Birds 'caring' for each other

To: "Bob Ashford" <>, "BA email" <>
Subject: Birds 'caring' for each other
From: "simon starr" <>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 18:44:57 +1000

Hi Bob and everyone,
Thanks for your sharing your friend's observation, I know that the more time I spend observing bird behaviour the more "human" they become. You reminded me of one morning when I set off for work here in northern Vic. Unfortunately I hit one of a pair of Crested Pigeons, he/she lay dead on the roadside with the partner nearby. We drove home for lunch and the Crestie's mate was still there sitting by the roadside next to its deceased partner. At the end of the day, driving home 8 hours after the unfortunate incident, it was a little heart-breaking to see the dead Crested Pigeon's mate still there waiting in case a miracle happened.


Simon Starr.

-- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Ashford" <>
To: "Birding- Aus" <>
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 4:49 PM
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

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