Thanks for taking the time to describe your observations. I have several
questions. First, may I have permission to re-post your observations on the
"ibirding" list? Doing so, will allow me to insert your observation into
our database of behaviours ... which is very, slowly growing (grin).
With regard to your observation can you recall the following details:
How far were the young birds away from the group of adults?
Was there any danger nearby? I assume the birds were accustom to humans ...
is this correct?
Can you be more descriptive about the "sharp cry" ... short, whistle,
grunt, rattle, descending/ascending pitch, etc.?
Where the two sharp cries nearly identical?
Was there any difference in the size of the young (brown-eyed) birds?
How close were the young bird to each other?
Answers to such questions will help put the behaviour you observed into
Dr Wm James Davis, Editor
Interpretive Birding Bulletin
------------------------John's initial post ----------------------
There's a large flock of Choughs near where I work and I go and watch them
Today I saw a particularly amusing piece of behaviour. Out of the main flock
a smaller flock of the immature birds had formed, and they had moved away
from the adult birds. Then one of them uttered a sharp cry and all at once
the four birds just "went mental". One bird rolled on its back, kicking its
legs in the air, while a another climbed on to it and started making pecking
motions towards it. A third bird lay on its side and picked up a piece of
bark in both feet, manipulating and playing with it. The fourth bird
snuggled up against the base of a tree and seemed to making itself as small
as possible. All this lasted perhaps 30 seconds before an adult bird
wandered over to the young ones and uttered another sharp cry, at which the
young birds all jumped to their feet and followed the adult off towards the
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