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|OTHER WILD BIRD STORIES
Bird Watching Stories
(Go Back to Wild Bird Page Contents)
|» Aransas in the Fog:
|» No Barbeque this Summer|
|» Barn Swallow "Mama"|
|» Just How Does a Bird Eat Bees?|
|» My Birdwatching Adventures in Costa Rica|
|» Just Another Golden Eagle|
| » Four Birds in One Tree:
A Few Days of Birdwatching in England
|» Four Calling Birds???|
|» A Very Unique Cardinal|
|» Narcissism or Territorial
Defense: Macho Cardinal
|» The Last Companion Carolina Paroquet|
|» The Ever-Popular Chickadee|
|» Convergent Evolution: Meadowlark and Longclaw|
|» Barrel Cactus Confrontation|
|» Galahs Playing Around and Around and Around ...|
|» Who Made Up This Stuff?
Bird Call Mnemonics
|» Mesmerizing a Goldfinch|
|» The Best Mimic?|
|» Prairie Chickens and Woodcocks:
|» Mob Mentality: Who is Really in Control of the Skies?|
|» The Owl Who Sat Down Beside Me|
|» Meeting Hot Shot: The Toddler Peregrine Falcon|
|» Seeing 'Sea Parrots'
| » A Rare and Unusual Bird
Meeting Roger Tory Peterson
|» Raven Showoffs|
|» Reddish Egrets a nd Canopy Feeding|
| » Robins and Worms
Hear, See, Smell, or Feel?
|» Hospital Halucinations|
|» What Are You Doing Here? Scissortail Flycatcher|
|» Wild Bird "Attacks": Just Misunderstandings?|
|» Drunken Waxwings and an Unusual Hummingbird Feeder|
|» Acorn Woodpecker Defending its Stash|
|» Why Woodpeckers Don't Get Headaches: Built in Shock Absorber|
Don't Take Their Attacks Personally
|Nesting Behaviors in the Green-rumped Parrotlet|
|By Lynne Page Illustration by Jeff Riebe|
Constraints on the Onset of Incubation in a Neotropical Parrot: A Nestbox
At times it may
seem our birds persist in certain behaviors for the sole purpose of making our
lives difficult. It is easier for us bird owners to be calm and patient if we
remember that the parrot’s behavior is probably an expression of his ancient
instincts and view of the world.
The experiment described in this Animal Behavior article demonstrates one reason for the strength of the instinct to guard the nest. The goal of the researchers, however, was to answer a question about incubation.
species of birds begin incubation after the entire clutch of eggs is complete,
so all the eggs hatch at the same time. Because the chicks are the same age, all
those who are healthy have a good chance of surviving to fledge. Many other
birds begin incubation before all the eggs have been laid. The first eggs then
hatch well before the later eggs putting the younger chicks at an often-fatal
disadvantage. A good example is provided by the green-rumped parrotlet (Forpus
passerinus). These little birds usually lay a large clutch (5 to 12 eggs)
and incubation begins with the first egg. Because the older chicks are so much
bigger and stronger, the last one or two chicks to hatch usually die from
starvation or injury. Starting incubation with the first egg must have some
benefits which outweigh this cost. The experiment described in this article
addressed a question about one possible benefit: Does early incubation protect
the nest from other birds of the same species? The answer was a clear ‘yes.”