Thursday, May 19, 2011

Four's a crowd

Yesterday I posted an image of goldfinches with a lone rose-breasted grosbeak. Almost immediately after I had finished writing I closed down the computer and went to the kitchen for more coffee. Looking out the window as always I noticed a couple of grosbeaks at one of the feeders. Strange, I thought, there were two on the feeder when I left the "studio" (my wee extension of the larger living room or great room as these open spaces are often called these days). I looked out the kitchen window to the deck and saw three male grosbeaks.

I couldn't believe my eyes when everywhere I looked I could see a few more of these beautiful gentle birds. There must have been a dozen passing through and seeing the accumulation of birds in the trees and shrubs that surround the church, stopped for breakfast.

When I was able to find my camera, I saw this image, two males one of the two females and a lone goldfinch crammed onto the feeder. It's the first time the female has been within camera range.

I continue to wonder why the birds prefer this feeder? At the moment there is a huge hairy woodpecker sorting seeds with its typical back and forth head motion, moving its beak from side to side to throw seeds away with abandon as it searches for just the perfect one.

And in the time it took to write that sentence, a bluejay moved in, also tossing seeds out of the wee tray.

When I finally take down some of the feeders in a week or so, it's obvious I need to get out the repair kit and a tin of paint and do some touch up on this little house but I have a feeling the birds will miss it. This is the customary spot for one of the three hummingbird feeders I put out each year. If I spread those apart a bit, the dominant male sometimes protects only one and gives other hummers a chance to feed. So the goldfinches and grosbeaks will have to settle for one of the other areas to chow down. Or not?

If anyone knows why birds choose certain feeders or places to feed besides there being lots of ground cover or nearby perches, please let me know. I'm endlessly curious about this.

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