Thirsty mockingbird follows man to beg for drink of water
On a small island, near the equator, animals have adapted to life with almost no access to water. They are able to drink when there is enough rain to form small pools, but they may go weeks without the opportunity. This mockingbird was thirsty enough and smart enough to follow a backpacker on his tour of the island. Having no apparent fear of humans, he hopped along on the ground beside the man. When the man stopped walking, the tiny bird looked up at him hopefully. This continued for several minutes until the man realized that the bird was actually asking for help.
The man bent down slowly and the bird stood staring. It is highly recommended that humans don't interfere with animals on these islands and it is important to not feed them, but the pleading eyes of the little bird were hard to resist. As he began to understand that the bird was looking for help, he guessed that it may be struggling to find water during what was a particularly long dry spell.
With a video camera running, the man poured water onto a rock with a small depression. He recorded the bird's reaction. At first, the thirsty little fellow pecked at the drops on the edge of the bottle. Then he slurped some of the water from the rock. But lava rocks are porous and this dark rock was very hot. The water did not remain in the hole very long and the bird didn't get much of a drink. As the man started to pour more, the bird had figured out that the water in the bottle was good to drink and he stuck his little beak right in to get it.
Standing taller to reach the bottle, he took several slurps and swallowed. He stood within two feet of the man the entire time.
After the bird had sipped on the water for a few minutes, he stood looking at the man quietly. The man continued on his way and the bird stood on the trail and stared after him. Obviously content, he no longer followed the man.
This mockingbird is a rare species that exists only on two small islands. Typically, they eat insects, small crustaceans and eggs of other birds.
It is a difficult thing to see an animal asking for help but to not respond. It is especially difficult when the animal seems to be suffering from thirst.