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Why Do Birds Do What They Do, Or Not Do What They Don’t Do!

I will attempt to answer some of the questions we have about birds!!

1. Why do birds not cross breed?

Did you know that birds are not just one species. There are between 9000-10,000 species of birds and they are too genetically different to interbreed. Dogs are just one species, so they can cross breed. All animals interbreed with their species and rarely outside of their own species. Studies show that birds don’t typically “inbreed” (ex. breeding within their own family) and studies show that when they do, 75% of the embryos die!! Studies also show that 10% of the worlds 10,000 bird species are known to have bred with other species at least once. Often, however, hybrids die young, and even when hybrid offspring survive adulthood, they may be sterile or have trouble attracting mates. So my thinking is that to keep their species Strong (and alive) they stick with their own species!!

2. Why do birds bathe in dirt?

To maintain their plumage birds bathe in water or dust. Experiments show that frequent dusting helps to maintain oil on the feathers!

3. Why do birds eat gravel?

Ever wonder why you see birds on the side of the road eating rocks? Birds consume small bits of gravel to act as Teeth in the gizzard to help break down food. Helping with digestion.

4. Why do birds puff up?

Birds fluff up their feathers to get warm and also to relax before sleeping.

5. Why do birds fly into windows repeatedly?

This happens most commonly in spring as male birds are establishing and defending their territories. The male sees his reflection in the window and thinks it’s a rival trying to take over his territory. He hits the window repeatedly trying to make his rival leave.

6. Why do birds tweet?

Birds will sing Any time of the day but during the morning their songs are often the loudest. Mostly because the males are attempting to attract mates or they are warning other males to stay away from their territory.

7. Why do birds attack me?

Swooping is the most common way to scare of an intruder. This is a birds way of protecting their territory. Especially during breeding season. We see this most commonly with birds that nest close to our houses such as Barn Swallows and Black Birds.

8. Why do woodpeckers peck at my house?

There are two common reasons woodpeckers do this. They are either looking for food or shelter. Sometimes we don’t know we have rotten wood on the sides of our houses until the woodpecker comes. If the woodpecker is pecking in a line it is looking for bugs. If the woodpecker is pecking in a circle it is trying to find housing!! I had a woodpecker at my old house that came Every spring and pecked on my metal tornado siren in my back yard until he attracted a mate. Apparently the woodpeckers that make the loudest noises attracted a mate faster!!

I hope this answered a few questions you might have had on birds in your yard. If not feel free to email us questions you would like to have answered and i will include answers in upcoming articles.

Happy Birding from all of us here at For The Wild Birds located here at 84th and Frederick across from Mangelsen’s!! Crinda, Grant, Marilyn, Patrick, Rhea, Roz and all of our Furry Friends here at the store!!

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