Have you ever wondered how Blackbirds always manage to find worms in your lawn, they make it look very easy but how do they do it and is it really that easy.
Blackbirds are very intelligent and well adapted birds they use 3 of their senses to locate the worms.
As Blackbirds scuttle across the lawn they are looking for worms and movement, they will then pause and tilt their heads to see the worms on the ground using one eye as their eyes are positioned at either side of their head (laterally), this also gives them excellent all round vision.
Birds do not have any visible ears as we do but have ‘audile orifices’ that are covered with a thin layer of feathers. Blackbirds are unique because both of their ‘ears’ are connected to one organ between their ‘ears’ this allows them to work out which direction the sound is coming from, by tilting their head they can pin point more accurately the sound and the worm.
After looking and listening Blackbirds often locate worms by probing the ground with their beak, which is very sensitive and can sense the tiny movement vibrations made by the worm.
Unfortunately our bodies are not as sophisticated as the Blackbirds but you can still have lots of fun finding worms in your lawn. Why not have a Worm Charming Competition? this could be with your family or friends at Brownies, Cubs or your local Youth Group or on a larger scale why not make it a School fundraising event.
Worm Charming Competition
- Mark out a square plot for each competitor leaving plenty of space around each one.
- Each competitor has 20 minutes (suggested time) to charm as many worms out of ground within their allocated plot.
- No forking or digging allowed.
- Place your worms in a suitable container containing damp soil, organic material out of the sun.
- The person with the most worms wins.
There are many techniques to try to encourage your worms to the surface including playing music, jumping, dancing, hitting the ground with sticks or with your hands and watering the ground, whatever method you choose be very careful when handling your precious worms try not to pull them too hard and always place them somewhere safe afterwards so that they can return underground.
Have fun – Love your environment