© A Rendezvous With Grey Treepies in Taiwan. Part 2

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“An April visit to Taiwan was also breeding season for Grey Treepies (Dendrocitta formosae formosae).

“The observation highlight of these ubiquitous birds came as a wire perched backlighting pair, silhouetted against a morning sky. They were photographed a long distance away –no less than 150meters with DGscope.

“Let bird on right be Bird-A and bird on left be Bird-B (above). Let’s see what readers make out of these no sound, motionless pictures, enjoy and be transported back to pre-era of black and white Charlie Chaplin’s movie shows.

“Bird-B advanced towards Bird-A. Former began nudging and tweezing latter on its neck but received a cold, bodily ‘what’s that for?’ response (above).

“Gusty winds were no deterrent to Bird-B’s latent motive as birds kept their balance on wire cable by ruddering their tails. But, Bird-A showed no response.

“Bird-B persisted and tried luck by tickling on supposedly soft spots – the back and armpit. Perhaps… might do the trick (above).

“What does Bird-B want? Was a breeding male trying to woo female with foreplay antics or a sly, scheming female brewing a witty favour exchange?

“Another strategy drummed up- a symbolic preening on the rear issued. Unfortunately the pursuit sent Bird-A on a ‘don’t touch me’ retreat. Bird was merely interested in self-preening (above).

“All pacifying actions failed. Feeling ignored, Bird-B lost patience and resorted to drastic measures.

“Opportunistic Bird-B lunged forth and snatched what looked like a grub-worm from Bird-A’s bill (above).

“’Oi…that’s mine!’ exclaimed Bird-A, taken by surprise.

“Immediately, Bird-A reached out and grabbed prey from Bird-B (above).

“Pulling and tugging issued until the worm/caterpillar was repossessed (above).

“To the dismay of Bird-B, the repossessor wasted no time, swallowed and stashed breakfast into its gusset (above).

“‘All Gone!’ exclaimed Bird-A, waving a raised foot and recommenced scratching and preening, oblivion to prior incident ever occurred (above).

”Act 2 scene 1 came with Bird-B orchestrating another motive; approached Bird-A with cocked tail and a wiped face on wire cable, prior to ‘rubba.. rubba’ Bird-A for attention (above).

“Bird-A finally turned round, poked at menacing mate’s head. The latter unfortunately got no where to achieving her/his goals (above).

“The observation would appear, where manna of life is concerned, each is to its own. Unlike behaviour of other romantically inclined species such as Parrots and Love Birds, no courtship feeding was observed in spite of several encounters with breeding pairs during my April visit to Taiwan (above).

“Was Bird-A in dire need of Avian Viagra or Addyis…?

Avian Writer Daisy O’Neill
17th September 2015

Copyright article and all copy images – Courtesy of Daisy O’Neill Bird Conservation Fund

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