Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Watch and learn

I watched a pair of Carrion Crows with a juvenile today. From a distance, you would say adults and young look the same, but young ones appear smaller than the adults, have a thinner bill, and lack the purplish-blue sheen of the adults feathers, with an overall impression of a dull, dark brown bird. The young one today followed one of the adults carefully, watching his every move, often having to trot to keep pace - even if the adult seem to walk normally. If the adult appeared to find a morsel, the young one begged, bill open and wings flapping. Crows being such adaptable birds, the young ones have lots to learn on how to find food. About three months after fledging, the young crows will become independent.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Blackbird cleaning slug

In the last month, I have observed four blackbirds eating large slugs. They spend a long time wiping them from side to side on the ground and then, as the one in the photo, cut them in smaller pieces - possibly to feed nestlings. I was alerted to the presence of this one in my garden by my cat, and I had time to snap a single shot before the blackbird picked up the slug and flew away.