[Tweeters] birds are feisty!

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Mon Mar 5 08:31:04 PST 2012

No, I should say seriously antagonistic when competing for the same resource. I thought we had a single female Townsend's Warbler coming to our suet every day, but just now I was surprised to see two of them arrive at the same time from different directions. One quickly chased the other one away. It prompted me to wonder what makes one bird of the same species and sex dominant to another. And even though the bird food of various kinds that we put out represents an almost unlimited resource, the birds are programmed to fight over it.

The most spectacularly antagonistic are the Pine Siskins, which crouch and spread their wings out whenever another bird comes near. In fact, there is antagonism between individuals (both within and between species) in just about all of the species that come to the feeders. The only birds that seem completely satisfied to feed in groups with no aggression are Bushtits.
Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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