Buffalo and Cowbird Commensalism
A female brown-headed cowbird at a backyard bird feeder is bad news. Instead of buffalo, the birds congregated around farm cows and. The buffalo and the cowbird have a symbiotic relationship, where the cowbirds eat the insects kicked up by the buffalo as they feed on grass. The cowbirds. This symbiotic relationship is known as commensalism,one organism Cowbirds eat insects that the bison disturb as they feed on grasslands.
Since the visual abilities of the 2 species are different, they can identify threats the other animal would not as readily see. The custom is of Scandinavian origin. In Norse mythology, Baldr was a god of vegetation. To prevent this, she made every plant, animal, and inanimate object promise not to harm her son Baldr. The story goes that Frigga overlooked the mistletoe plant, so Loki was able to trick the blind god into killing her son Baldr, with a spear fashioned from mistletoe.
Baldr's death brought winter into the world, until the gods restored him to life. Then Frigga declared the mistletoe sacred, ordering that from now on it should bring love rather than death into the world. Happily complying with Frigga's wishes, any two people passing under the plant from now on would celebrate Baldr's resurrection by kissing under the mistletoe.
The sticky juice of mistletoe berries was used as adhesive to trap small animals or birds. A study of mistletoe in junipers concluded that more juniper berries sprout in stands where mistletoe is present, as the mistletoe attracts berry-eating birds which also eat juniper berries.
They share the prey. A person never knows what treasure they may come across. I've mention to you how I enjoy taking pictures of old and deserted homes.
This time we came across a veritable treasure trove of photo opportunities. All in one location: The old barn is is better condition. Some old and rusting cars from the 50's and 60's check out the 60 something Chevy wagon, and notice the upper left corner for more cars. A real find was the stable of old Milk Trucks. Borden's, who remembers that blast from the past? It is a shame to see them falling to rust and old age. We turned the page on the calender a few days ago.
August, can you hardly stand it? We are into august already. Fireflies are but a few now. Japanese Beetles were never an issue for me this year, but should be winding down as well. Other insects are now in force. What I notice most from the insect world this time of year is the night life. Crickets, Katydids, and other nighttime music makers. A whole different orchestra to enjoy. Don't forget to clean your feeders and water sources if you haven't done so.
Back side of barn While most birds have finished or are finishing up nesting duties the yard is full of fledglings and juveniles American Goldfinches are kicking into full gear.
Buffalo and Cowbird Commensalism
I have some youngsters right now, but they will be in full force later this month and into September. All sorts of hummers. I figured once the flowers kicked into full gear that i would see more of the tiny birds. That and fledglings make the yard more entertaining. I even saw a hummingbird moth. Sad to say, still nothing much in the way of butterflies.
Bumble bees and other bees sightings are way down too. Vegetable crops show the lack of pollinators. Last week I asked you for some help, or a little homework from you. A few of you did reply. The question was on Symbiosis and Symbiotic Relationships. Symbiosis is a relationship between two different species of life, where both directly benefit from the other. Everyone is familiar with flowers and pollinators. The flower feeds the pollinators, in return the flowers reproduce seed, fruits and nuts that keep the species alive and regenerated.
Symbiotic relationships between species are so universal they must be intrinsic to life. Just the thought of them brings a warm feeling to me. I guess the ones that immediately come to mind are ants and aphids, clown fish and anemones and those birds that clean off the ticks of large grazers.
I recall that ants provide protection in exchange for the aphids' honeydew. It's obvious what the exchange is between the birds and the wildebeest: Clownfish and Anemone, the bright colors of clownfish attract predators; the anemone provides shelter for the clownfish What seems important to me is the exchange of services, the give and take, the co-existence which benefits both.
A good lesson here. Oxpeckers and rhinoceroses You recall well, I did indeed write on ants and aphids. Jackie and I have had some deep E-conversations in the past, she is well versed in many topics and I enjoy sharing with her. Jan Tosses this quick one in the mix. Cleaner wrasse fish and various coral reef fish. The larger fish and eels get parasites cleaned off of them, and the wrasse get food via the parasites.
Thanks Jan, it is a win, win situation for all parties involved. Food, cleanliness and protection. Nature does amaze us. Penny has this to say on the topic. Your remarks on symbiosis got me thinking about our hens. They eat the grass, weeds and insects in the yard.
In turn, their droppings attract more insects and help fertilize the grass and weeds. I feed them an organic layer feed and they reward me with rich, flavorful eggs. I should go on to say that when their laying days are over, they will provide me with meat, however, that won't happen! They will continue to provide me with laughs and lots of affection. A couple of examples from the same cycle.
Good job and keep thinking.
Cowbird/Bison: Commensalism by Daniel Cohen on Prezi
Commensalism, may be looked at as Symbiosis, but isn't. One of the organisms benefits it receives something it needs.
The other organism does not benefit, but neither is it harmed. An example of commensalism is the relationship between bison and cowbirds. As bison wander through the grasslands feeding, they stir up insects. Cowbirds follow the bison, eating insects that are stirred up.
In this relationship, the cowbird benefits The bison does not benefit, but it is not harmed either by the cowbird eating insects. Cowbirds were originally called Buffalo birds by early trail herders and cowboys. Once bison were eliminated, cowbirds adapted to following herds of cattle, hence their name.
Another example of commensalism is the relationship between the Cactus Wren and Cholla Cacti. Cactus wrens often build their nests in Cholla cacti. The spines of the cactus help protect the nest from predators. In this symbiotic relationship, the Cactus wren receives something it needs - nest protection. The Cholla Cactus does not benefit and it is not harmed by the nesting cactus wrens.