Unexpected avivorosity

11 Jul 2016

Findings from the world of nature: on a visit to Edinburgh Zoo a little while ago, we watched as Tian-Tian the panda lazily munched on some bamboo. Next to her was a bowl of “nuggets” - some sort of protein boosters, and loads of magpies and jackdaws were nipping in and stealing the nuggets. The keeper remarked how brave the birds were and, on questioning, revealed that Tian-Tian had caught and eaten several feathery meals since she arrived in the UK in 2011. Turns out pandas don’t just eat shoots and leaves.

Related to that: on Saturday as we were locking the kitchen door at night, I heard bird sounds from our tiny back garden. Out in the dark we went, but we couldn’t see what was going on. It sounded like a nestling had fallen out of its hedge-based home (we have resident blackbirds) and was trying to find its way back. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I got my torch and poked around in the foliage looking for the noise. Yep, there we are - oh, wait a minute. That’s a hedgehog. Coincidence. Or, er, not. It took me a while to realise that the bird’s feet right next to it belonged to our noisy neighbour, and the hedgehog was actually eating it alive. A grim discovery! Another example of unexpected avivorosity.

Tags: nature, girton