Blackbird in Movember

As you all know it is Movember, the month when people grow a moustache for charity. The Security people at Salt’s Mill (Jayfort) are taking part and many of the Pace employees have signed their sponsorship form.Nick in Movember mood

This is Nick trying to hide the fact that nothing seems to grow on his top lip.

(The photo of Nick is not on Flickr but you can click on it, as you can with the others, to see a larger version if you want to have a closer look at that tasty moustache.)

What I didn’t realise was that the birds of Robert’s Park were getting in on the act. I had heard that some birds had bristles at the sides of their beaks to help them catch insects whilst flying; but that is not how Blackbirds feed.

This male Blackbird has an excellent set of oriental style whiskers but I am not sure what purpose they serve. I couldn’t see a Movember sponsorship form anywhere.

Blackbird in Movember

Perhaps they are the opposite of a cat’s whiskers. I used to believe that a cat’s whiskers were to gauge whether it could fit through a hole or not. I have doubted that idea since I was about 6. Our cat didn’t get stuck in any gaps in the hedges or fences after I had snipped an inch off its whiskers. It still came running when the dish of KitiKat was put out.

So are the bird’s whiskers to gauge how big a piece of food is before the bird tries to swallow it?

Yep. This berry fits between its whiskers.

Blackbird and Holly Berry

So down it goes. But surely that’s got to hurt?

Blackbird and Holly Berry

This Redwing does not look as though it is taking part in Movember and is eating slightly smaller and softer Yew berries.

Redwing with Yew Berry, Robert's Park

But this Mistle Thrush is showing off a bit. It can play “catch” with its food.

Mistle Thrush with Yew Berry, Robert's Park

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