Flocks vary in size and can be seen in different seasons. They are so prevalent in some bird species that these groups of birds have special names: a raft of ducks, a charm of finches, a horde of ravens etc.  Regardless of what you call it, there are pros and cons to flocking.

It would appear that in some ways, birds are a little more intelligent than we humans.  Ornithologists claim that birds do not engage in any behavior that does not bring them a benefit for survival in some way.

Here are some of the advantages to flocking:

Foraging: Birds often form flocks while foraging; this allows many birds to take advantage of the same food supplies. 

Protection: A larger group of birds has a better chance of spotting a predator or another potential threat than a single bird has.  Staying in a flock give any potential predator many more possible targets, which lowers the danger for any one bird.

Mating: Some species form mating flocks where males will show off their breeding plumage and courtship behavior in an attempt to attract a mate. By performing in a flock, these birds make themselves more visible to a greater number of females.  I could say more about that, but I’ll leave the rest to you …

To enjoy a lovely video that Rory McCarron shot earlier this week in Antigonish NS, go to our website after CTV News at 6,  and watch my complete weather segment at 6:30!

Thanks for sharing Rory!

Chief Meteorologist

Cindy Day