Friday, 15 January 2010

Friday at the Flicks - Finding Food in the Snow

Different birds use different techniques to find the seeds which had become buried under recent snow falls. The Starlings tend to poke a closed beak deep in the snow and then open it wide to make a small hole. The final part of the video has been slowed down to one quarter speed. This gives some unusual 'bird sounds' as the sound is also slowed down by the same rate.

Blackbirds use beak and legs to make larger indentations in the snow. In the slowed down end section it can be seen to use one leg at a time to scrape the snow away. (This also has slowed down sound)

Although Rooks will also dig with their beaks it is a lot easier to hammer away at a fat ball. As bits fly off in all directions other birds gather underneath to tuck in to the easy meal showering down on them. This Rook must have one of the largest beaks, compared with the body size, that I have seen.

Nice as it was to see snow when it first arrived I am mightily relieved that it has now gone from the village to be replaced with a more normal Winter scene of dull, sunless days with plenty of fine rain to keep everything soaked. Oh well, can't have it perfect all the time.


  1. Fascinating to watch in slow motion John. The sound could almost be in a jungle too lol
    That Rooks beak is massive! Like a Pelican. Wouldn't want a stab from that.

  2. John a case of the Rook being on the beak.

  3. Poor birds! They have to work so hard in bad weather. What a character that Rook is. Mind you, the other birds aren't daft...let the big guy up the top do all the work and reap the rewards from below :)

  4. Fascinating! Seeing the birds in slow motion really offers a great opportunity to observe the details. The slowed down sounds really neat! Was there anything left in the cage after the rook was finished. Boy, he was going at it! I wonder if the size of its stomach matches the size of his beak! The other birds appreciate food being showered down for them anyway! Great Friday Flicks :)

  5. PS I see by your local weather button that at 6:40 a.m. it is 3 degrees and clear. I hope it turns out to be a pleasant clear day :)

  6. Hello Keith. That beak really looked like a lethal weapon.

  7. Hello Jan. They do have to spend all daylight hours hunting for food in harsh weather. At least the spillage doesn't get wasted.

  8. Hello Glo. Birds move so fast it is interesting to slow things down to see what they are doing. The Rook spotted me and departed so there was some food left in the cage for the other birds.

    It was a bit colder here, just under 2C and ice forming on the pools of water but at least that strange orange ball in the sky has reappeared after going AWOL for about a week.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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