Gathering Birds

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Why do birds gather in large groups some evenings?  I have seen (and heard) this happen numerous times in our suburban neighbourhood, mostly in autumn.  This picture was taken in late August this year; hundreds of blackbirds, or possibly crows, roosting in the dead tree and a few live trees surrounding the dead one.  The birds in the dead tree show up well against the evening sky, while the others blend in better with the leaves on the trees.

I looked into this behaviour, but cannot seem to find a definitive answer.  Some say the birds gather as a “stop over” on their migration route, others say the birds gather as a form of protection from predators.  I have a hard time believing that these very large birds need protection from much of anything in this neighbourhood.   They can be very aggressive, especially on garbage pick up day, when I have seen them tear garbage bags apart, flinging pieces of garbage several feet as they scavenge for food.

Whatever the reason for their gathering may be, they sure do make a racket!  Their noise brings to mind an English class years ago when my teacher explained the word “cacophony”   http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/cacophony    That about sums in up.  I am glad the houses they choose to gather behind are a few blocks away from mine…

2 thoughts on “Gathering Birds

  1. I can never see a gathering of birds like you’re describing without thinking of Alfred Hitchock’s “The Birds.” LOL! I don’t know why they gather, but they always look to me like they’re hatching up a plan to wreak havoc somewhere! 🙂

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