Birds in Hand

We attended a ringing demonstration at the Falsterbo Fågelstation. Karin, a volunteer at the observatory located at the Falsterbo fyr (lighthouse) also works there, reporting the weather every three hours. She has a molting Robin (Erithacus rubecula), or Rödhake in hand.
Largest size ring here is for swans. A rather smaller one goes on the ankle of a Robin…A Great Tit (Parus major) also messy looking because of molting. Talgoxe in Swedish.Common Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs, or bofink.As you probably know, songbirds are very lightweight. Two Blackpoll warblers add up to less than an ounce, for instance. But this doesn’t mean they’re weaklings (you try flying to South America from here). Karin asked for volunteers to feel the bite-strength of this bird’s bill. I offered my finger. The grip belied the bird’s size.

It was a rainy day, so the pickings in the mist nets, strung around the woody garden surrounding the lighthouse and in a couple places outside it in tiny copses, were slim.This was a coup de théâtre, though. It’s a nest of the Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus), pungmes, woven together from the fluff of cattails. These birds are studied for their reproductive strategies; they obviously put a lot of effort into these nests — Karin demonstrated that the Swedes think they look like human male genitalia — but both males and females are sequentially polygamous and one or the other or sometimes both will abandon their nests, even with young inside.

3 Responses to “Birds in Hand”

  1. 1 peopleplaceswords September 24, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Eurasian Penduline Tit-nest resembles male genitalia (balls?) but also human childbearing behavior at its least admirable. it there a tie in?

  1. 1 Birds in Hand II | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on September 26, 2017 at 7:01 am

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