A Conversation for Join the Q: In the Supermarket Car Park
Willem Started conversation Feb 11, 2018
Over here the most common birds in parking lots are House Sparrows. They seem to dominate that kind of scene ... rarely do other birds try to grab titbits from right under the wheels of moving cars! We get (Cape) wagtails here also, but on garden lawns. We only have a few feral pigeons around. No gulls in Polokwane. Another bird that is common in cities is the Indian Mynah, introduced here and doing rather too well in some people's opinion.
SashaQ - happysad Posted Feb 12, 2018
That is really interesting about the habitats of different birds - round here House Sparrows make good use of garden bird feeders so they don't need to hang out in car parks!
Birds do have to be bold to negotiate the car park environment, but they must find enough to live on there (and the competition is less because not all birds would be that bold).
Difficult with introduced birds, yes - similar in London that there's quite a large population of Ring Necked Parakeets that can be quite a nuisance with guano and things (just one parakeet made its way as far north as my parents' garden a couple of years ago, so that was a novelty rather than a problem).
Willem Posted Feb 13, 2018
Actually the house sparrows are also introduced over here! Interesting about the ring-necked parakeets. We have small introduced colonies of them also, but so far they're not doing very well. They're native further north in Africa. We have an even more interesting situation with lovebirds. These are actually indigenous to South Africa - but the dry west. They're not native here in Polokwane (far north) but we now have a small population of escaped lovebirds, and while they're the same species, they're differently plumaged, since the cage birds have weird colours: bluish and yellowish mainly, so we now have these funny-coloured little wild parrots around town.
Today in town doing my laundry rounds I saw a little Cape Wagtail around the parking lot of one of the places where I was delivering, but there were some nice flower beds so maybe it was patrolling those.
SashaQ - happysad Posted Feb 14, 2018
Interesting about the lovebirds - I've seen a couple of books about how to keep them as pets this year, coincidentally, but didn't realise there were different plumages as well. Glad the escaped ones seem to be doing OK, even though they're not particularly in the right habitat...
Yes, that does seem likely that the flower beds attracted your wagtail to that carpark. I didn't see any at the supermarket this Saturday, but the weather was particularly cold...
Willem Posted Feb 18, 2018
Over here the weather is very hot and humid ... birds don't seem to mind. About the grounds of the big mall I often see sparrow-weavers ... they're like big, chunky sparrows with scowling faces and scolding calls. In our local mall we have red-winged starlings nesting on the buildings ... in the wild countryside they usually nest on cliffs, they've taken advantage of the cities. We also get rock martins on some of the big buildings. They're just small and brown but quite cute. They've got white 'windows' in their tail feathers which you see when they fly and spread their tails.
SashaQ - happysad Posted Mar 3, 2018
It's been very very cold this week here, so the house sparrows and robins really appreciated the food in my bird feeder.
Amazing how birds adapt to buildings as replacements for cliffs... I'm lucky that House Martins as well as House Sparrows often nest in the eaves of my building, so I get to enjoy seeing them flying round.
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