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20798 Views 5 Replies Last post: Feb 3, 2012 12:12 PM by jaguarondi RSS
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Feb 2, 2012 1:19 PM

Birds hop or walk?

Some birds, hop, others, such as crows and starlings, walk.  Why?
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2012 9:19 AM (in response to Drosophila)
    Re: Birds hop or walk?

    On the ground walking is the more efficient method of moving around i.e. uses less energy. So, birds which hunt for their food largely on the ground normally walk. However, for birds which live mostly in trees / bushes, walking isn't an option and so they tend to hop, even when they're on the ground.


    Some birds will do both. Starlings hop occasionally.

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    • Currently Being Moderated
      Feb 3, 2012 12:12 PM (in response to Drosophila)
      Re: Birds hop or walk?

      Just some random thoughts, in response to your queries


      Is a long straight branch, like a telephone cable, something which birds are likely to encounter in the natural world? Normally they would want to move from one branch to another, most likely several inches away and at a different height. And then hopping is the only practical option.


      I don't know why some birds which normally walk choose to hop on some occasions. I think I've seen starlings do it when they charge at other starlings feeding on the ground. Maybe hopping makes it seem taller, and so more intimidating, and so the other starlings are more likely to stand back as it approaches??


      I've never watched magpies, but if they hop wouldn't that fit the rule above (for birds that tend to live mainly in trees)? 

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