Thursday, February 27, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
So said my neighbor as I carefully opened the huge box the UPS guy just delivered. “Well, the birds really like the old feeder where they can get in and eat safely, but you see, the squirrels pretty well demolished it a few years ago… and I just can’t get rid of it because the little guys love it so.” And they do. And the squirrels did. And they continue to demolish it every chance they get.
One very ambitious and determined old squirrel decided several years ago to chew his way thru the bottom of my birdfeeder – the one where he could not reach far enough thru the cage to reach the food. The one with a tray that caught the seed and did not let it spill as easily as he would have liked.
He must have broken his teeth crewing enough for the drain holes to begin to rust enough for him to rip the metal a little more each time he worked on it. And he could chew on it by the hour! Eventually, he had holes big enough that the seed just fell straight thru but he still wasn’t satisfied. I added a cut up pie plate to the feeder to catch the seed. That did not last long… not that I really expected it to last… but it has been interesting to watch him, or the next generation work on getting inside this cage. Yep, you read that right. This fellow wants to get INSIDE!
And so, it was time to buy a new feeder… but the old one is so much fun!
Sunday, February 02, 2014
I finally broke down and replaced the birdfeeder my sister gave me years ago (my god has she been gone 10 years????). It is a Yankee Droll Flipper… Look it up on amazon. It has a little motor in it that turns the perch when the weight exceeds so many ounces, designed to spin squirrels off so they can’t eat all the food or destroy the feeder as they have done to so many of my feeders. Don’t get me wrong, I love squirrels, but I hate the damage they can do. Anyway, the thought is that one or even 2 Grackles can land on the perch, but more than that and the perch starts to move causing the birds to fly off. Now if you know blackbirds at all, you know they are like a mob, large numbers of totally unruly beasts… I won’t even mention their filthy habits like pooping on each other and pooping in the birdbath as they are drinking… but one can safely say they are not patient birds. As one or two birds would get tossed off the moving perch, 2 or 3 more would try to grab on being spun off in their turn while even more wait to grab on. Eventually there was this pile of blackbirds all fighting each other to get onto the feeder just to be launched off as fast as they hopped on. As they fought for the chance to be thrown off, I was reminded of a movie scene (no idea what movie) where a whole crowd of drunks gathered around a mechanical bull, eagerly paying their money just to get tossed to the ground in seconds as the next drunk occasionally climbed over the previous body to get on board.
All the birds in flight have been spun off the feeder or are trying to get on.
Now you might think this is mean… but the truth is, so much seed gets spilled in the process, the other birds, large and small, get to eat the seed off the ground (or the snow, as the case has been lately!) Obviously, no one gets hurt, and the smaller birds do get a good meal when the bigger guys are not around. And you get some good entertainment. Either Google Yankee Droll Flipper feeders or go to amazon. Both sites will give you a delightful video of the Flipper in action.
For those of you who might be interested in the birdbath deicer as seen on my blog, please note, it stops working when the temps are in the teens. You will get a thin skim of ice, but it thaws as soon as the temps get into the 20s. And for those of you who commented on the gathering of bluebirds at that birdbath, thanks for your comments. I have seen larger numbers of bluebirds from time to time, but not 11 in one little spot at once so I could get them all in one photo. I bet that will never happen again!
For days I have been hearing a huge roaring of geese as about a thousand or so fly over several times a day, settling in the fields about a tenth of a mile east of my house. i also have been hearing a lot of gunfire and finally figured out people are chasing the geese away from their property as that many geese are very noisy even just sitting on the ground looking for something to eat. The following pictures are of small sections of the field of snow geese… I could not get them all in the frame at one time or they just look like piles of snow out in a field. I managed to frighten the “guard” crew and they continued to circle over me until I left probably shouting back to the rest of the flock that I did or did not look dangerous, I was walking toward them, get up, move, or whatever.
You see how close they are to the houses at the other end of the field… and I was standing in someone’s driveway taking most of these shots.