38 thoughts on “Bird bounces golf ball—for fun?

    1. Maybe it is both play and predatory. Our cats and d*gs do exactly the same thing, play-killing their toys.

  1. I’ve seen a couple videos of these birds bouncing golf balls on Facebook. I don’t know what it’s all about, but they seemed to be enjoying it. One went on for some time.

    1. Face it, we have a club here with a 10-year waiting list for new members, and this bird can get away with it for free! He must be chuckling his feathery arse off.

  2. I like how the bird puts it’s head really low to the pavement to start off so that there is a lot of force behind the bounce!

    Could be both business and pleasure – a way for the bird to crack things like clams or what not that turned out to be useful in enjoying bouncy balls!

  3. Seriemas are cool for several other reasons:

    1. They are probably the closest living relatives of the extinct terror birds, phorusrhacids.

    2. They are the New World equivalents of the African secretary birds.

    3. They were part of the dismembered, wastebasket order Gruiformes, and are now recognized as relatives of falcons, parrots, and songbirds.

  4. I have seen a Whistling Kite “playing” with a bolus of horse shit. It grabbed the bolus from the ground, rose some distance and then dropped it, repeating the cycle many times until it spotted yours truly lurking in the bushes. Or maybe it was my olfactory emanations which gave the game away.

    After the kite flew off I examined the ground for what I assumed would be a tennis ball,
    but could only find dried up horse crap.

  5. I once watched a pigeon on the beach apparently playing with a penny. It would peck around in the sand, then pick up the penny and fling it sideways, over and over.

  6. That’s an impressive bounce!

    Auckland Zoo had some keas once (a large New Zealand parrot, famous for its often-destructive curiosity). They were, I think temporarily, in a large concrete-floored cage. There were some small logs maybe 3″ diameter and 9″ long in the cage, and three or four keas were ganging up to roll a log across the cage floor and back repeatedly.


  7. On Sunday afternoon I watched a family (?) of about ten crows in Regents Park London, & one was playing with a gull’s feather, poking it through a fence. I cannot help thinking it is behaviour stimulated by nest material gathering ‘instincts’.

  8. I often see ravens dropping chestnuts on the road, thereby breaking them. Looks like the same kind of behavior, maybe with a “WTF”? attached.

  9. 300+ million years of difference … an interesting exercise in comparative psychology. (Not as bad as the folks who work on cephalopods, though!)

    Though, to be fair, it is a test case in convergent evolution that science fiction writers might want to think through! 😉

  10. Based on other viewer’s very insightful comments, I’d guess its BOTH fun and a shell-cracking instinct.

    The birds born with instincts to enjoy this behavior would practice it more than those who didn’t. They’d get better at it. If it was a behavior that regularly got them food, the birds with the ‘instinct to enjoy it’ would outcompete the birds without that instinct, leaving more kids who would in turn be more successful, etc…

    And the end of this process is birds who enjoy bouncing balls, just as cats enjoy chasing mice and many animals (including humans) enjoy sex. Because all else being equal, the ones who like to do it a lot will outcompete the ones who don’t.

  11. Our D*g does something similar. She even takes tennis balls to slopes and drops them down so she can chase them.
    I have never seen a d*g do this, but perhaps others have. I would love to know.

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