Sunday, 18 June 2017

Other People's Children

It's very easy to be critical of the behaviour of other people's young, and it's as easy to apply one's prejudices to the avian world. By far the worst behaved seem to be the goldfinch's children, who make a most frightful noise, with a pack of them chasing their poor parents all over the place, squabbling and flapping their wings and screaming for food.

By comparison, this young house sparrow is a surprising model of good behaviour, though this may partly be due to the fact that there appeared to be only one child attached to this cock sparrow.

The great tit's child is demanding but less noisy, and is much more discreet about it, hiding in the foliage while mum or dad goes out to collect food from the communal feeders.

Still quieter is the yellowhammer's young, who crouches on the ground with its beak open and looks plaintive, but says not a word. One almost wonders whether it's suffering from neglect.

The chaffinch's child seems very unwilling to leave home even though it's perfectly capable of looking after itself. Each time dad flew off to get more food, this young one took a quick snack from the grain in front of it.

By comparison, this young robin seems to have passed through the stage of troubling its parents in no time, and has quickly learned to be self-sufficient - and to be cheeky enough to stand its ground against all comers when the grain's brought out so it can be first at the new food.

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