Stéphane’s Blog for May 13, 2011

A Tale of Tail-less Birds!

Today, rain stopped short the banding: in a little more than 1.5 hours, we only caught 3 birds, which shows that very few birds were moving around anyway, in this cold, north wind, foggy, and rainy day!

At migration time, one sees a lot of birds, which, sometimes, produces interesting findings. This spring, we observed 3 birds of 3 species with… no tail! One was a Red-winged Blackbird. Another one was a Turkey Vulture! It did give it a distinctive and odd silhouette, contrasting with its tailed friends. And the last one was a Brown Creeper. It was climbing up a tree, like Creepers do all the time, but without a tail, it was a struggle and it needed to flutter its wings a lot to get some thrust. It obviously couldn’t use its tail as a prop, like any respectable creeper does.

Nature can be weird!