Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Up to my neck in birds

The news in the Southeast recently has reported there is an outbreak of salmonella poisoning among Southern songbirds, especially goldfinches and pine siskins, although other birds, such as cardinals, have also been affected.

Boy, can't tell it from my yard.

I have had more goldfinches this year than in the last ten years of bird feeding. I always have loads of cardinals, robins, chickadees, nuthatches, doves, sparrows, wrens, thrushes, purple finches and house finches, but seldom have seen a goldfinch. Now, every time I look into the back yard, there's one perched on my thistle feeder.

I just went to look - there's one out there right now.

And now there's two.

If you feed it, they will come.

I almost quit buying Niger thistle seed because there was so little interest in it compared to the other feeders. I mean, what self-respecting bird would nibble daintily on a teeny-tiny thistle seed when there's a big load of sunflower right there? I have seen little black cap chickadees and purple finches pin a seed to a branch with a foot and peck for a whole minute to crack the hull. They're so little, one seed must be a breakfast for them.

But now, it's all about the thistle. They will empty half the feeder in one day. Remember how tiny thistle seeds are? That's a lot of peck-peck-peck. I'm just glad that the seed is sterilized so the effluvia from the feeder doesn't turn into a thistle patch in the back yard.

Boy, my lawn guy sure wouldn't like that.

As for under the sunflower feeder. . .I'm waiting for someone to invent a back yard vacuum cleaner to pick up all the seed hulls.

Meanwhile, the mourning doves have been meticulously examining all my window sills for possible nesting sites. Coo-coo. "Honey, what do you thing about this one?"

We've gone to the birds here.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

I have a bird feeder but I guess the birds don't like the feed I provide for them... No birds. I just bought what was in the stores. I may try again. On the other hand the birds may not feel they get an enjoyable dinner when 4cats sit on the window sill watching them eat...