Friday, July 21, 2006

The Grozzer's an escape - now there's a surprise!

Pine Grosbeak Herts| July 06 | (c) Mike Weedon

Birdguides today issued the following message -

"The Essex/Herts Pine Grosbeak is now known to have escaped from an aviary.
The finder wrote (with a photograph) to Cage and Aviary Birds magazine and has now spoken to the owner. The bird (actually a "red female") escaped on June 23rd"

But was it simply desperation that saw so many head to Herts so tick-hungry? Or is it simply the silly season in the real season of the phrase, summer months usually tick free and most getting withdrawels? And what of the dribble people preach in support of birds like this being wild when, IMHO, they are clearly an escape (and proved to be in this instance, which makes me feel very smug!).

Is there anything to be learnt from this? Well I think so. There is clearly a difference between a bird being approachable and a bird approaching humans. Pine Grosbeaks are well-known for their tameness in the wild, with records of ringers picking them up. But flying towards people carry bowls of water? Being sniffed/licked by a Labrador? If these events are true then this in my mind is something more than being unafraid of humans - this is clearly being used to humans.

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