Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Birds After the Storm

A little bit of sunny weather between the two snow storms gave the birds a peaceful time in which to fill up on sunflower seeds and cracked corn. The Blue Jays have formed a circle around the food bowl. Jays give each other plenty of space. This personal space issue limits the number of Jays on the ground at one time. To get more Jays on the ground, you have to spread the food over a larger area.

We have a few Crows that normally visit the field behind the house to check for discarded kitchen scraps. When the snow is on, they are likely to supplement their diet with some cracked corn.

The small birds give the Crow plenty of room, but don’t seem threatened by its presence. The Crows have never shown an aggression towards the other birds. I’ve seen Crows grab and carry off young Robins not much smaller than those sparrows, so it’s probably wise not to become too complacent while the big birds are around.

A Blue jay popped in the show how to scare the little birds away.

The Cardinal’s dainty shelling of the sunflower seed is quite a contrast to the stuff and run tactics used by the Blue Jay. When Blue Jays first arrive at the feeder they will take one seed at a time into the tree to remove and eat the meat. After a while they begin carrying off loads of seeds to be hidden for later use.

Blue Jays always seem to be intently studying something. If I could just get them to give me reports of their findings.

I haven’t seen the Cooper’s Hawks around here since Christmas. These three species are the Cooper’s favorites. For a while last summer, the hawks were taking a dove every two days. I never noticed any shortage of doves.

The Blue Jays and Cardinals expend a lot of energy going back and forth between the ground and the tree.

They can certainly brighten up a tree and add some color to the winter landscape.

Juncos and Tree Sparrows remain plentiful. Soon will come the day when I look out to discover that all the Tree Sparrows have been replaced by Chipping Sparrows. It always seems to happen quickly and without any mixing of the two species.

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