From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Nuthatches Speak Chickadee

More About Birds and Animals... Some Interesting News...



Red-breasted nuthatchYou might enjoy reading this AP story: Birds learn meaning of other species' call.

It seems that chickadees give specific information in their warning cries about the type of predator they have spotted, and nuthatches understand the specific information and respond appropriately.

For example, nuthatches understand chickadee warnings for small fast raptor predators and they respond by grouping up, ready to mob the threatening bird. The article describes how this was tested by playing chickadee calls on a loudspeaker.

Carolina chickadeeThe old expression that "Birds of a feather stick together" is still correct, but it's apparently not inclusive enough. These little birds operate more like the Arab proverb, "My brother and I against my cousin. My cousin and I against the enemy."

Nuthatches and chickadees are birds we often see around our feeders.


Bar
Public domain images from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Institutes of Health.


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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.