By Diane Darrow who blogs at Another Year in Recipes
We think of birds as creatures of the air but they also spend time on the ground, and it’s interesting to see the different ways they behave there. A bench in my neighborhood’s public garden makes an entertaining theater for observing how birds move about.
House sparrows usually get around by hopping. With their short legs, a single step can cover only a few inches, but a two-legged hop takes them much farther and when they get up some momentum, they can bounce across the ground like wind-up mechanical toys.
Most of our other local birds walk though blue jays flying in for a landing sometimes take a few hops when they first touch down, like a taxiing airplane.
Robins on the hunt are businesslike. They take brief runs across the grass, then stop short and cock their heads, listening for worms and other underground insects. Then off again to another spot.
Mourning doves, by contrast, wander aimlessly, seeming confused – as if they’d lost something somewhere but can’t quite remember what.
Rock pigeons strut around like self-important dignitaries but the constant nodding of their heads back and forth with each step somewhat spoils the effect.
Starlings march across the grass with determination, like an old-time cop on the beat. Crows stride casually but aggressively, conveying a clear don’t-mess-with-me message.
Each in its own way, birds act out their roles on Nature’s stage.
EDITORIAL NOTE: We have worked our way through the initial batch of reader stories and beginning next week, I will start publishing second stories from some of the same writers.
So – you may now start sending new stories whether you have published previously or not. Instructions are here. Only one story. Please.