Danse macabre


In … Mount Revelstoke Park, mortality of siskins and other winter finches … has been seen frequently enough over the last 25 years that they are called “grill birds” by the local inhabitants, in reference to their propensity to be collected by the front end of moving vehicles.   http://iceandsnowtechnologies.com/articles/WildlifeSD.pdf

When I saw hundreds of Pine Siskins feeding on highway salt, I knew some would become grill birds.

As a vehicle approached, the siskins would take to the air.

But, depending upon the speed and size of the vehicle (which never slowed) the grill collected some.

No problem, the rest alighted again, sometimes continuing to feed amongst their fallen colleagues.

“In exchange for road salt, we happily do the danse macabre.”

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4 Responses to Danse macabre

  1. rachel says:

    Beautiful photos. I’ve always wondered what those little birds were that flock on the road. Always slow down and try not to attach any to my grill.

    • slydog says:

      They are not always pine siskins feeding on the road salts. Sometimes they are crossbills (probably red around here) and possibly other gregarious species.

  2. Larry Halverson says:

    I remember years ago there was an initiative called “Honk for Birds” trying to get drivers to reduce the number of killed birds by honking.

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