Goldfinch Dynasty

LIFE ON THE FEN EDGE – WITH SIR DAVID ATTENBRADLEY

EPISODE 2: GOLDFINCH DYNASTY

from the BBC, the British Bradcasting Corporation

All the leaves may be brown but the sky certainly isn’t grey It’s early December in this Cottenham garden on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens. A family of Goldfinches are keeping the winter chills at bay by eating the abundance of high-energy nyjer seeds from a feeder hanging in the beech tree.

There is a definite avian hierarchy at play with the dominant members of the group perching in prime position to nibble at the tasty but tiny black seeds with their seed-crushing beaks.

As we can see, there is space on the feeder for four birds and yet those lower down the hierarchy seem keen to shuffle up and down nearby branches and make a play for an occupied perch only to be rebuffed by its resident with raucous calling and a great flapping of golden wings. Perhaps there is social climbing involved or maybe the birds simply perceive the occupied perches as being somehow better. After all, those higher up the family tree are feeding well on those. That said, it is rare to see all four perches occupied simultaneously and the sequence of perch occupation changes periodically.

Without extensive scientific analysis it would seem impossible to probe the minds of our feathered friends. But, more to the point, it’s getting rather cold in the garden and it’s time for my morning coffee.

LIFE ON THE FEN EDGE – WITH SIR DAVID ATTENBRADLEY

EPISODE 1: I Heard a Murmur
EPISODE 2: Goldfinch Dynasty
EPISODE 3: Young People’s Beat Combo
EPISODE 4: The Cumulus Dynasty

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.