One memorable sequence from Sir David Attenborough's stellar Life of Birds documentary is that of a black egret (or black heron -- I've seen both, but aside from color it looks remarkably like the North American snowy and reddish egrets), "umbrella fishing".
I never thought I'd have a chance to see that in person. But it turns out black herons aren't the only birds to do that. This winter, we saw a grey-headed junco doing essentially the same thing in our back yard!
This little junco performed its umbrella trick almost like the black heron from Life of Birds, though it didn't hide its head underneath. Still, it might some day: it was still perfecting its technique as we watched over the course of a couple of weeks.
Alas, after that the bird must have moved on; all the juncos we're seeing now just hop and scratch and fly and fight, the normal junco behaviors.
But it was fun while it lasted. Too bad none of the other juncos
picked up the technique.
Watch the clip from Life of Birds (with someone's silly vocals added on top -- I couldn't find the actual Life of Birds clip):
[ 14:38 Mar 16, 2021 More nature/birds | permalink to this entry | ]