Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sometimes it really is the simple things

I've been feeding birds since the fall of 1998, about 6 months after I moved into my house. I could now feed birds in the open without sneaking around apartment or condo managers who would post, notes about how tenants were not allowed to feed birds because of the mess.

I bought a couple of good quality (expensive) tube feeders and except for adding a suet feeder, hummingbird feeder and a square seed/fruit feeder through the years have been pretty happy. Well, except for the hitchcockian amount of house sparrows I would get that would swarm the tube feeders bullying any and all other birds. Oh a chickadee or titmouse might sneak off a sunflower seed now and then. I thought it was something I had to live with being such an urban area. Fast forward to this past Saturday I was at the local Petsmart. I started looking at the bird feeders. "Should I get new tube feeders to replace the still usable but worn out looking ones" I asked myself. Then, hello what's this then....oooo, I think I'll get it.

A screen feeder its called. I thought it would be great because the hanging birds like the nuthatches would have an easier time. I hung it up on Saturday afternoon, without filling the tube feeder next to it so if the birds were hungry they would have to try it out. You think I added a live cat to the feeders, the birds were so afraid of it at first. No one came by at all on Saturday. By Sunday afternoon a few brave sparrows flew close by but did not land. By today the sparrows still come by for a few seeds but it is mostly frequented by chickadees, titmice, jays and cardinals. Duh, why didn't I think of this before?! Oh, happy day. I cannot tell you how happy I am to get rid of the bullying gangs of sparrows. Will they be back? Hope not. For now the more timid birds can eat their fill. This morning I heard all this chattering, actually more of a chickadee dee deeing and looked out to see a whole family of chickadees--five in total--swooping in to get seeds. I would never had seen that with the tube feeders.

Damn digital cameras with their split second delay! This was the only one of the bunch worth posting. (Mary how DO you DO it??)

That's all for today. I'm just happy as a clam with my new feeder. I will leave you with a photo of yet another of my herd--Sunkist. Just because he is so darn cute.


Anonymous said...

Looks like Sunkist is saying, "Hmmm. . .birds! Did someone say birds?!" So why don't the sparrows like the screen feeder as much as the tube feeders?

Mary said...

And he is darn cute! I miss having cats (husband developed "cat" asthma). Dang it.

House Sparrows belong at grocery stores. I'm so happy you have a new feeder that's attracting the cutest ones of litte
Chickadees. See how it goes.

I've had House Sparrows visit infrequently and when I see them I slam the screen door. But I do have grackles and starlings... I guess we all have our devils.

You need to slither like a cat and walk quietly - no fast motions - when approaching a bird. Noise doesn't bother them but quick motions will send them off in a fraction of a second! Hmmmpf!

BP said...

Wow, you've been doing a great job with your blog!

Looks like a great feeder. So far all I see here in AZ are hummingbirds that love our flowers and some kind of large black birds with a long beak and they make a very strange noise.

I also can't believe Jiminy has been gone for 4 years. I agree that adopting a rescued dog is the way to go.


possumlady said...

cat59: The sparrows love the tube feeders since all they have to do is perch and dig through the seeds, tossing out what they don't like, making an incredible mess. Now, if they want seed they have to pull it out from the screen--much more work. And, the seed mix I have changed to no longer has the little white millet they so love.

Mary: I will try your "cat-stalking" method to see if I can get any closer!

Becky: Great to hear from you again! Hmmm, large black bird with long beak---I think those are called "crows" ----JUST KIDDING!! I'm intrigued. See if you can get a photo of it and email it to me.