SUB­TLETIES OF BEHAVIOUR

Bird Watching (UK) - - August Id Challenge -

In ad­di­tion to slight dif­fer­ences in shape, struc­ture and plumage, many seem­ingly sim­i­lar war­bler species dif­fer slightly in their behaviour. For ex­am­ple, Whitethroats are much less skulk­ing and in­tro­verted than Lesser Whitethroats, which usu­ally re­main hid­den, while the for­mer read­ily perch in full view. Shy­ness is taken to ex­tremes by grasshop­per war­blers, which creep around veg­e­ta­tion out of sight, and also birds such as Barred War­bler, which can stay in a sin­gle bush for hours, un­seen! Other behaviour to look out for in­clude tail dip­ping. For ex­am­ple, Chif­fchaffs ha­bit­u­ally dip their tails con­stantly, while the sim­i­lar Wil­low War­bler tends to dip only on alight­ing. Some birds, no­tably Phyl­lo­sco­pus war­blers, are fid­gety and con­stantly ac­tive, while oth­ers such as the scarce Hip­po­lais war­blers are al­to­gether more slow-mo and seem­ingly lethar­gic in their ac­tions.

Barred War­blers are usu­ally in­cred­i­bly skulk­ing, stay­ing well within cover

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