Funny Bird Behaviors

Thought I’d share a funny story from today: I popped over to the grocery store today to pick up some food. As I pulled up to the drive to turn into the parking lot, a truck pulled out in front of me rolling very slow. Turns out it was moving slow because there was a male turkey following the truck, and it was attacking the ‘other turkey’ in the truck’s shiny hubcaps. The truck pulled out and kept driving with the turkey giving chase down the road. Amusing highlight of my day.

For the sake of making this more of a conversation than just me sharing my one-off story, if anyone else has some funny bird behavior anecdotes, please share.


This red bill gull for several days came back to fight itself in our centres window

I also kind of like this vid of a kea trying to get into some of our camp supplies, whilst making some interesting noises to itself.

Kea can provide hours of fun though, if you hang out at tourist sites, since kea will often seemingly mess with tourists to get a reaction.


Thinking out loud after reading that story. If one were to extrapolate this into human or other animal behavior, it goes to show how aggressive behavior amplifies aggressive behavior in a positive feedback loop. Humans can recognize and know what a mirror is but when around other angry or happy people, the emotion can amplify that emotion like a mirror. Moral of the story, surround yourself by positive people or people and animals that portray the characteristics you want to have. The other moral of the story, it all starts with self. You can’t help others unless you have helped yourself first (e.g. put the oxygen mask in yourself in an emergency on he airplane before helping others). So if you, yourself are happy looking in the mirror, it should not only amplify your happiness but the people and animals around you.

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Can remember a few times watching a wading bird attempt to wrangle and swallow a fish too wide for its bill and/or throat, such as this Great Blue Heron:

This one was ultimately successful ingesting the fish, which got identified to genus:

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This Varied Thrush was frozen in place on the ground for at least a few minutes. I walked up within 10-15 feet of it and watched it, getting lots of pics. Another birder suggested this might’ve been a response to a Coopers Hawk in vicinity but I’ve never seen a passerine bird so motionless like that for so long, like it simply froze mid-foraging. Maybe not unusual in this species?


Hah, the mergansers at Lake Tahoe do that, too. Fortunately for them, the lake-locked kokanee salmon stay pretty small, but it’s still funny watching them throw their heads straight back to help swallow the fish with the tail end still sticking out of their beaks.

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Nice examples. The kea had me giggling. It looks like their are lots of videos of them trying to get into things or take things apart. I’d love to make a trip to NZ some day to see them.

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Kea are awesome. When I worked at the visitor centre in Arthur’s Pass, we often had people come in to complain about kea damage. But its the keas world, you need to work around them.

This is a old ad (low quality)

for car insurance, but it was set up under guidence, to film kea doing what they do, with a car made to come apart easily, and of course they loved it. Most cars stay togather better than that though.


So the delightful nature of kea of New Zealand let to the creation of iKea in Sweden, which is actually a brand of Apple in the USA. Who knew! :upside_down_face:

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I once watched a pigeon use a crosswalk at an intersection then turn and use the next (adjacent) crosswalk to reach the block a kitty-corner away from where it started.


i once saw a male pigeon perform the whole courtship dance with the cooing and turning around and all
and the female pigeon was not interested
but the male would not leave her so she just walked closer and PECKED HIM ON THE FOREHEAD
absolute girlboss


I saw two male great-tailed grackles perform their mating display while facing each other, and then it turned into a fight.

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Just this weekend I watched an Egretta garzetta flying incredibly low over the water, neck out, and at first I wondered whether it was injured.
However, after a few laps, it plunged its feet into the water before continuing! It continued doing this for an hour or so, seemingly attempting to grab fish from the surface, as though it were an eagle.

I’ve never seen this before, I did manage to take a poor quality smartphone video. The location is a prime euro over-wintering site, so the birds are coming from all over the place to cogregate here, and the river was currently flooded. So my speculation is that the good shallow huntign sites were occupied, and some ‘foreign’ bird tried a trick it had seen/tried elsewhere.

I still find the whole behaviour bizzare.

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