Bird Behaviour: Survival of the fittest

In Birds, Uncategorized by couchiching

It was a difficult day for my wife, Bonnie! Oh, I wasn’t the problem this time! Two incidents on our property created the predicament.

We knew something was up when we heard a family of crows breaking the early morning silence and peacefulness of our property! They had to be up to something. We could hear the young, immature birds crying for more food! And, they were about to get it in the form of baby robins from the nest in our cedar hedge. Once the crows find such a nest, there is nothing anyone can do about it. One by one the baby robins were snatched from their nest, taken to the baby crows on the front lawn by the parent and subsequently ripped into bit sized pieces and fed to the offspring.

Not a pleasant sight to witness!

As can be imagined, poor mother robin was very upset. She was even hunting for food for her now deceased chicks an hour after the event.

A second disturbing incident took place a few hours following the crow family raid, this time in our back yard.

I had spotted a Great Blue Heron (GBH) in our neighbour’s yard. I knew he was up to something too as GBH’s normally stick to the marsh or shore area for hunting. When fishing or hunting frogs doesn’t pay dividends for them, they will move up the lawn looking for other fare. This fellow had spotted something in our left-over winter wood pile. I suspected it was likely a chipmunk. He waited for countless minutes, remaining completely motionless, until frightened by something, he moved away, out of sight behind the storage shed.

Thinking he had left the property, and because I was involved in another activity (I cook dinner on weekends), I returned to the kitchen…but not for long! Bonnie opened the side door yelling for me, almost in hysterics, to the point that I could hardly understand her. Calming her down slightly, she then blurted out, “…the Heron is right up at the back deck…he’s got the chippy (who lives in our old stone BBQ) in his bill…the chippy is twisting and turning, trying to get loose, and a crow is trying to get it from the GBH!”

By the time I got out to the yard, the GBH had taken flight with the chipmunk in his mouth. The crow was on the sidelines fretting over his loss!

“I hate animals and birds!” she lamented with tears coming down her cheeks!

I reminded her that crows and herons have babies to feed, and that, I am in the midst of preparing– chicken for dinner!

That is the way life was designed by our creator. It may not seem fair, but…!

Bird behaviour, like human behaviour is sometimes very cruel, but nonetheless very fascinating!

Written by David A. Homer