Monday motivation

There’s nothing like capturing an image you have wanted to achieve all year, to provide a bit of Monday Motivation! I’ve spent a lot of time watching the house sparrows this summer, and seen my fair share of courtship and mating behaviour, but capturing that crucial moment has always proved illusive. The birds are often…

Bird Behaviour: Food sharing

Many species of bird will share food with each other, a behaviour known as allo-feeding. This most commonly occurs between parents feeding their chicks however it is also seen among adults, particularly during the breeding season and as part of courtship behaviour. But why should a bird waste energy feeding it’s partner who is more…

Love is in the air

Although capable of breeding year round (provided they can find enough food) the harbour pigeons have waited for the welcome return of warmer weather before beginning their breeding efforts. Now this spring is well underway, the quiet morning air is regularly filled with the sounds of the male pigeons soft cooing calls as they strut…

Spring fever

As spring fever grips the country, here in Aberystwyth the mallard population have kicked off their breeding season with a bout of enthusiastic courtship displays. The purpose of such behaviour is for the males to demonstrate their health and desirability as a mate, and for the females to choose the best fathers for their offspring….

Love birds

Rather surprisingly, Pigeons are one of the few species of birds who are truly monogamous, often forming lifelong pairs. Unlike most wild birds they are also capable of reproducing all year round, provided conditions are favourable and their is enough food for the adults and chicks. With the sun shining I have been spending a…

Three’s company

With Autumn now in full swing, mallards are turning their attention to finding a mate for the breeding season ahead. Whilst these ducks are usually monogamous, it would appear the mallards here in Aberystwyth have decided to do things a little differently. One particular female appears to have paired up with two males, something almost…

Gulls behaving badly

With their ear splitting calls, quarrelsome nature and less than savoury table manors it’s easy to see why the Herring Gull has earned a bad reputation as an urban menace, somewhat unfairly in my opinion. Gull are in fact highly opportunistic, adaptable and very intelligent birds , with complex social lives. Now that the nesting…

Shall we dance?

With full bellies and the sun warm on their backs the pigeon flock were feeling in a flirtatious mood today, with the males keen to strut their stuff and impress a mate. During courtship the male birds puff out their neck feathers to look as big and impressive as possible and emphasize the iridescence green…

Swan courtship

This morning I experienced one of those “right place, right time” moments. No sooner had I got down into the harbour with my camera, did I find the resident pair of Mute Swans acting unusually. They were swimming in very close contact and dipping their heads into the water and preening their wing feathers in…

Mating Chaffinches

Whilst the sun may not have been shining today this didn’t seem to have dampened the spirits of the local bird life during a brief visit to an area known as ‘the ditch’.  Read more about this habitat here. All around birds were busy singing, courting & collecting nesting materials in preparation for the breeding…