Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jay Walking on the Lawn

I looked out of the window and saw this:

It just looked like a strange, brownish blob. Closer investigation revealed that it was a bird, in fact a young bird, judging from the way it just looked helplessly at the bread I'd put out and fluttered its wings.

It was quite a large chick, too.

Only when its parents turned up to feed it could I work out what it was - it was a baby jay. The adults are much more colourful, of course - in fact one of our actors once saw one out of the window and said "There's a tropical bird in your garden!"

Jays are supposed to live in woodland - - but there's a path across the road from our house that leads down to the woods, and there are plenty of big trees in our garden. So I expect that the jays think that our house is woodland with added bread, seeds and nuts.

Also on the lawn were some wood pigeons, which are large and round and really just there as target practice for Wendy the Teenage Kitten, and the magpie family - parents and two large, nearly fully grown chicks.

As the magpies strode purposefully across the lawn, I wondered this: Why do some birds walk and other birds hop? I think we should be told.

6 Comments:

Blogger Ian Appleby said...

Ooh, me, miss! Pick me!

Actually, for some reason, I'd assumed you'd be familiar with Romany of the BBC, arguably the man (weren't they all, in those days?) who blazed the trail for Sir David and the rest of the TV naturalists. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his books when I was young, and these were the books that my dad and his sister had read when they were that age themselves. I swear that all the natural lore I know - and I'm very much a city boy at heart, even if the best thing about Bradford is that you can get out of it quickly - comes from those pages.

So, anyway, where was I? Oh, yes: those birds that spend most of their time in trees and hedges hop, as though from branch to branch, even if on a uniform surface, whereas those that spend time on the ground tend to, well, walk.

12:18 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I was going to say that the birds that hop pop in to shop and the birds that walk just gawk and talk.

Never mind.

12:37 pm  
Blogger Jennyta said...

The answer to that, I was told in top juniors, is that the ones that walk have brains that are more developed with two hemisphees, hence they can move their legs independently.

2:05 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

All that wildlife in suburban Leeds! Why that city is as good as a jungle - further evidence being that lots of Leeds United supporters are animals.

5:26 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Ian - - ahh, yes, I loved Romany and firmly believed he lived in a "varda" gipsy caravan - - I still have a couple of the books. But I'd forgotten your bird-hopping info - -makes sense! But could the hoppers walk if they wanted to? I think not!
Bob - you could be right. It's a theory. Pretty good for a Sunday.
Jenny - another good theory.
YP - hello from the rural haven of Leeds, where all the animals I know are very civilised!

5:40 pm  
Blogger Dizzy said...

Daphne mentioned 'the rural haven of Leeds, where all the animals I know are very civilised!'

Yeah, it's just some of the people there who aren't (runs and hides from most of my family, who now live in the area)

9:48 am  

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