Bird Party: Mixed-Species Flocks

Some bird species form flocks with other species. Learn about the scientific explanations for why this happens.

December 11, 2020

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Bird Party: Mixed-Species Flocks


Sometimes birds of many feathers flock together. Mixed-species Foraging flocks are seen in forests all across the world. Different combinations of species are found in each region.

First, we talk about what these flocks look and act like. Then we get into the major scientific hypotheses for why mixed-species flocks exist at all.

Research Citations

Photos of some birds mentioned

Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens) join mixed flocks, where they forage more and spend less time worrying about predators. Photo by Steve Byland.
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) in Thailand. These birds make calls to assemble mixed flocks. Photo by PK4289.

This work by Ivan Phillipsen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


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