This week has been fun and busy again but, I’ve been thinking – loads of things happen in Autumn so, thought we’d have a look at some more of them. They’ll be lots of scary Halloween things coming into the shops soon and adverts for local Fireworks Night Displays but, we’ll talk about those in a couple of weeks.
There are a couple of things you can do to prepare for those events: if you and your fiends are building a bonfire; keep an eye out that no hedgehogs make their winter nest in the bottom (check it each week and on the night) and if you have a dog or cat or little pet who’s not keen on big bangs and flashes – think about getting advice from your vet now, this week, about products and ways you can help it all be a little less stressful. Don’t mind saying; me and my cat sisters are pretty scared of fireworks and we stay very close to mum!! My fiend Rufus hides under loads and loads of cushions!
Back to other Autumn things: the bird world gets really busy. Me and my fiends love watching the Starlings doing that crazy flying thing. It’s brilliant; hundreds of Starlings collect together in trees, or on piers, or TV aerials or on roofs and all sing together, like a massive out of tune school choir. This is called roosting and then suddenly – they all take off together, flying in patterns all over the sky, whizzing about, looking like they can’t decide which way to go but, all staying together and going in the same direction!
Loads of Starlings flying together like this is called; ‘murmurations’, my fiend Moja says it looks like Bird Ballet! Bird experts think they do it as protection, that’s ‘safety in numbers’, or it’s a way of signposting the place to roost to other Starlings that are new to the area. I think the ‘safety in numbers’ idea is true – when they’re all flying together it can look like a giant shadow monster!! Which is pretty scary if you think about it?!?
The other thing Starlings and birds of all types do in Autumn is get ready to migrate – that means they fly off to live somewhere else for the colder months, like a winter holiday. So, some of those new Starlings flying around near your house could well be winter visitors from Eastern Europe who have come to the UK as, our winter is warmer than theirs! You can often spot birds flying in a V shape formation in the winter skies when they are heading off to warmer places.
Some Swans, fly all the way to the Arctic as, it has a really good short summer there when it’s cold here. And in the Artic Summer there’s twenty-four-hour daylight and loads of food to fatten them up before the flight home. What a long way to go for a slap up meal – Joe Allens would be easier and nearer!
Birds are fast and can go anywhere if they have enough energy so, they can fly to the best places for food and to live safely through the winter. The RSPB website and books are a great place to get more info.
There’s lots of reasons birds migrate but, the experts think that sometimes it’s just because they can! But some don’t go at all including, the beautiful Red Kite which is the bird on the left below.
Until next week, keep your eyes open for Starlings and their Bird Ballet and see if you can spot flocks of birds migrating.
Have a good week fiends