[wisb] Blackbird interaction - Interspecific Preening (Racine Co. - Nicholson Wildlife Refuge)
- From: "Eric Howe" <wibirder@xxxxxxxxx>
- To: <wisbirdn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 07:04:28 -0500
On Friday evening, I walked (or rather waded through) the trail at Nicholson Wildlife Refuge in Racine County. A nice variety of waterfowl. (You'll need knee high boots for the first few hundred feet from the parking area.) While scoping a flock of blackbirds, I saw a Brown-headed Cowbird performing a curious behavior towards nearby Rusty Blackbirds. The cowbird repeatedly had gotten very close to other Rusty Blackbirds, bowing its head deeply and remaining motionless. One of the Rusty Blackbirds began to preen the cowbird's head! If the Rusty Blackbird moved back, the cowbird crept closer on the same branch while still assuming its "Head-Down" display. When the Rusty Blackbird flew off to another branch or tree, the cowbird followed and attempted to receive preening once again. Interesting behavior to watch! A short video (albeit poor and shaky), can be seen at: http://youtu.be/1To16YKFbrk BNA Online makes reference to this behavior: " Head-Down (Head-Forward, Stokes and Stokes 1983; Interspecific Preening Invitation, Selander and La Rue 1961): bird approaches another and assumes motionless posture with head bowed down, and feathers of nape and crown raised. Recipients, including other species, may preen displaying bird, although cowbirds seldom respond in this way (Rothstein 1980)." Lowther, Peter E. 1993. Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/047/articles/behavior Eric Howe near Troy Center, northern Walworth County #################### You received this email because you are subscribed to the Wisconsin Birding Network (Wisbirdn). To UNSUBSCRIBE or SUBSCRIBE, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. To set DIGEST or VACATION modes, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn. Visit Wisbirdn ARCHIVES at: http://www.freelists.org/archives/wisbirdn.
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- » [wisb] Blackbird interaction - Interspecific Preening (Racine Co. - Nicholson Wildlife Refuge) - Eric Howe