Thursday, January 22, 2015

More Birds



I wish the world's problems could be solved as easily as I solved my squirrel problem. I like squirrels. I do. I just don't like to feed them at the expense of the small birds that winter over. Squirrels are perpetually hungry and their appetites are voracious. Fond of seeds and nuts, they consider the food I set out for the birds theirs for the taking. So this week I hied myself over to the local Agway to replenish my seed supply and while I was there I bought two "squirrel proof" feeders. Designed to bear the weight of small songbirds, the cage has a spring loaded feeder tube that drops down to close the open feed ports when anything as heavy as a blue jay or a squirrel climbs aboard. So far, they're working. The squirrels give up after a minute or two of fruitless gnawing and drop back to the ground to eat the little seed spilled there by the birds.

I am not without heart. I spread a tray of peanuts for the squirrels and jays at a distance from the cottage. It's a noisy place. I've seen a jay swoop down and snatch a peanut from the paws of a squirrel, who then chatters loudly, flicking its tail and spewing squirrel curses at the errant bird. I've also seen the silly squirrels bury the nuts in the snow where watchful jays locate them moments later.

Last week I posted a photo of a chickadee being hand fed and though I posted due credit below my own words, some readers thought I'd taken the picture. I wish I was that kind of photographer! The pictures of the feeders here are my own. As you can see, it would take a far more skilled eye (and hand) than mine to photograph myself feeding a bird. I've done that, though, fed a bird in my hand. The chickadees that come to my feeders are quite bold. If I sit on the stoop at feeding time with seed in my palm and I am patient and quiet, one or two of the little creatures will perch on my fingers and look at me with their bright little eyes. I don't have a photo to prove it, though.


6 comments:

Tabor said...

Birds can take up a lot of interesting time in watching their behavior.

Hilary said...

We have that first feeder too.. and it works well. I guess our squirrels aren't the only one who bury their peanuts in the snow. Silly goofs. And jays are quite the opportunists.

Out on the prairie said...

I buy my sunflower seed fifty pounds at a tie.I have heard of putting a little cayenne in the seed to keep the squirrels at bay.I just but more seed, and do have a few special feeders.Eating into my feed shed is a pain this year.

Barbara Shallue said...

My parents fed their resident squirrels peanuts and my dad even had them take them out of his hand (only being bitten a few times. Sigh.) But he would get so mad when the bluejays "stole" the peanuts. He was a birdlover, otherwise, but he had something against bluejays. People are funny, aren't they?

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i like the squirrels too but it sounds like your feeder will allow all to get a meal...its nice to have so much life around though....

Wisewebwoman said...

Daughter gave me one of those feeders and my greatest joy is watching the blue jays attack it in absolute astonishment.

I love the wee chickadees and the juncos and also the patient black bird who so patiently wait for the leftovers.

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