The Upside-Down Bird strikes a pose the Right-Way-Up

There’s a Nuthatch calling like the alarm on an abandoned car, or the insistent signal of a reversing lorry, overhead. Then, with a flash of steely-blue and apricot, it appears to snatch its sunflower seed prize.

Nuthatch - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

What feathery chins they have.

Then the Upside-Down Bird, as I like to call it, strikes a pose and becomes the Right-Way-Up Bird for a mere fraction of a second:

Nuthatch - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I feel sorry for it. It’s surrounded by so much food it must be having an extreme physiological reaction to it. Its excitement, if you can call a bird’s emotional state that, is palpable. It’s scatter-hoarding food by taking every seed and stashing it in nooks, crannies and crevices all over this area. It particularly likes gnarly bark.

It doesn’t need to hoard, as tomorrow there will be just as much food here as there is here today, brought by a never-ending succession of visitors.

Nuthatch - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

As soon as one is hatched which doesn’t bother wasting its energy scatter-hoarding, but puts all that energy into raising a larger brood, then lazy Nuthatches will inherit the Earth. Until we stop feeding them, of course. Then their population will change again to have more scatter-hoarders.

This is evolution by unnatural selection, if we count ‘natural’ as without human interference. Tell me, is there a single species which hasn’t been affected by humans in the UK?

It’s humans which have turned this world upside-down.

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