Monday, October 3, 2022

Parasitic Birds

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution, Nature, Wildlife, Behavior

Ed Hessler

Jim Williams who writes about birds for the Star Tribune described the nesting behavior of cowbirds in his column of August 23, 2022. Their nesting strategy in short is, he wrote, "lay-eggs-and-run," i.e., fly off and abandon all further responsibility.

 You can read the story if you saved the paper or have a subscription, otherwise it is behind a subscription paywall.

At the outset Willliams sets the stage about this nesting behavior in a way that asks us to think about it fully. I like to think of it in biological evolution terms such as natural selection, niche, and adaptation. Williams writes, "'All God's creatures got a place in the choir "'Some sing low and some sing higher … ' Those are the first lines of a song written in 1979 by Bill Staines, once a regular on Garrison Keillor's radio show. The brown-headed cowbird, our resident cowbird, does have a place in the choir, even if the bird is scorned for its behavior. Sometimes, with sharp elbows, so to speak, it pushes other native species right off the stage."

If you missed the column, Zefrank comes to the rescue with a new TrueFacts video titled Parasitic Birds (11m 12s). It is well documented as usual (click on more below the video screen). There are the usual sad jokes (to me) I've come to expect but it is also very well done and accurate which I appreciate and respect.


No comments:

Post a Comment