leucism-387342" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Leucism</a>   comes from ‘white’ in Greek, and refers to a condition in birds (and   other animals too) where their feathers have less color pigmentation and   may appear much lighter or ‘washed out’. It is a genetic trait used in   captive breeding, such as for white peacocks. How do such birds  survive  in the wild however is a different matter. For predators such  as hawks,  not having camouflage plumage will make it difficult to hunt  prey.  Leucism also makes the birds more vulnerable to predators, as  they are  much more visible.<br />
Aside from complete leucism, sometimes birds can display white spots  in their plumage, such as this <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/common-grackle.html" target="_blank">Common Grackle</a> below (also captured by  Lois Kilburn).<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I7XkP_Ftrfc/Xk3BpHNPNMI/AAAAAAAAEwI/jzkA-KbMMM4vCwQI-EfXTuZpFsUaefiSgCEwYBhgL/s1600/Black-capped-chickadee-leucistic-individual-Sept.-2014-Elmira-area-PEI-%25C2%25A9-Lois-Kilburn.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Black-capped chickadee, leucistic individual – Sept. 2014 – Elmira area, PEI – © Lois Kilburn" border="0" data-original-height="847" data-original-width="1073" height="157" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I7XkP_Ftrfc/Xk3BpHNPNMI/AAAAAAAAEwI/jzkA-KbMMM4vCwQI-EfXTuZpFsUaefiSgCEwYBhgL/s200/Black-capped-chickadee-leucistic-individual-Sept.-2014-Elmira-area-PEI-%25C2%25A9-Lois-Kilburn.jpg" title="Black-capped chickadee, leucistic individual – Sept. 2014 – Elmira area, PEI – © Lois Kilburn" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Leucistic <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/black-capped-chickadee.html" target="_blank">Black-capped chickadee</a>, by<br />
Lois Kilburn, PEI, Canada</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Q--1UFWY-tw/Xk3BsuEwrZI/AAAAAAAAEwQ/szaKiMCGl1kNx1gtNC66SXiHzvTnng4lgCEwYBhgL/s1600/Common-Grackle-Priest-Pond-area-PEI-July-9-2018-%25C2%25A9-Lois-Kilburn.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Common Grackle with white spot on nape – Priest Pond area, PEI – July 9, 2018 – © Lois Kilburn" border="0" data-original-height="817" data-original-width="999" height="163" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Q--1UFWY-tw/Xk3BsuEwrZI/AAAAAAAAEwQ/szaKiMCGl1kNx1gtNC66SXiHzvTnng4lgCEwYBhgL/s200/Common-Grackle-Priest-Pond-area-PEI-July-9-2018-%25C2%25A9-Lois-Kilburn.jpg" title="Common Grackle with white spot on nape – Priest Pond area, PEI – July 9, 2018 – © Lois Kilburn" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Common grackle with white spot on<br />
nape, by Lois Kilburn, PEI, Canada</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>MANTLING</b><br />
When birds of prey tackle a prey to the ground, if the animal is too large to carry in a sheltered location, they will cover it with their wings and tail open to conceal it from potential other predators while they're eating it. This is called '<b>mantling'</b>, and <a href="https://www.thespruce.com/mantling-how-raptors-eat-386844" target="_blank">here's an article</a> that describes this behavior in more detail. Below are photos of a <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/sharp-shinned-hawk.html" target="_blank">Sharp-shinned hawk</a> that has just caught a <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/blue-jay.html" target="_blank">Blue jay</a>, and is covering it with its wings and tail while plucking its feathers before eating it.<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Cc-1JiT-Pmc/XmQGbfCZxhI/AAAAAAAAHJ4/7LcLuvsY-eQsAiYAtamOVvcTLA2UhorhwCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/Sharp-shinned-Hawk-with-fully-extended-tail-Sea-View-area-PEI-Jan.-1-2017-Barry-Murray.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Sharp-shinned hawk mantling its kill, Sea View area, PEI, Canada - by Barry Murray, Jan. 2017" border="0" data-original-height="735" data-original-width="990" height="148" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Cc-1JiT-Pmc/XmQGbfCZxhI/AAAAAAAAHJ4/7LcLuvsY-eQsAiYAtamOVvcTLA2UhorhwCPcBGAYYCw/s200/Sharp-shinned-Hawk-with-fully-extended-tail-Sea-View-area-PEI-Jan.-1-2017-Barry-Murray.jpg" title="Sharp-shinned hawk mantling its kill, Sea View area, PEI, Canada - by Barry Murray, Jan. 2017" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Sharp-shinned hawk mantling its kill<br />
PEI, by Barry Murray, Jan. 2017</td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GJYdDyDVIFI/XmQGc-37KpI/AAAAAAAAHJ8/1PAP_4SJHTArDOLi3_vA3-yI6L8D0qMSQCPcBGAYYCw/s1600/Sharp-shinned-Hawk-caught-Blue-Jay-Sea-View-area-PEI-Jan.-1-2017.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Sharp-shinned hawk with Blue jay, Sea View area, PEI, Canada - by Barry Murray, Jan. 2017" border="0" data-original-height="757" data-original-width="990" height="152" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GJYdDyDVIFI/XmQGc-37KpI/AAAAAAAAHJ8/1PAP_4SJHTArDOLi3_vA3-yI6L8D0qMSQCPcBGAYYCw/s200/Sharp-shinned-Hawk-caught-Blue-Jay-Sea-View-area-PEI-Jan.-1-2017.jpg" title="Sharp-shinned hawk with Blue jay, Sea View area, PEI, Canada - by Barry Murray, Jan. 2017 " width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Sharp-shinned hawk with Blue jay, PEI<br />
by Barry Murray, Jan. 2017 </span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<br />
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>MURMURATION</b><br />
A<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-starlings-things-to-know-1.4369698" rel="noopener" target="_blank"> ‘murmuration’</a> is a unique display of evolving aerial shapes in the sky by a group of birds, mostly <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/european-starling.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">European Starlings</a>, as they change direction en masse while flying. <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/black-sun-starling-migration-denmark-1.3803094">Many photos and videos</a>   are available online illustrating this phenomenon, more frequent in  the  fall and before sunset, before roosting for the night. There are  now  even paragliders <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/black-sun-1.4355255" rel="noopener" target="_blank">flying into murmurations.</a> Another species is also known for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=243&amp;v=B8ZQjelJ3zA" rel="noopener" target="_blank">spectacular murmurations</a> in Australia, the Budgerigar (or Budgie, the highly popular pet parakeet).<br />
The most frequent explanation to this behavior is protection from   predators. However on the flip side it’s a risk to aircraft – and a distraction for   drivers on a highway or a bridge.<br />
Here are some interesting articles about murmurations:<br />
<a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/how-do-starling-flocks-create-those-mesmerizing-murmurations/">https://www.allaboutbirds.org/how-do-starling-flocks-create-those-mesmerizing-murmurations/</a><br />
<a href="http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6725/20140123/murmuration-starlings-dance-sky-perfect-unison.htm">http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6725/20140123/murmuration-starlings-dance-sky-perfect-unison.htm</a><br />
This video below shows a starling murmuration above the Hillsborough bridge on Dec. 27, 2014:<br />
<br />
<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hM9q_c4hgvI?rel=0" width="474"></iframe><br />
<br />
<b>PARASITISM</b><br />
Some bird species have parasitic behaviors, which have various degrees of impact on other species. One well-known example is ‘<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brood_parasite" rel="noopener" target="_blank">brood parasitism</a>‘, where a bird species <a href="https://web.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Brood_Parasitism.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">will lay its eggs in the nest of another species</a>. The <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/brown-headed-cowbird.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Brown-headed Cowbird</a>   is an ‘obligate’ parasitic species, which means that it always lays  its  eggs in other species nests, and never builds its own nest. An  example  of an occasional brood parasite is the <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/yellow-billed-cuckoo.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Yellow-billed Cuckoo,</a> that sometimes lays its eggs even in the nest of a related species, the <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/black-billed-cuckoo.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Black-billed Cuckoo</a>.<br />
Another type of parasitism in birds is called ‘<b>kleptoparasitism</b>’,   where the bird feeds by stealing food catched by other species. (The   name comes from&nbsp; Greek ‘klepto’, to steal – think ‘kleptomania’.) Many   large seabirds behave this way, for example the <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/bald-eagle.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Bald Eagle</a>, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frigatebird" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Frigatebirds</a>, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skua" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Jaegers and Skuas</a>. These birds will chase their targets in flight and force them to release or disgorge their prey.<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6esvyptycQc/Xk3Buu-brTI/AAAAAAAAEwA/lAScQsJ6wBUDNnEaKtGyF5s75lR5n2oXQCEwYBhgL/s1600/Eastern_Phoebe-nest-Brown-headed-Cowbird-egg-June-1-2007-Gaawebdesign.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Eastern Phoebe nest with Brown-headed Cowbird egg. What will happen to the Eastern phoebe brood? – June 1, 2007 – Gaawebdesign" border="0" data-original-height="768" data-original-width="1024" height="150" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6esvyptycQc/Xk3Buu-brTI/AAAAAAAAEwA/lAScQsJ6wBUDNnEaKtGyF5s75lR5n2oXQCEwYBhgL/s200/Eastern_Phoebe-nest-Brown-headed-Cowbird-egg-June-1-2007-Gaawebdesign.jpg" title="Eastern Phoebe nest with Brown-headed Cowbird egg. What will happen to the Eastern phoebe brood? – June 1, 2007 – Gaawebdesign" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/eastern-phoebe.html" target="_blank">Eastern phoebe</a> nest with <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/brown-headed-cowbird.html" target="_blank">Brown-headedcowbird egg,</a> by </span><span style="font-size: x-small;">Gaawebdesign</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>SHELL-CRACKING</b><br />
A well-known study (<a href="https://academic.oup.com/auk/article-abstract/95/3/577/5208737?redirectedFrom=fulltext" target="_blank">The Development of Shell-cracking Behavior in Gulls</a>)  has provided information on the shell-cracking behavior of<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gull" target="_blank"> Gulls</a>.  It  has been noticed for a long time that gulls will drop shells from a   height to the ground in order to crack them up and eat the contents.<br />
Older gulls are more successful in cracking shells, by learning to  drop  them from just the right height and dropping them on hard surfaces   such as asphalt and rocks rather than on sand or mud. One area I know of   where dozens of cracked open shells can be found is along the road to   <a href="https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/pe/pei-ipe/visit/robinsons" target="_blank">Robinson’s Island</a> in the <a href="https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/pe/pei-ipe" target="_blank">PEI National Park</a>.<br />
This is apparently a learned behavior and it is not peculiar to just  gulls, as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crow" target="_blank">crows</a>  are known to do it as well, and to not just using rocks  to crack open  the source of food. There are videos on YouTube showing <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crow" target="_blank">Crows</a> using  traffic to crack up nuts for example, such as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJBwPKDRVU4">here</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGPGknpq3e0">here</a>.   Some of those crows are even smart enough to drop their nuts in   pedestrian crossing areas, and then wait for the green light to collect   their food!<br />
Even a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrush_(bird)" target="_blank">Thrush</a> can crack a shell, such <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn2ZKxXoy9Q">as this one using a rock to crack open a snail shell</a>  . There are also many videos on YouTube of gulls using that feeding  behavior. Here’s a photo below of a <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/black-legged-kittiwake.html" target="_blank">Black-legged Kittiwake</a>,  a species of  gull, carrying a mollusc in the air for dropping. The  photographer  observed several of those gulls doing this, and that they  seemed to  estimate the optimal height from which to drop the shells.<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Spk3nU9UaEI/XlRLGafdlwI/AAAAAAAAFxI/TAZXKK_krGsyPN4nfWPBr2nR_vHuJcRrQCKgBGAsYHg/s1600/Black-legged-Kittiwake-nonbreeding-adult-Summerside-PEI-Sept.12-2017-%25C2%25A9-Marie-Smith.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Black-legged kittiwake nonbreeding adult carries mollusc for dropping to crack shell, by Marie Smith" border="0" data-original-height="701" data-original-width="990" height="141" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Spk3nU9UaEI/XlRLGafdlwI/AAAAAAAAFxI/TAZXKK_krGsyPN4nfWPBr2nR_vHuJcRrQCKgBGAsYHg/s200/Black-legged-Kittiwake-nonbreeding-adult-Summerside-PEI-Sept.12-2017-%25C2%25A9-Marie-Smith.jpg" title="Black-legged kittiwake nonbreeding adult carries mollusc for dropping to crack shell, by Marie Smith" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Black-legged kittiwake nonbreeding adult<br />
carries mollusc for dropping to<br />
crack shell, by <a href="https://islandmusingswithmarie.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Marie Smith</a></span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>SLEEP</b><br />
The four <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/sanderling.html" target="_blank">Sanderlings</a>  below sleeping near the edge of the waterare standing on one leg, a  position frequently used by  birds. Resting on one leg apparently helps  birds conserve heat, as  their legs have no feathers. Birds will also  tuck their bill under a  wing when sleeping.<br />
However in the case of the four sanderlings, another behavior can be   observed while they’re ‘sleeping’ – three of them (at least the ones we   can see) have one eye open. This is likely showing ‘<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unihemispheric_slow-wave_sleep" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">unihemispheric slow-wave sleep</a>’   (USWS), a behavior which allows some birds to have half their brain   asleep while the other is awake. This has obviously a high survival   value, as a bird with such a sleep feature can check for predators while   resting. Apparently some birds also use USWS in migratory flights, but   the latter needs more studying. Here’s an example below of this type  of  sleep:<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BAUePobQqPc/XlRMXQU5hTI/AAAAAAAAFxU/yxBONBgrXlQwPLora9ZxQ5VXhJNAYlRewCKgBGAsYHg/s1600/Four-sanderlings-sleeping-with-one-eye-open-Brackley-Beach-PEI-Oct.12-2015-%25C2%25A9-Denise-Motard.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Four sanderlings sleeping with one eye open, Brackley Beach, PEI, by Denise Motard" border="0" data-original-height="959" data-original-width="1307" height="146" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BAUePobQqPc/XlRMXQU5hTI/AAAAAAAAFxU/yxBONBgrXlQwPLora9ZxQ5VXhJNAYlRewCKgBGAsYHg/s200/Four-sanderlings-sleeping-with-one-eye-open-Brackley-Beach-PEI-Oct.12-2015-%25C2%25A9-Denise-Motard.jpg" title="Four sanderlings sleeping with one eye open, Brackley Beach, PEI, by Denise Motard" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Four <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/sanderling.html" target="_blank">Sanderlings </a>sleeping with one eye open</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>SUNBATHING (OR SUNNING)</b><br />
Birds are known to expose their feathers to the sun, for example to regulate their temperature but also to <a href="https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/gbw/gardens-wildlife/garden-birds/behaviour/sunbathing" rel="noopener" target="_blank">spread their preening oil</a> evenly on their feathers and <a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/sunbathing-birds-2013/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">to kill parasites.</a> Here’s a photo of a <a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/great-blue-heron.html" target="_blank">Great Blue Heron</a> in a sunning posture:<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ld4KaRn8e2U/XlRM3nxws7I/AAAAAAAAFxc/zhjmKCH6UvMPKaDW5774gHrq-PcT1k0TACKgBGAsYHg/s1600/Great-blue-heron-Aransas-Bay-TX-Feb.-19-2017-by-Jodi-Arsenault.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Great blue heron sunning TX, by Jodi Arsenault" border="0" data-original-height="990" data-original-width="533" height="200" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ld4KaRn8e2U/XlRM3nxws7I/AAAAAAAAFxc/zhjmKCH6UvMPKaDW5774gHrq-PcT1k0TACKgBGAsYHg/s200/Great-blue-heron-Aransas-Bay-TX-Feb.-19-2017-by-Jodi-Arsenault.jpg" title="Great blue heron sunning TX, by Jodi Arsenault" width="107" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/great-blue-heron.html" target="_blank">Great blue heron</a> sunning<br />
TX, by Jodi Arsenault</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>
<b>YAWNING</b><br />
Birds also yawn, and it seems to be used to <a href="https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/blog/2013/10/10/julie-craves-explains-why-birds-yawn/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">regulate their body temperature.</a> Here are some examples:<br />
<br />
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-w2v5ktw2MOE/Xk3goH5JdHI/AAAAAAAAEwY/ktlGgnS3kdAyK3sV2wG1h8IA3XqokAuzACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Belted-Kingfisher-juvenile-female-looks-like-its-yawning-Aug.-5-2017-%25C2%25A9-Matt-Beardsley.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Belted Kingfisher juvenile female looks like it’s yawning -Aug. 5, 2017 – © Matt Beardsley" border="0" data-original-height="672" data-original-width="990" height="135" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-w2v5ktw2MOE/Xk3goH5JdHI/AAAAAAAAEwY/ktlGgnS3kdAyK3sV2wG1h8IA3XqokAuzACLcBGAsYHQ/s200/Belted-Kingfisher-juvenile-female-looks-like-its-yawning-Aug.-5-2017-%25C2%25A9-Matt-Beardsley.jpg" title="Belted Kingfisher juvenile female looks like it’s yawning -Aug. 5, 2017 – © Matt Beardsley" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/belted-kingfisher.html" target="_blank">Belted Kingfisher</a> juvenile female</span><span style="font-size: x-small;"> <span style="font-size: xx-small;"><br />
Aug. 5, 2017, © Matt Beardsley</span></span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody>
<tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jgDNs1dzHk8/Xk3gsxWOnkI/AAAAAAAAEwc/JDIfYz-6xd0Mtbv-WXmh9MT_kQhoIFiCwCEwYBhgL/s1600/Barred-owl-Quebec-City-QC-photo-by-Cephas.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Barred owl yawning- Quebec City, QC – photo by Cephas" border="0" data-original-height="845" data-original-width="999" height="168" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jgDNs1dzHk8/Xk3gsxWOnkI/AAAAAAAAEwc/JDIfYz-6xd0Mtbv-WXmh9MT_kQhoIFiCwCEwYBhgL/s200/Barred-owl-Quebec-City-QC-photo-by-Cephas.jpg" title="Barred owl yawning- Quebec City, QC – photo by Cephas" width="200" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="https://www.birdsofpei.info/p/barred-owl.html" target="_blank">Barred owl</a> yawning, Quebec, by Cephas</span></td></tr>
</tbody></table>
<div style="clear: both;">
</div>