Monthly Archives: February 2014

Have you ever thought about how birds eat berries? No? Then read on for some fascinating stuff!

All of us will have seen Blackbirds and other birds eating berries.  They sit there and gulp the fruit down: end of story.  Except that, actually, it’s not.  Studies (see below) have shown that berry eating birds vary in how they take the fruit, how successful they are at doing so, and how able they are to swallow it.  As a consequence different species of birds vary in which species of berries they eat, and how good they are at doing it. Continue reading

‘Good’ berry eaters, ‘bad’ ones, and what berry plants do about it

From the viewpoint of a plant that produces berries the birds that eat its berries can be grouped into two – the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones.  The basis for this grouping lies in the reasons why plants commit all the effort into producing berries – to get their seeds dispersed to new growing sites.  This is supposed to work through a bird eating the berries, digesting the ‘pulp’ part, and then either regurgitating or defecating the seed(s) back out.  Birds that do this are called ‘Seed dispersers’ and are therefore ‘good’.  The various thrushes are in this group. Continue reading

Forget-me-not’s – humble little flowers with some interesting symbolism

Forget-me-not’s are common flowers that grow just about anywhere, apart from the sea shore – waste ground, arable field margins, verges, stream banks the coast,  and hedgerows.  There are 15 species, which look similar to each other.  They are typically found growing with flowers such as Speedwell, Groundsel, Fumitory, Knotgrasses. Continue reading