AW: [Tweeters] lunch truck effect (?)

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at
Thu Feb 4 18:15:51 PST 2010

Dear TWeeters and Ms. Kapitov,

I have noticed a similar attraction between birds and vehicles. In Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, where I used to live, Cattle Egrets were attracted to trucks.

These were Mercedes tanker trucks, flat green in color, but always decorated in vibrant reds, yellows and blues by their Indian or Pakistani drivers. These trucks would carry greywater to places that I used to call "wastewater oases." The trucks would pull up to these islands of green, and the Cattle Egrets would fly out of the palm trees and land on the tankers.

I don't know why they did this, because there would already be plenty of dirty water to mess around in; to me, the chances of catching something to eat seemed just as good elsewhere, but the egrets certainly did like to fly out there and light on those trucks!

They'd stand up on top of the tank, watching the driver as he opened the valve and let the watery filth gush out. Sometimes they'd hop down and wade into the new "river" as it streamed into the "oasis."


Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch   Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA   garybletsch at    

--- amk17 at <amk17 at> schrieb am Fr, 5.2.2010:

> Von: amk17 at <amk17 at>

> Betreff: [Tweeters] lunch truck effect (?)

> An: "Tweeters at" <Tweeters at>

> Datum: Freitag, 5. Februar 2010, 3:23

> While on a trip, picking up my rental

> car, a lunch truck (dining vehicle) pulled up in front of

> me.  As it rang its bell, about 50 brewer's blackbirds

> began calling and flying in from all around the airport

> parking lots.  Within seconds, the truck was surrounded

> by brewer's blackbirds looking for a free meal from the

> lunch truck.


> I was awestruck that these birds have learned to "follow"

> the lunch truck for handouts and recognized the

> "bell".  I didn't see any people similarly flock to the

> truck ;-)


> Any one else notice such behavior?


> Happy birding,

> A. Kopitov

> Seattle, WA



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