Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bird Feeders: Better Than Television

NORTHERN FLICKER
The weather has been unseasonably mild, but we've put up the first two bird feeders at Kiko's House, a big honking feeder that survived a bear attack a few years back and a little suet feeder.
Word got around quickly, and we've already had visits from several kinds of finches and sitkins, sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches and titmooses. Over at the suet feeder, there have been downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, as well as flickers, including the smallest that I've ever seen, a really cute juvenile, sex undetermined.

As usual, the squirrels are trying to get onto the main feeder. Their acrobatics are amazing, but in the end they surrender and end up foraging for spilled seed under the feeder with the cardinals, mourning doves, blue jays, juncos and robins.

Then there's Russell the Crow, a handsome but mischievous fella who alites on and then wraps himself around the big feeder. He has zero interest in the seed, he just wants to keep the little birds from having a go. They tolerate him for a while and then the chickadees and nuthatches start dive bombing him. After a while, he gets bored and flies off.

(Photograph by the National Park Service)

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