Facts About Birds Part 6
Woodpeckers have long been associated with water and it is believed that a woodpecker’s drumming indicates that rain is on its way.
In Shetland the red-throated diver is considered one of the best weather indicators, short cries, and flying inland indicated fine weather, while long, plaintive cries and flying out to sea, wet weather.
The shag’s name is an ancient one. Shag means ‘tufted’ and is a reference to the small quiff on the front of their head.
The crop milk that wood pigeons feed their young with is even more nutritious than human or cow’s milk.
Barn owls have such good hearing that they can locate prey by sound alone.
Whitethroats are said to ‘scold’ any observers it sees as it perches on top of a bush, due the nature of its rapid churring call.
Unmated male swallows are frequent visitors to the nest of just hatched chicks and it is not uncommon for these males to kill the young nestlings and then pair with the female who then has to start a new family.
The oldest recorded starling found in the wild was 21 years old.
Both male and female yellowlegs provide parental care to the young, but the female tends to leave the breeding area before the chicks can fly leaving the male to defend the young until fledging.
Stock Doves have been known to nest in rabbit holes, and East Anglian warreners used to place crossed-sticks over the entrance so the parents could continue to feed the chicks but were prevented them from leaving the nest so they could be taken later for the pot.