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Country diary 1918: birds stirred by the promise of better times

31.12.2017
Příroda
1 January 1918 It was from a food-hunting flock of tits, vigorously working from tree to tree, that a great tit detached itself with harsh cries of alarmThe birds are not sentimental; the death of the old year, the passing of time, does not worry them. They know that winter is a strenuous season, for food is hard to find and every beakful means a search; perhaps they feel at times that the days are lengthening and are stirred by the promise of better times, but beyond that the close of one year and the opening of the next have no meaning. It was from a food-hunting flock of tits, vigorously working from tree to tree, that a great tit detached itself with harsh cries of alarm. It came down from the upper twigs, dropping from bough to bough, until, still scolding, it was just above my head, and there, jerking its body from side to side, it made emphatic remarks in tit language. Mr. Hudson, in Birds and Man, tells how some Surrey goldcrests mobbed him because, he believed they mistook his tweed cap for a coiled-up cat. If this tit made a similar mistake it was surely short-sighted; I am rather inclined to the view that it had, even so early, felt the first vernal instincts that move the birds to seek mates and hunt for suitable nesting sites, and which later cause them to look upon intruders in the woods as possible enemies. Related: Goldcrest combs the gorse for slim pickings Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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