Search This Blog

Sunday, May 25

Life Is For The Birds

Is there anything nicer in Spring than listening to the birds sing? Here in The Old Dominion, we get a fair variety of birds. A couple of seasons ago, I started putting seed out in a feeder. It was nice to see and listen to the little feathered things. Mockingbirds, sparrows, wrens and mourning doves. One of my particular favorites is the white-breasted nuthatch. He eats off the tree upside down. I'm not doing too well attracting finches yet, but I did put them up a special feeder this Spring, so we'll see what happens. They usually wait until the Black-eyed Susans bloom in July before they show up en masse. Alas, I have never been able to attract hummingbirds. A new type of bird showed up yesterday: he's all dark black on his body, with a kinda bronze colored head. He has a very high pitched warble. I haven't identified him yet. Any thoughts?

Anywho, I started putting out different kinds of foods in different types of feeders to see if I could attract a broader variety, a little cylander with peanuts for the Blue Jays, some saffron and sunflowers seeds for the cardinals. Last summer, I put out a couple of suet baskets and was delighted to welcome two couples of Downy woodpeckers, like this handsome fellow, and also a couple of hairy woodpeckers. Yes, all of you with your filthy minds, that's really what they're called -- hairy woodpeckers. Like most of the bird world, the males feel the need to have all the colorful plummage.

My kids laugh at me and tell me I'm obsessed with my little bird friends, but I don't care, they'll probably lock me up in the nuthouse one day anyway, the little brats.

The woodpeckers are now my problem. See, they don't feed on the ground, unlike, say, cardinals, who mostly eat on the ground. The woodpeckers only like the suet. Well, guess what, there's another species of bird that really, really likes suet. These little mofos right here:

The dreaded Grackle. I hate these birds with every fiber of my being. They are pesky, scavenger birds. They are ugly to look at. What's worse is, they don't sing; their caw is only slightly less annoying than a crow's. And they love the suet. I wouldn't mind if one or two occasionally stopped by, but these bastards travel in packs. Whenever I fill the suet baskets, they descend upon the backyard like locusts. First one shows up, then he lets all his freaking relatives know, and the next thing you know, there are six or seven here at once. They wolf down the suet, and my poor little woodpeckers show up to find the baskets empty. Now this bums me out to no end.

Any ideas? How do I get rid of the pest birds without also getting rid of all the ones I love so much? Is it like life, where you have to take the good and the bad?

No comments: