Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lesley's Nature Watch - Where have all the songbirds gone?

This is a question I have been asked frequentlyover the last few weeks by some very anxious people. There's no need for worry. Every year in late summer, birds, like most other animals, moult. Many loose their more colourful spring & summer plumage to replace it with the lower tones which will provide the necessary camouflage in the leafless trees of winter. Chaffinches & Bulfinches are prime examples of this. During the moult, the loss of the primary wing & tail feathers can render the bird almost flightless, thus leaving the smaller birds highly vulnerable to their preditors. Don't worry, they're still there. They are just laying low in the thicket..........& they're keeping quiet.
I have noticed this week that the Robins have begun to sing again. No doubt others will soon follow. However, we'll have to wait until next spring to hear again the full blown dawn chorus of courtship & territorial ownership.
Photograph: Peacock butterfly on Dahlia.

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