Thursday, June 25, 2009

My bird neighbours

I should just say a little something about the birdfeeders. I've got the hummingbird feeder by the back porch door and a regular seed feeder in a tree I can see from the kitchen windows.

The hummingbird feeder has four little holes for the hummers and it is very busy, all the time. They seem quite aggressive, they don't tolerate another hummer at the feeder while they are using it so I guess the feeder is not well designed for them. They chase each other with those needle-sharp beaks, and they also chase the blue jay who uses the other feeder. I've not seen any adult males though, it's strange. Either they are all females or a mix of females and juveniles who have not yet developed the adult ruby throat plumage. It just seems odd to me.

At first I only got a blue jay and a chickadee at the other feeder, then a couple of nights in a row I found that feeder upended on the ground. First I thought it was an accident, then I thought it was the jay who comes on to the feeder quite hard, then I wondered about ground squirrels. But Mike said it was probably flying squirrels, who only come out at night. In any case I started taking the feeder down at night and replacing it in the morning. Almost immediately I got a change in clientele, now I have goldfinches and purple finches of both sexes using the feeder. The blue jay still comes around, but less often. The chickadees come but seem intimidated by the finches. And juncoes are now cleaning up the seeds on the ground.

The place is quite lively with birds now. I particularly enjoy the purple finches because they like to sit there and look around. They watch me through the windows, cocking and twisting their heads for better views. The occasional robin comes through, but this is not particularly good terrain for them to hunt in. And the other day I surprised a crow checking out my small garden. I don't think there is anything there now to hold his interest. Warblers don't come to the feeders but I hear them in the woods, lovely songs particularly in the early evening. When they sing in the vault there's a haunting echo to their songs, quite beautiful.


20th Century Woman said...

Jerry just built me 2 feeders. I am going to do a post on them with pictures soon. I am really interested to read about yours. I don't have a humming bird feeder, but a humming bird comes and watches the other birds feeding, and buzzes around my window as if to say, "Why don't you put something here for me?" I did put out a suet cake, and it is all gone 3 days later. Some really beautiful birds have come to it.

Zabetha said...

I have not had much luck photographing the birds that come to my feeders, I hope you have better luck. I must say though that they really liven the place up.

Of course, birdfeeders only attract seed-eaters, no insect-eaters come, which is too bad. I only see them when they fly into one of my (closed) windows.

Barbara Anne said...

Aren't bird traits and personalities fascinating?! I never tire of birdsong, flashes of colors in the green tree backdrop, and the tilted quizzical look I get from birds who allow me to watch them from our porch or allow me close as long as I stay on the driveway!

We stopped filling our feeders in the summer when food is plentiful because of the many cats in this neighborhood. It was fun to watch the birds line up on the fence near the feeder in actual pecking order!