Why this nutty be­hav­iour?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

Q Why do our Goldfinches and Blue/great Tits throw their seed and nuts over their shoul­ders on to the ground while eat­ing, the tits prior to tak­ing a nut. Could it be a ploy to stop oth­ers from muscling in? Chris Garner, Ch­ester

A That’s a dif­fi­cult one to an­swer. If it’s mixed seed that’s be­ing used, it’s pos­si­ble that the Goldfinches are ef­fec­tively sort­ing out the seeds that they like (such as black niger seed) from those more dif­fi­cult to eat. That, how­ever, wouldn’t ex­plain why the tits do the same with the nuts. So, it might also be that some of the food has been sit­ting around and is go­ing bad, and that the birds are get­ting rid of the inedible nuts in the search for bet­ter ones.

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