Little daughter and I were watching a birds' nest this morning where four little sparrows were getting fed by their mom (or maybe dad?) Each time the mother bird came back, all four sparrows would screech and open their mouths wide and the mother would give one of them some food.
My question is: how does the mother ensure that each chick gets enough food? I can think of at least two theories: 1. The adult bird has enough working memory to know who got the last bit of food, or even who's gone the longest without food; or 2. Hungrier chicks screech louder and the adult bird gives food to the loudest screecher.
Do we know which of these is right, or whether the real answer is something else entirely?
posted by escabeche
on Aug 16, 2013 -
Name that bird of prey! (Photo #1
, Photo #2
). Seen today in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, near the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains (Hollywood Hills).
posted by Asparagirl
on Jul 27, 2010 -
Bird-watching books and gadgets for a bird-loving (but novice) 70 year old man? [more inside]
posted by raztaj
on Jul 1, 2010 -
Sometime around '93-95, when I was living in Plymouth, NC, my elementary school class took a field trip to a bird farm. I would love to track down the place where I went. [more inside]
posted by srrh
on Oct 11, 2009 -
BirdFeederFilter: When it's gloomy and rainy, I don't see any birds at my birdfeeder for days on end. Then as soon as it's sunny, they're all over the place. What gives? What do they do on rainy days, just forage near their nest? Don't birds gotta eat when it rains?
posted by agropyron
on Nov 18, 2005 -
I have a Nikon d70 (and an n80) and several lenses, the longest of which zooms to 200mm. I have a remote for the d70 (and a cable-release for the n80). I have a mediocre tripod. My yard is filled with birds. What do I need to know to optimize my chance at great bird photos? Is it merely a matter of patience and luck? Does anyone here have experience with bird photography? [more inside]
posted by jdroth
on Aug 11, 2005 -
What's the worst place to build your nest and lay your eggs? Above a downspout seems to me a pretty bad choice. [more inside]
posted by baltimore
on Jul 24, 2005 -