[Tweeters] Acting Wild

SGMlod at aol.com SGMlod at aol.com
Fri Dec 24 09:03:07 PST 2004

Greetings All

Just a brief word on "acting wild" among potential escapees. I think this
feature is over-rated

A starving bird may break down and do odd things. There was the Caracara on
Vancouver Island (presumed to be the same bird at Neah Bay that did not act
tame) that was begging food from loggers. By the way, since there is now a nice
pattern of vagrancy of caracaras in CA (and developing from elsewhere on the
Continent) the WBRC will be re-reviewing that bird.

Also, if a Baikal Teal chooses to associate with a flock of Green-winged Teal
and that flock is skittish, I'd expect the Baikal to be so as well, not hang
around as the GWTE dash off.

On the other hand, geese tame down amazingly quickly, especially if there are
tame geese in the neighborhood. Probably, some wild origin ducks would do the
same. Go to Palo Alto Baylands (in CA) sometime and hand-feed the wild
Canvasback and scaup. That's why the tameness of the Black D at Juanita Bay doesn't
bother me.

Finally, the Nutmeg Mannikin I found this fall (and the Chestnut Mannikin
last fall) were both quite skittish. At least as much as the junco and sparrow
flocks they accompanied. Somehow, I'm still not proposing them as wild vagrants.

So, yah, if I am standing at Jetty Island in Everett and the goldeneye all
swim away and the Smew (no, there's not a Smew there, but someday, who knows?)
walks up to me with a "feed me" look on its bill, then I'd be suspicious.
Otherwise, I'm not sure how much apparent wildness matters.

Steven Mlodinow
Everett WA

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