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Hoover at Sea

Hoover the feral African collared dove has solved the problem of how to drink from the swimming pool: board the chlorine float.  The health ramifications of this (for the bird) may be dubious, but watching him neatly land on a floating, bobbing object with a smallish deck area is a thing to behold.  He fastidiously holds his tail up off the water, and bends over to drink, tipping the float steeply, but he still manages to hold on.

<< Hoover afloat (photo A.Shock)

We’ve seen other urban birds, most often Great-tailed grackles, a fearless, strong, and adaptable species, do the same thing.  They will also swoop low over the pool, and nimbly scoop meaty yummies like moths and beetles off the surface, risking becoming swamped if they make too much surface contact.  But we’ve never found a grackle in the pool, so it’s a successful foraging strategy for them.

Posted by Allison on May 2nd 2010 08:21 am | One Comment
| View birds,Hoover the Dove,natural history,yard list category

One Response to “Hoover at Sea”

  1. sueon 02 May 2010 at 8:03 pm link comment

    last year, while I stayed in a condo complex that had little ponds and swimming pools, a mallard hen took her ducklings from a pond into the swimming pool while they were still too small to get out. She jumped out but they couldn’t. They tried and tried for about an hour; I couldn’t watch it anymore so made a “ramp” out of patio recliner on the pool steps–that wasn’t enough so I made a step out of a folded bath towel. They finally found it, swam up to it, and walked up the upside-down recliner. Phew! in a day or two they were able to hop out of the pool by themselves.

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