Bite Sized Bushcraft – Finding Water

Finch in water

Bite Sized Bushcraft – Finding Water

As I child I would often watch Cowboy and Indian Movies and movies about people surviving in the wilderness. It would amaze me how a character would be in a bad way and suddenly see something that showed them the way to water, food or help. As I got older I would learn more about how we can use nature and what is around us. Whether it was from books, TV or people around me I was hooked from an early age. This Bite Sized Bushcraft Article is about one of the snippets of information I learned, that has stuck with me. It is about  birds helping us finding water.

Birds Finding Water?

Finches are a bird that eats grain. They can eat a lot in a day especially if there is Flock of them. Other birds that are similar are doves and pigeons. Birds that eat a lot of grain also need a lot of water. There is little or no water in the grain. Birds higher up the food chain that eat meat need less water, because they get most of what they need from the flesh that they eat.

The first thing to do is identify any birds you may find locally that eat grain. Then you can start looking. It is easy to

Finch in water

Finches Getting the water they need. Finding water using birds

think well they will eat grain during the day then fly off to get water before they rest up for the night. So you will look for them later in the day. Sadly this isn’t the best method. they could be going backwards and forwards all day long.

So you need to learn to track these birds in some way. You cant track then in the convention way we would track an animal due to a lack of ground sign (Spoor). So you need to know which way they are going, are they going to or from their water source. You needto observe the bird and you will see it doing one of two things.

  1. Flying fast and low in a direct route.
  2. Flying in a general direction but flying from tree to tree.

The grain eating birds that are flying low and fast in a direct route are usually going towards water. The birds flying in a general direction but flying from tree to tree are more likely to be returning from their water source. The reasoning is quite logical when you think about it. After these birds have got a belly full of water they are more sluggish, so they are more vulnerable to other animal hunting them as prey. So it is safer to go the shorter distances from tree to tree trying to remain in some sort of cover. The birds flying towards the water are more agile and can fly faster, keeping themselves safer. So they can fly in a more direct route.

As with all natural sign look for otherinformation to clarify what you have learned. In the meantime when you are

ut if they are going to or from water or doing some other task.

Have fun learning more about the outdoors and how you can work with it. As some martial artists say.”Bend like the willow don’t stand stead fast like the Oak” Work with nature, list and observe what it is showing you, don’t try and fight against it.

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