Now that the weather has turned warmer, I was able to sit outside and spend a day observing the different bird behaviors and activity at the feeders. As nice as it was, pollen was raining down turning my note paper yellow.
The day starts very early with the Robin singing his wake up call at 4:50 am. It is better than an alarm clock I suppose. The Robins song is followed by the Cardinals’ who perch on top of pine trees providing a surround sound effect. Activity on the ‘Deck of Birds’ begins between 6:30 and 7:00 and continues all morning. Time to clean the birdbaths and refill with fresh water.
Oriole feeders need to be filled every morning with grape jelly. It appears to be the breakfast of champions as they chatter at each other sometimes knocking each other off the feeders… there are three grape jelly feeders, but apparently that just isn’t enough for them. The Northern Orioles dominate over the Orchard Orioles and the Robin. I felt sorry for the Robin as the Orioles would dive bomb him to gain access to ‘their feeder’. The Robin has learned to wait patiently on the deck railing for them to finish before he gets to eat. He does take large beak fulls of jelly though.
Now the parents are arriving with the fledglings. Baby Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Song Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Grosbeaks… and Grackles, each making their own distinctive cry for their parents attention. The activity has now moved to the Squirrel Buster Legacy and Peanut Plus feeders. There is definitely a hierarchy among the birds taking their turns to get sunflower hearts and peanuts.
The Grackles can dominate the smaller songbirds, but when the larger woodpeckers come, look out. The Hairy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers are at the top of the list. They can disperse the Grackles upon landing. I must say the female Red-Winged Blackbirds have the most graceful and quiet landing, and they are all business, quickly get the food and leave. No meandering for this bird. We mustn’t forget the birdbath. Lot’s of activity with birds, squirrels and chipmunks.
By 2:00 pm things are quieting down. I can hear the songs of Cedar Waxwings, Northern Flickers, Common Yellowthroats, and Red-Winged Blackbirds in the meadow behind the house. Very relaxing. The dinner bell rings at 4:00 and the birds are back with their dinner appetites. Blue Jays are competing with the squirrels and chipmunks at the ground feeder. Some of the Jays are bold, and others more skittish. I like to call the Sky Cafe the fine diner as it is filled with safflower seed.
The Cardinals, Grosbeaks and House Finches all get along and they take their time feeding peacefully together. The late diners, Orioles, Chickadees, Goldfinches, the very elusive Catbird and all the regulars continue to feed until 9:00 pm.
Now it’s time for the evening symphony of bird song. Ending the evening at 9:30 is the same one who started the day, the Robin. I hope you all take the time to enjoy your back yards and gardens this summer. Sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds.
Author – Jane Paradis