Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy woodpecker at our feeder. 

After more than a year away, 20 minutes after I put food out for the birds, they were back in abundance.  It is clear that mixed flocks travel together, so when someone makes a discovery, it goes back to tell the others.  But how was our renewed feeding discovered?  Smells?  Does someone make the rounds of the old places on the off chance?  Sheer luck?

1 comment:

  1. Okay. You have me stumped on the birds finding food thing. So I did a search.

    According to this article

    most birds do not have a well developed sense of smell, and do not use it to find food.

    I did like the comment someone posted after the article that said:

    "I was looking for more info about bird's ability to smell. I was in a costco parking lot a few days ago and spotted a pick-up truck that was being mobbed by a flock of crows. When I went to check it out I saw a large bag of dog food with a small hole that was made by the crows. My guess is that they could either smell the food or read the label."