Bird Watching (UK) - - What To See And How To See It -


Num­ber of nuthatch species on the Bri­tish List


Num­ber of times Red-breasted Nuthatch has oc­curred in UK (Nor­folk, 1989)


Year of discovery (5 Oc­to­ber) of en­demic Al­ge­rian Nuthatch by Jean-pierre Ledant BIRDS AS BIRD­WATCH­ERS


Length in cm of the Gi­ant Nuthatch, an Asi­atic species


Length in cm of the Pygmy Nuthatch, a North Amer­i­can species

Birds have good eye­sight, but they also have ex­cel­lent skills as ob­servers of other birds. Many birds are good at see­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing po­ten­tial preda­tors and, as bird­watch­ers. We can put this to good use to find birds of prey, our­selves. Some birds, no­tably Star­lings, tits and hirundines, pro­duce dis­tinc­tive calls and may bunch to gather in odd scat­tered ways when a bird of prey, such as a Spar­rowhawk, is ap­proach­ing. Ex­pe­ri­enced bird­watch­ers may hear th­ese calls and ‘an­nounce’ a Spar­rowhawk be­fore it is even in view. Sim­i­larly, if you hear gulls or Rooks mak­ing un­usual calls over­head, this may be a sign that they have found a larger bird of prey to ‘mob’ (be it a Buz­zard, a har­rier or even a Red Kite or an Os­prey). Fi­nally, par­tic­u­larly at wet­land sites where there are many birds present, you may see waves of birds take the air in panic, which usu­ally means the close pres­ence of a hunt­ing Pere­grine or other fal­con, or per­haps a Marsh Har­rier or sim­i­larly sized bird of prey.

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