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View Diary: Daily Bucket--Fractured Parable; The Ungrateful Killdeer (87 comments)

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  •  MM, you are providing, in my opinion, (13+ / 0-)

    valuable analysis on both a critter and human level.  I've thought about these issues at length and yet you are bringing up factors that hadn't occurred to me.

    You are right, many of the blackbird warnings are useless to many birds, especially the larger birds, and the warnings about herons also.  If a bird reacts every time a blackbird squawks, it will have little time to eat or tend its young or perform other mundane bird duties.

     I recollect reading some studies that contrasted the "survivability" of species that were "super-alert" against potential predators, versus those who would concentrate on eating (or sex) and ignore other stimulus.  Super alertness was not necessarily the best tactic.

    To review my Bucket's initial reasoning, I'd noticed repeated occasions when blackbirds harassed hawks who then promptly left the scene.  Then the blackbirds all left.  A few days later, I noticed evidence of preyed-on killdeer, by air-based predators. Another day later, a harrier hawk cruised over, unmolested by blackbirds,  so low it almost knocked off my hat.  Now the red tail hawks routinely visit the pasture areas.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 10:57:29 AM PST

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