eirias: (Default)
[personal profile] eirias
On my walk home from lunch today, I saw a couple of black-capped chickadees tussling near the sidewalk. They fell to the ground and wriggled; they seemed to be stuck to each other. They stopped moving. Hmm.

I came up close and I could see them breathing -- it looked pained, but then, everything is fast on chickadee scales. They were belly-to-belly, head-to-tail. One chickadee had its claws in a death grip on the other's wing. Were they hurt? Should I separate them? Touching them with my hands could be bad for them and for me. I took a twig and tried to gently move them apart, but no dice.

I thought, well, maybe Animal Control has some idea. I spent a while listening to an unhelpful recorded message, keeping my eye on the birds. Suddenly, in a flurry, they separated and flew to a nearby rooftop, as if everything were normal.

I have no idea what that was about.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-20 08:12 pm (UTC)
miang: Miang Hawwa (with Opiomorph), Xenogears: May God's love be with you (and there's nothing I can do). (Default)
From: [personal profile] miang (from livejournal.com)
I don't either, but it makes me really happy that you'd try to intervene. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-20 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eirias.livejournal.com
:) I had no idea what to do, honestly! Chickadees are so cute and I hated the thought of leaving them there to die if something was really wrong, but I didn't want to make it worse. They're so tiny...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-20 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] corpsefairy.livejournal.com
I think you saw some chickadee sex.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-20 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eirias.livejournal.com
See, I thought about that, but a) it is so not mating season, because nobody wants babies born in the Wisconsin winter, and b) it would have had to be chickadee 69, and not very involved 69 at that.

I mean... the songbird sex I've seen in the past was nothing like this; that sex was rapid and fluttery and vaguely coercive and in the end she pecked him in the face and flew off. This looked, if anything, more like butterfly sex, inscrutably boring.

But maybe this pair is really kinky or something. Who knows?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-20 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] corpsefairy.livejournal.com
Ah, I misread your description; I thought they were head-to-head. It could have been very inexperienced chickadee sex, but yeah, I have no idea what that was about.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-20 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chilimuffin.livejournal.com
Did they have the same coloring? Because male chickadees and female chickadees are dissimilar, so if they were alike, then it was most likely two male chickadees having a territory fight... establishing a pecking order or something.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-20 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eirias.livejournal.com
Similar, as far as I could tell. The cap on one looked a little spottier. What do female chickadees look like? I looked in bird guides online but I didn't see anything about sexual dimorphism.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-21 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chilimuffin.livejournal.com
stupid me, I didn't see the black-capped, and I was thinking of yellow chickadees (because that's what's outside my place). They have dimorphism. Apparently the black-capped ones don't (I'm not much of a birder). I still place my bet on territorial fighting, if only because I don't think cloacas are really built for 69-ing ;).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-21 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eirias.livejournal.com
Ohh! I don't think I know the yellow ones :). There're some neat birds up near where you live in Madison, I think. One of these weekends G and I are going to drive up to Cherokee Marsh and see what we can see...

But yeah, I think you're right that it's probably territorial. It sounded from something I read online like chickadees flock in winter and that hierarchy-establishment is part of flocking? Not sure.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-21 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] drspiff.livejournal.com
Chances are chickadees are bemused and confused in the same way by most human behavior they observe.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-21 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vfoxy.livejournal.com
Nonetheless when it comes down to wooing, I'm glad we don't know what we're doing....

(Peter and Lou Berryman). :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-21 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ovariance.livejournal.com
Even tiny people are territorial. Even tiny boys can be jerks too.

Profile

eirias: (Default)
eirias

December 2016

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags