Sunday, 18 August 2013

Red-browed Finches feeding behaviour

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A flock of Red-browed Finches Neochmia temporalis have recently begun to feed on the seed I provide for birds, in a hanging dish. There are over thirty in the flock, but it is seldom, if ever that they all come to feed at once. There are always some holding back in the adjacent trees, keeping lookout?

Certainly, when they are in the dish, where their small bodies are entirely below the dish's rim, they cannot see and so look for potential predators approaching. Whether there are two, three or twenty in the feeder, there is always at least one with its head up watching for any sneaky sparrowhawk. Even with the camera set at high speed continuous shooting, I was unable to capture a shot of all the birds with their heads down. Nearly, but not quite. Flock feeding and shared alertness, with subsequent warning to the whole flock are well known, but intriguing to watch in action from the breakfast table.

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