I do not pretend to be a “bird-ologist”(the fact that I don’t know how a person who studies birds is called further proves this point). But I do happen to have a rather good observational ability so as to detect patterns when I see them. And I happen to have noticed the strangest  patterns at a nature preserve that I stayed at for a few days. Again, I am just an amateur “bird-ologist” who noticed certain “things”.

What strikes me is the hierarchy that exists among birds – both in the  different  species as well as in their sizes. I would first like to talk about the “species-hierarchy”. Whenever you throw food anywhere on the ground in the  preserve, birds of myriad colors and sizes quickly reach for them, sometimes fighting their way through. What I observed is the hierarchy that exists among the different species – red-colored ones are among the highest in the pyramid, then comes the grey ones and finally the scavengers, who come when everything that should happen happened.

There is also a hierarchy among sizes of birds. It is quite obvious that the bigger the size, the higher up the pyramid would the bird be. Another interesting aspect is the “hierarchy-within-a-hierarchy”(I found no better name). Big birds of, say, the “grey-species” are higher up the hierarchy than the “tad-smaller” red ones. So it’s a “hierarchy-of-size” mixed with the “hierarchy-of-species.” I drew a small mathematical diagram to make this a bit clearer.


     There was a small bucket of water that the birds liked to flap their wings in. I observed that the birds, in fact, followed the hierarchy as pointed out earlier – the higher up were the first ones to enter. Of course, these observations have been made in a rather restricted sense because we are talking here about a small preserve. What happens in other preserves may be very different from my observations. That does not mean, however, that we cannot speculate a bit:) So, until next time, that’s all folks!

– An Amateur “Bird-ologist”