General Discussion

A questionable butterfly

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majorp
majorp
04 Sep 2017 19:22

For many years (and this may interest twitchers) I have watched Pied Wagtails do something I did not know about.

When it is time for them to go to bed, they fly close into their roosting site many at a time, sometimes I have seen upto about thirty.

They then fly into a tree abit closer to where they sleep, about five or six at a time and then with a cheep from one of them, they bury themselves in the leaves of a palm tree.

Then another five or six or so follow suit until all are buried out of sight.

Starlings do a similar thing.

Has anyone else seen this happening with pied wagtails?

Cassandra
Cassandra
04 Sep 2017 21:16

This is well-known behaviour on the part of pied wagtails and also other small birds. They believe that there is safety in numbers and so roost together to foil hawks and owls and other predators. You can see them in trees in town centres like Torquay and cities such as Exeter where they also have the benefit of it being a few degrees warmer than the countryside.

1 Agree
DC24601
DC24601
05 Sep 2017 14:56

I get 2 of these everyday in my garden, even got one to feed out of my hand once, am I right in thinking they only live 2 years, if so, we may not get them next year. 

majorp
majorp
05 Sep 2017 15:06

The average lifespan of small birds like Pied Wagtails is only a couple of years, but there have been ringed Pied Wagtails that have been known to have lived for far longer (the current record given on the BTO website being 11 years 3 months!).
Read more at https://www.rspb.org.uk/community/wildlife/f/13609/t/92713.aspx#WoXcTBQbUm6TzmUg.99

leatash
leatash
05 Sep 2017 16:49

A gang of seagulls had a brood cornered in Brunswick Place last week and eventually killed and ate them all.

Cassandra
Cassandra
05 Sep 2017 19:24

@leatash

I saw all the feathers along the pavement and wondered what had happened.

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