Birds 'caring' for each other

To: "'Bob Ashford'" <>, "'Birding- Aus'" <>
Subject: Birds 'caring' for each other
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 18:00:33 +1000
Hi Bob,

What an interesting observation. I can't comment on how common (or rare)
this behaviour is, but I've not seen it before.

What prompted me to write is that earlier this year I conducted a review of
the impacts of transparent or partly-transparent noise barriers along roads
on bird mortality. 

As part of this review I was interested in finding out the actual causes of
death of birds striking windows and other transparent barriers. Veltri &
Klem (2005), the only study that I'm aware of that has forensically examined
victims of window strikes, state that the usual causes of death are head
trauma, intracranial pressure and blood in the brain. So I'm hoping that,
although your Eastern Spinebill regained consciousness and flew away, it did
not have significant haemorrhaging in the brain which may have caused it to
die later. Let us know if your friend sees this pair of birds again!

Kind regards,

Stephen Ambrose,
Ryde, NSW


Veltri, C.J. and Klem Jr, D. (2005). Comparison of fatal bird injures from
collisions with towers and windows. Journal of Field

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Bob Ashford
Sent: Wednesday, 13 August 2008 4:50 PM
To: Birding- Aus
Subject: Birds 'caring' for each other

Hi Folks

I had a local resident (Berry, South Coast, NSW) describe to me an
interesting incident recently.

A female (presumed) Eastern Spinebill had knocked itself out by hitting a
house window. As it lay stunned on the deck a male (again presumed) ES
arrived and proceeded to flutter and call around the female. 

After about 30 seconds it landed on the female still fluttering and calling.
It then proceeded to gently prod and push the female, which was lying on its
back. About a minute and a half after the collision the male  physically
turned the female over so that it was lying on its stomach/breast still
stunned but showing signs of revival.

For about another minute the male continued to flutter, call and gently prod
the female which then quickly got up and flew off to the bushes accompanied
by the male.

Im fascinated by the effort put in by the male while trying not to read too
many anthopomorphic conclusions in to it all.

Has anyone else seen similar activity in birds ('caring' for want of a word
at this stage) and in particular can anyone refer me to where I can get more
info on this sort of activity.

Many Thanks

Bob Ashford
02 4464 1574

To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU