Sunday, 10 February 2013

Learning from others?

The Blackcap that been around since before the turn of the year has become increasingly bold at the feeding station.
Until recently it was mainly to be seen feeding at a fat-ball feeder tucked away in a pyracantha bush next to the kitchen. Although Blackbirds and Dunnocks occasionally use this feeder it is generally much quieter than the main area. I wonder how it has learnt to use the sunflower seed feeders. Is it just by the example of other species?
In general it is quite happy, staying for quite long periods feeding in the open. This is in contrast to some of the other birds, Great Tits invariably just pop in and take a seed to eat in cover, and Robins snd Dunnocks seldom linger for long.

It is confident enough to stick it head right through the opening to pull out seed. After watching it feeding for a while I managed to ease the window open enough to take these pictures without the extra glass intervening. .
So far as I know there's just one Blackcap coming into the garden. It is probable that this wintering bird is not one of the British breeders but comes from Germany, as studies have shown that most of "our" bird move out to Iberia, to be replaced by birds from central Europe.

The Blackcap did look a bit intimidated by Greenfinches when they arrived in groups to feed, and slid away to cover before returning. On the other hand it was quite comfortable feeding along side the more gently mannered Blue Tits. \s small group of Long-tailed Tits put in an appearance this afternoon. Considering how common they are along the hedgerows around here, I see them in the garden surprisingly infrequently.

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