Creature Feature

Creature Feature – These Gifts Are “for the Birds!”

Posted by  //  December 21, 2020  //  Articles, Creature Feature

‘Tis the season for exchanging gifts with the special people in our lives, but did you know that some wildlife species practice gift-giving, too?

Birds commonly offer gifts to one another.  The male belted kingfisher catches fish to feed his partner, and the cardinal tenderly presents seeds to his mate.  Cedar waxwings pass berries to one another.  Meanwhile, the female cowbird sneaks into the nests of other bird species to lay her eggs, leaving the clueless gift recipients the task of raising her young:  the ultimate Secret Santa!

The male crow frequently feeds his mate during courtship to strengthen the pair bond and demonstrate he is a worthy provider.  Crows can also bond with other species that, for one reason or another, become important to them.  Such special friends – like people who rescue or routinely feed wild crows — may discover little presents left nearby:  pebbles, tin can pull-tabs, pine sprigs, buttons, rusty screws, bones, crab claws and small dead things.  Some believe these are tokens of appreciation.  If you think such odd gifts are “for the birds,” consider that crows occasionally bring their special people pieces of lost jewelry or other shiny baubles.  

Birds offer such joy.  You can give back with the gift of a well-stocked bird feeder this winter.

Happy Holidays!

Article by Margie Manthey

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