It’s not unusual for a group of mixed species to fly together for protection and to forage for food. If you take a walk in the woods you may observe that certain birds gather together in a relatively small space, while the remainder of the woodland is empty.
|New York :Macmillan,1895. biodiversitylibrary.org/page/13201239|
|Black-capped Chickadee: Nature’s Backyard Charmer|
But even though these birds work together to survive there are still scuffles and fights to determine hierarchy. Sometimes it’s based on size; the larger Hairy Woodpeckers are more dominant over the smaller Downy Woodpecker which is more dominant than the White-breasted Nuthatch, which can be more dominant then the titmouse which is always more dominant than the chickadee. Dominance may also be determine through age and gender. An older male titmouse may find he’s socially dominant over a young female nuthatch.
Socially dominate tree-foraging birds get first choice at where they want to feed on the tree. This may be why the little least dominant chickadee has developed a special ability to charm humans into giving them treats. At my feeding stations I try to keep all the birds happy with a variety of foods at different levels and in different locations around the yard.
- Do Birds Eat Only at Certain Levels? http://goo.gl/vgE94
- Why feed birds in the fall http://goo.gl/Jq4Aj
- You get more birds if you feed year-round http://goo.gl/IsJKJ
- Shilly-shallying Golden-crowned Kinglet: Adorable! http://goo.gl/d50zT
- Black-capped Chickadee: Nature’s Backyard Charmer http://goo.gl/ji1vh