So now the pecking order is this:
Deer outrank squirrels.
Squirrels outrank blackbirds.
Blackbirds outrank bluejays.
Bluejays outrank finches.
Finches outrank chickadees.
Chickadees outrank mourning doves.
Mourning doves don't outrank anybody or anything except the seeds.
Which makes me a little sad, so I've been sprinkling some seed on the grass for them, which I will probably regret later in the summer when it sprouts. But I love the doves' cooing and the characteristic whistle of their wings as they fly, so I'm glad to see "our" pair dropping by every day.
I don't know where the crows rank because I haven't seen them at the feeder this year. If I had to guess, though, I'd put them right below the deer. Or possibly above.
On the bright side, with the installation of our new finch feeder, the finches have been removed from the rankings. They discovered their new buffet almost immediately, and have been loyal patrons ever since. And no one else is bothering them. Yay!
So now my challenge is how to get the blackbirds to stop hogging the regular feeder. I have a feeling nothing will change unless I get another feeder for sunflower seeds only, because the blackbirds pick those out and scatter everything else.
And to give the bluejays a chance, we probably need a feeder for peanuts in the shell.
Reminds me of cooking for fussy eaters . . .
Last week I forgot to mention the reaction of the blackbirds to the four deer at the feeder. They were not happy birds. One fellow was literally hopping mad and his language wasn't fit to print. What a scolding he gave them, but the deer didn't even look at him.
This video shows the goldfinches flitting back and forth to their new feeder. I wonder how many seeds it takes to power those little wings for hours every day?
You'll notice some of the goldfinches are brighter yellow than the others; those would be the males. I believe both the females and the non-breeding males are paler in colour, but I wonder if all ours are females, because there are consistently eight birds, four bright and four drab. I'm no expert but it would seem to make sense that there are four breeding pairs.
And now a few funnies from icanhas.cheezburger, just because it's Friday:
Here in Canada we are going into our first long weekend of what we call the summer season (which starts in May and ends in October, thus spanning spring/summer/fall!) It doesn't FEEL like summer, or even spring, for that matter. In fact, there was a frost warning last night. However, that won't stop me from enjoying the extra day off work. In fact, since I don't like extreme heat, it might help me enjoy it more. My husband is going to be catching up on his job workload and I hope to get some decluttering and cleaning done. Or at least some reading :) I will still be hosting Poetry Monday on schedule; the topic will be "friendship."
What is your weekend looking like? Fun or work? Or a little of both? I hope there's at least a little time for something enjoyable just for you!
We have noticed that pecking order is dependent on individuals as well as species. A pushy individual from a low ranking species can (and sometimes does) jump up the list. Size is often but by no means always a determinant.
Enjoy your weekend. Ours will continue to be busy but (I hope) productive.
My weekend is looking a little busier than I've become accustomed to, but there should be some fun in there.
Love the funnies :)
Squirrels will get the bird food every time. I don't think we have many of them here. Briana says she saw one, but I never have. We do have some gophers and a skunk who visits every once in a while, and maybe a raccoon or two in the creek two houses over, but they all seem to get along with the birds OK.
The cats, on the other hand, are all up to no good where the birds are concerned, and occasionally the birds will deliver a stern lecture about it, and whichever cat is the recipient will slink away like nothing is wrong...
I was thinking about getting a hummingbird feeder, but I haven't seen many hummingbirds around to feed. I'll have to read about whether you can attract them with a feeder, or whether they have to already be around to find it.
-Doug in Oakland
Haha thanks for the funnies, I loved them all! Well when everyone else seems to have the weekend off - I work. I have a gig tonight and tomorrow, so lots of preparation and practice. :D
Don’t you love seeing those goldfinch come back in the spring? I can’t help but get excited when I see my first one - this year it was on March 20th. I am sure they, also, were disappointed by the cold weather.
We have five or six bird feeders depending on the activity of the raccoons at night. My Retired Man feels it’s his duty to feed as many birds on the east coast as possible. Our bird food bill rivals our cat food bill and all creatures, large and small, feathers and fur, live happy and hardy in my back yard.
I'm surprised that blackbirds outrank bluejays, honestly. Bluejays are such big, fairly aggressive birds! (But I like them anyway.)
Dear Jenny_o, I so enjoy your blog because of your devotion to birds. Overtime I come here--which is usually on Friday--I find out more about them and your care of them. The compiled list makes sense to me now that I've been reading your postings for a while. Thank you. Peace.
enjoy your day! friendship is a lovely topic.
Bird feeding can become an obsession of controlling the baddies and helping the goodies. Good luck controlling the pests like squirrels and house sparrows.
I "foiled" black birds (i.e., all birds with black feathers) by switching to safflower in ALL the feeders (except finch, who had their private feeder). It worked; the black feathered birds (starlings included) do not eat white seeds, and left for more productive digs. I began mixing up the food again after a month or so, when black birds had me off their feeding route.
It's the community free exchange here where you can put things out with a free sign on them and hope someone takes it all away. I'll be trolling through the house for give aways.
Hi Jenny, a nice post to read. I enjoyed your video clips too. I can imagine there being a pecking order that everybody has to fit info. It’s-just a pity you didn’t some shorts of the deer and the blackbirds
Interesting about the individual pecking order; I'll be watching to see if we get that happening here, too. I hope your weekend is productive as well. It makes the "busy" worthwhile.
I'm okay with busy as long as there are some bright spots, myself :)
Cats have that slink down pat, don't they? :)
In my (limited) experience, hummers are very hard to spot unless you have something with a strong draw like a feeder or some flowers they especially like. I didn't think we had any here either, but after we planted our butterfly bush they did show up.
Yeah, in certain occupations (like yours), the busy times are when everyone else is off work! Hope you can have a good time along with the partiers :)
I'm the same with the goldfinches, Arleen! They cheer me up :) It's so good to hear about people looking out for critters, too.
I was surprised by that dynamic, too. The blackbirds are really feisty and the jays just stand back and give it up!
Thank you, Dee - I'm glad you are enjoying my learning posts, because that's what they are. My interest didn't start until a couple of years ago! Peace to you as well.
There are lots of ways to develop that topic, for sure. It's hard to pick one :)
There, as usual you've got to the heart of the matter in just a few words, Red. Perfect!
Interesting! I've not run into that solution before. I haven't noticed safflower seeds in the stores but it might be because I wasn't looking for it. Good to know, thanks.
We used to have a special spring pickup and if you left stuff out for a few days prior to it a lot would get picked up for re-use. It was great. The town cancelled it - too expensive. I think that was very short-sighted! I hope you get rid of LOTS of things :)
Thanks, Terry. I couldn't get good shots of the deer and blackbirds. They are both very skittish! I was wishing I could have, though.
Enjoy your extra day off and hopefully those temperatures will start rising soon. Your cheezburger funnies were good this week. Thank you.
No, no, I'm good with cooler temperatures! Have a good weekend, Mr. S. :)
Your little goldfinches are so cute! And you're probably right about crows outranking deer - I think they outrank everybody except ravens and eagles.
I know this sounds silly, but we were actually hoping for rain this weekend - our garden needs it, and none of our plans would be spoiled by it. The sky keeps promising, but it hasn't delivered. Guess we'll be watering again today...
If you have to water, you definitely need rain . . . hope you get it!
There's always that pecking order! It doesn't take long for those bird feeders to spin out of control. Or the animals to spin them out of control. Or some such thing...I can't seem to get my thoughts out right!
I always enjoy the funnies! The 'you had on job' images are always hilarious!
Spinning out of control is exactly how it feels! Where will it all end? :D
I like those "one job" memes, too - always funny!
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