Friday, April 28, 2017

Bird Amusements

The birds are my morning amusement, much more entertaining--and less stressful--than the newspaper. I usually fill up the bird feeders before I eat my breakfast. I go to the bin full of shelled sunflower seeds, fill up an old juice bottle, then grab the bag of peanuts, climb carefully down the steps (a stumble awhile back left me uninjured but embarrassed), and fill both the sunflower and the peanut feeders. But today I discerned there was enough left in the feeders so that I could wait until after my coffee.

The sunflower seed feeder is much larger and attracts a wide variety of birds--sparrows, finches, nuthatches, titmice, and the mourning doves who catch what's spilled on the ground. The peanut feeder has fewer but very particular fans--the woodpeckers, the wrens, and the starlings---LOTS of starlings. 


The starlings can clean out the whole feeder in a day, so I try to keep it full for the little guys, especially the wrens who are much better behaved. They are so cute with their upturned tails. They poke their beaks inside, take one peanut, and fly off, as opposed to the starlings who swarm in, knock each other out of the way, and grab as much as they can. 

Carolina Wren
This morning the remaining peanuts were stuck halfway between one hole and another. One Carolina wren arrived, tried one hole, then another, then another, all to no avail. Another arrived with a seed in his beak, fed it to the first wren, who then flew off. The second wren tried each hole, but after having no success, he stuck his head almost all the way in and retrieved a stuck peanut. You see what I mean, a kind and resourceful guy.

Hairy Woodpecker
House Sparrow

Soon after that, a hairy woodpecker arrived, saw that there were peanuts, tried a couple of holes, then began to peck at the container, thereby unsticking the peanuts, reached in and retrieved his breakfast.

Then a house sparrow arrived carrying a piece of grass in his beak, headed for nest-building, I assume, but when he reached in for the peanut, he dropped the grass. 

The next sparrow grabbed a peanut, but then dropped it. A cardinal sitting in the hydrangea immediately flew down and ate the dropped food.

American Robin

All while this was happening, a couple of robins were mining the yard for worms.