Oregon Field Ornithologists

Why are birds flocking together?

The birds usually flock together to protect themselves from the predators. It is because of this reason; we can find the bird of same kind tends to stay together. Within the birds, we can find different characteristics for different members. Some birds flock together whole year round. They include crows, doves, jays, waxwings, and so on. Few birds flock together only during winter. Those birds include titmice, cardinals, chickadees, blue birds and so on. The number of flocking birds in a group cannot be predefined. The flocking numbers can vary from few 10’s to millions. The number of birds flocking each other depends on the species of the birds. There are some species of birds which does not flock together. They live a solitary life. Some of the examples of the solitary birds are wrens, humming birds, hawks and woodpeckers.

There are many birds that like to live alone and are largely apart from other birds. Not all birds love the company of other birds. They tend to live alone. These solitary birds are many in number. Not all birds tend to flock together always. For example, one can usually see a lone Egret in a mission to find food. They usually eat alone. The bird: Bittern which is similar to the species of Egrets and herons usually live a solitary life.

The solitary bird: There are many characteristics that define a solitary bird. These birds can fly to the highest places. They do not prefer to flock with other birds, not even the birds of it’s own kind. Another characteristic of the lonely bird is that they usually seem to keep the beak in the direction of the wind flow. Those birds do not have a fixed color. Usually these solitary birds sing sweetly. The solitary bird mostly includes the class of birds called predators. Some species of predators too migrate in flocks. Few birds like to be on their own, they prefer the magic of solitude. Being alone does not mean that these birds are sad or depressed.

Advantages of the birds flocking together

The main advantage of flocking together is for protection. Being in a group can confuse as well as distract the predators. Flocking together helps to find the mates. Few birds fly together to keep the energy and facilities each member of the flock to communicate and see each other. When the birds flock together at night, it can help them to conserve the heat during the cold conditions.

Advantages of solitary birds

The solitary path followed by the birds helps them to get protection from the predators by remaining quiet thus stay unnoticed by the enemies. These solitary birds can find food without any competition. It was seen largely that birds having lot of food available in their environment tends to flock together. That bird which does not have much food near the dwellings tends to stay solitary and search food alone. For solitary birds there are no competitions for finding the mates. The solitary birds usually remain healthy because there are no or little chances for the spread of diseases. For the birds which flock together, there are always chances for the spread of diseases. Another advantage of being solitary is that they can roost in a small area at night without getting noticed by the enemies.

Oregon Field Ornithologists. P.O. Box 10373, Eugene, OR 97440