The secret language of birds


Jim Chiropolos
 

As many of you know, I am fascinated by animal behavior and try to decipher it. My yard and feeder is my best laboratory as I see the sane birds over and over again. A group of crows -6 - starts the day at my feeder. Today I woke up late and put the sunflower seen out 25 minutes late. Only one crow was present on the telephone wire. I tossed the first seeds. A hard triple caw, caw, caw. Within a minute, all six crows were present.

One call deciphered. It will be a long process.

Scrub jay behavior is also interesting. Smart birds - how many acorns can they bury and cache knowing the location? One scrub jay comes to the feeder for seeds. (The only jay that had learned this behavior). This bird barely fits on the perch. I know when this jay is at the feeder because his aim for the food hole is poor - half of the time the bird is loudly tapping against the glass for food like a woodpecker- unlike the smaller passerines- the jay has not adjusted over the years to find the food hole and it takes 3 or 4 pecks to find the hole. I’m fascinated its still a search over the years and the jay does not know where to peck to get food. Smart and not smart!

Jim Chiropolos
Orinda