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Why did several kinds of birds show up at once? (1 Viewer)

jonblum

Member
I regularly take brief glances out my fifth floor apartment window and look at the wooded wetland area there, and I most often do not see any birds, or other times I see 2 to 4 birds all of one species. But I noticed suddenly at 10:30 AM this morning that there were multiple birds in the trees outside our window, many more than we usually see. I looked with binoculars and was able to identify about five Eastern Phoebe‘s, about four black capped chickadee‘s, two hairy woodpeckers, one red bellied woodpecker, two robins, and one European starling. Do you have any theories about why there are usually zero or one bird out our window and suddenly in this half hour this morning there were so many different kinds of birds in the trees outside our window? And then a few minutes later, there are none again.
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
Outside of breeding season, forest birds often move in mixed feeding flocks or at least some kind of loose association. At least, that's my experience here in Europe. Also, the annual migration is a factor here (given that it's autumn); sometimes, you'll see unusual groups, either concentrations of one species or a seemingly random mix of several, during those times.
 
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opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
This is even more pronounced in the tropics. You can walk through the forest for ours and see basically nothing. Then it gets noisy, you look around and 20 different tanagers are sitting above your head for 30 seconds and then they bolt.
 

Maroon Jay

Airborne
Canada
I get that here during fall migration. For a while there are no birds at all in my yard. Then a mixed flock of several species of warblers and sparrows all show up at once. They eat, have a bath in my bird bath, and then all leave together. I guess it is safer than migrating alone or in small groups of the same species.
 

kagu kevin

Registered User
Dear Jonblum,
My personal pet theory is that much like human beings our avian cousins are liable to proverbially ‘follow the crowed’. In the same way that a popular disco hall will see sporadic success based on the whims of partying youth so to your garden receives sporadic visits from large groups of birds.
All the best, Kevin
 

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