THE SISKIN’S UN­USUAL FEED­ING BE­HAV­IOUR

Bird Watching (UK) - - Species Siskin -

The Siskin is one of only a hand­ful of species that ex­hibit a be­hav­iour known as ‘allofeed­ing’. Within the win­ter feed­ing flocks, a hi­er­ar­chi­cal struc­ture forms, lead­ing to dom­i­nant males and dom­i­nant fe­males. Sub­or­di­nate mem­bers of the flock pro­vide food for the more dom­i­nant mem­bers by re­gur­gi­tat­ing the seeds that they have al­ready ground up and pre­sent­ing it to the more dom­i­nant birds. It is be­lieved that this helps form strong bonds within the flock, which, in turn, should make the unit as a whole more ef­fi­cient in find­ing food sources, as well as be­ing more alert when it comes to spot­ting po­ten­tial preda­tors. This be­hav­iour is very un­usual in the bird world, so keep an eye out for it when watch­ing these colour­ful finches.

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