Pet Corner: Birds of a feather

Pet Corner: Birds of a feather

Our creatures are here to be protected. Whatever shape or form.

Flock together … Not entirely true! Especially if there are natural, peaceful surroundings, encouraging our feathered friends to congregate. Adaptability, for all animals, is a key word, acceptance is another. Our creatures are here to be protected. Whatever shape or form.

APAA, the Association for Protection of Animals Algarve, have their hands full with all the four-legged kinds. Taking “care” is being taken for granted, a spreading problem. Caring for our animals and creatures’ habitats can be a nightmare, or a dream. Hopefully, each of us, in our own way, can help the wild population surrounding us survive and thrive.

Watching our winged ones feeding in groups can give so much pleasure. Doves, sparrows, woodpeckers, black birds… Allowing us to appreciate the ‘diversity’ nature brings to us. Magpies, especially the ‘Azul’ version, here in the Algarve can seem like a terrorist attack, or a heavenly visit in grey, blue and black. Magpies are marauders, taking over a patch in their dozens.

Pet Corner: Birds of a feather
Hoopoe – Photo Shantanu_Kuveskar

Naturally, we want to protect our regular visitors, but they are merely stopping, mid-flight, for food and water, migrating to or from more exotic climes, as the case may be. Some report they feed on young birds and animals. Large, perhaps, but not carnivores, they subsist on acorns, pine-nuts and scraps of food left out for other birds. Also known as ‘Azure’ and common across China, some flocks are as large as 70, collectively known as gulp, tidings or even a charm.

Their song is unique, as is their intelligence. Proven high ranking IQ, they are one of the few species able to recognise itself in a mirror. Solitary, Robins are becoming more frequent visitors, as are the beautiful Hoopoes. The male’s continuous call of “poo-poo-poo” is made only during the mating season, otherwise remaining silent. They are indigenous to Iberia. Again, due to climatic conditions, they can be found traversing further afield.

Our Woodpecker friends have different colourings depending on sex and age. There are many informative websites to check your findings, and some have questionnaires on birds spotted in your neighbourhood.

Pet Corner: Birds of a feather
Blackbird – Photo Andreas Trepte,

Feed can be bought from your local supermarket or finding a friendly local ‘armazém’ that sells assorted feeds can be cheaper. Don’t forget the water, and bowls with rocks and stones – black birds are a sheer delight with their comical afternoon showers, often seen in a family group, waiting in turn patiently for a quick dip. Their song unforgettable!

Our next Pop-up is at Jolly Bar in Alvor on Friday, March 25. Visit our charity shops either at Alvor, Dunas Complex, Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-2pm; or Silves, Rua Elias Garcias 20, Monday-Saturday, 10am-2pm.

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