Wednesday, November 23, 2005
There's probably no practical limit to the number of feeders birds will enjoy if you provide them. I've had three tube feeders, a shelf feeder and two suet feeders for a long time. They're about twelve feet from the deck and it's delightful to sit practically among the birds as they enjoy their evening snack and I enjoy my cocktail. It's November and I don't think there will be any more cocktails on the deck. So, I thought it would be fun to have a feeder closer to the window. Belinda had a spare tube feeder and Candace gave me a suet feeder which I hung from a hook over the deck where the fuchsia was in the summer. Next day there they were. Many chickadees, a goldfinch, a titmouse, a downy woodpecker and a bluejay eyeing the tube feeder and cleaning up the dropped seeds.
Does anyone study the "last man standing" syndrome of mourning doves and other flocking birds? A dozen or more doves are feeding contentedly on the ground under the feeder when a squirrel runs up. The doves scatter amidst noisy wings and coos and in a few seconds there's one dove left looking around as if to say "What?" Is it always the same one? Is the bit of energy saved by not fleeing enough to balance the increased risk of being eaten?