Facts About Birds 5
The goldfinch symbolises endurance, fruitfulness, persistence and passion and is considered a ‘saviour’ bird. Because of this it was used during medieval times as a charm to ward off the plague.
In autumn, many blackbirds migrate west with British birds moving towards Ireland and European birds moving into the UK. For this reason the blackbird in your garden in winter may not be the same bird that you saw in spring.
Long-tailed tits are sometimes described as ‘avian sheep’ as they follow each other around and always stick together.
Bee-eaters require around 225 bees a day when they are raising their young; they first rub the bees on their perch to remove the sting.
The scientific name of the chaffinch, coelebs, deriving from the Latin for bachelor, was given by Linnaeus, who only saw male chaffinches in his native Sweden. Females from its northern breeding grounds winter further south.
Coots are aggressive birds, both to other species and their own and have even been known to kill their own young, usually the youngest of the brood if they have too many to feed successfully.
Unlike many waterbirds, which forage while swimming, dippers feed while walking underwater along the riverbed.
The nuthatch is the only tree climbing bird that can move head-first downwards as well as up.
The puffin’s beak is serrated to help hold onto fish, and it has been recorded holding up to 83 sand eels in its large colourful beak.
Redshanks are also known as ‘sentinels of the marshes’ as they are usually the first bird to be disturbed, flying off with a noisy cry.