Birds of a feather flock to­gether

Record Observer - - Opinion - By JUDY E. MELVIN EDELHEIT

Power lines are like trees, help­ing to pro­vide safe and high perches for birds. It is also a rest­ing area to sur­vey the area be­low for preda­tors, to find mates or food sources. The flock­ing of birds is a be­hav­ior called “stag­ing” as they sit close to­gether when in the amidst of mi­gra­tion.

Birds such as these star­lings face the same way into the di­rec­tion of the on­com­ing wind mak­ing it eas­ier for tak­ing off and land­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing. As long as they are only in con­tact with one power line, they are not form­ing a com­plete cir­cuit, there­fore elec­tric­ity does not flow through them. Also, they are not good con­duc­tors of elec­tric­ity.

It is al­ways fas­ci­nat­ing to watch these birds con­gre­gate and hud­dle on power lines, like wait­ing for a con­cert. Birds are so­cial an­i­mals and like to in­ter­act with each other.

The feet of perch­ing birds are adapted to grab­bing onto branches and power lines by lock­ing their toes around. They can be seen at dusk or sun­rise and late sum­mer and early or late fall.

PHOTO BY JUDY E. MELVIN EDELHEIT

Birds on a wire

JUDY E. MELVIN EDELHEIT

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