do birds protect each other

Many birds are thought to cozy up to seemingly dangerous “protector” species to help defend their young from predators and to prevent other species from laying eggs in their nest. These protectors aren’t saving chicks out of the goodness of their heart. More often, protection is a by-product of actions protectors take to defend their own nests or territories. The peregrine falcon, for example, can easily run off foxes that dare to dream of snacking on a falcon chick or egg. Both Canada geese in the Canadian Arctic, and red-breasted geese in the Eurasian Arctic have figured out that building their nests nearby is like installing a home security system. Security is so good, that red-breasted geese have more healthy young when nesting near peregrines and other raptors like snowy owls.

Protectors aren’t always as big as alligators and birds of prey. Social insects like ants and wasps can be very convincing when it comes to deterring nest predators — just ask the yellow-rumped Cacique that makes it’s home in the Amazon basin. These songbirds build their nests right beside colonies of Polistine wasps whose presence helps shield their young from monkeys, snakes, botflies and other bird species. The red-cheeked cordonbleu has been observed building nests within a couple of feet of Ropalidia wasp colonies, and have twice the number of healthy babies as a result. Meanwhile, the Rufous-naped wren of southern Mexico and Central America is thought to prefer nesting in swollen-thorn acacia trees crawling with aggressive ant colonies, though this relationship is proving to be more complex than once thought.

One strategy that birds have evolved to protect their eggs and young is to nest close to a species that serves as a protector. Even though there is still much to learn about how these associations function, knowing more could be crucial given that many bird species are seeing population declines due to threats like habitat loss and climate change. No matter how odd, counterintuitive, or dangerous these relationships may seem, it may turn out that the best conservation strategies safeguard these crucial connections.

The mouth of an American alligator is a yawning chasm spiked with 80 teeth that can clamp shut with the strength required to lift a small truck. It seems a poor choice for birds like storks and herons to build their nests on tree limbs that reach out over the waters alligators call home, yet we now know the location comes with benefits. The nests of these wading birds are less likely to be raided for chicks and eggs by snakes, opossums and raccoons—species that are fearful of getting too close to the gator’s maw. The alligators benefit from the relationship too, especially in the form of bird snacks that rain from the sky when parents boot rejected chicks and eggs from the nest. It’s a gruesome yet beneficial arrangement — one that is not entirely unique to wading birds and alligators of the Florida Everglades.

In addition, reading the letter written by the woman who attempted to protect the bird from the jay brought back memories of our summertime adventures. We had been observing the development of baby birds in our nest. When a jay arrived and took the babies away one Saturday afternoon, it appeared as though they were about to leave the nest. Despite the parents’ best efforts to keep it at bay, the jay eventually took all of the babies.

As you mentioned, I covered that window with newspaper very rapidly, and the birds swiftly made their way through the berries before disappearing. I’m sure your advice saved countless birds. We have never had so many birds eating the berries!.

Dear Karen: Oh, yes. Other birds nearby may occasionally sound a racket to alert other birds to potential danger if a squirrel, hawk, cat, or other animal grabs a bird or seems to be a threat.

By the way, those large wild turkeys always fly through windows rather than into them.

Once again, thank you! My 7-year-old was overjoyed to see that my question was published in the newspaper!


Do birds help each other?

They discovered through a variety of means that not only do the birds cooperate with each other; they did so in such a way as to enhance the safety of their families over long periods of time. This proved beneficial in many ways.

Do birds care about other birds?

Birds will sometimes care for the offspring of other birds of their own species if they anticipate future benefits. Being tolerated in another bird’s territory and the chance to inherit that territory later are considered rewards for which some birds are willing to postpone their own chance of reproduction.

Are mother birds protective?

After the family leaves the nest, parents’ literally take the young under their wings, to brood and protect them. As the babies grow, turning from dark to light, they spend a lot of time riding on their parents’ backs.

Do birds defend themselves?

Defensive Behavior Individual birds defend themselves in different ways. When approached, some birds may call loudly or hiss. The vocalizations are often at a higher pitch and a sharper note, sometimes repeated angrily until the disturbance ends.