Posse mentality

Posted June 25th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

It’s curious that certain species of birds will sympathetically come to the aid of their own kind. I gotta believe this trait is not universal. The common notion, I think, is that once a pair settles down to nest they are pretty much on their own. But that’s not always the case. I’ve seen it even in my own back yard.

Last year I was nearing a common grackle nest in along the back edge of my yard when a young bird started to squawk. Within two minutes about 20 different grackles from out of nowhere had appeared to harass me.

Just today my friend Matt relayed how a nest box at his place has five young tree swallows ready to fledge. While approaching this box recently no less than six adult tree swallows lined up to discourage Matt from the area.

(tree swallow)

I contend this behavior is directly related to the presence of young birds and may not take place in their absence. But I’m not sure. Anyone have a similar story?

kcorliss@forumcomm.com

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