Archive for August, 2006

Cardinal Sins

Or at least the sins that a northern cardinal thinks you make…

Occasionally one forgets to fill the feeder, or runs out of seed, the latter being the case this time. And it’s also pretty well known that when that happens, black-capped chickadees will often scold you as you walk out of your house.

Now mind you, it’s not that you mean to treat them as pets; you think you’re just providing a bit of food for some “wild” animals. But experienced bird feeders know differently. Wild birds can give you the guilt trip just about as well as a “domestic” pet can.

Last week, and again today, I had an experience that I really found unusual. It’s now become clear that the pair of northern cardinals that visit our feeders have learned from the chickadees. If the food is low or just about gone, the male AND the female have started to belt out their metallic “chirp” call… looking right into the house and a couple of times right at me.

Lesson learned.  I’m bringing seed home tonight.


The hummers are back!

With the late bloom of so many flowers, the past few weeks have had customers and us see many fewer visits to our hummingbird feeders. Now with those flowers dying back, the visits have certainly increased. Our feeder out front went from about 1/3 full (which is all I put in since they weren’t coming) down to just about empty in 3 days.

And when I’m taking the dog out each morning, I always hear (practically feel) one buzz by me as we walk close to that feeder. It should be fun to watch them over the next 4-5 weeks before they make their incredible journey back down to South America.


Owl Howls!

For the past 3 weeks or so, there has been quite a chorus outside of our house. Seems like a juvenile barred owl and mom have been patrolling our woods for their meals. Just about every other night (or early morning as is most often the case.) I am serenaded with the very familiar “Who, Who, Who cooks for you!” call, but then the other-worldly sound - referred in many books as the “monkey scream” starts. Oh my…. it’s a sound that one doesn’t soon forget, especially when it’s made about 8 feet from your bedroom window — Sheesh!

Still, as our only brown-eyed owl, it’s a beautiful bird and really nice to hear both of them, timestamp not inclusive.


An apology and then a post…

Wow! How summer flies (really no pun intended), and it has really been going by quickly. The store has been very busy the past 5 weeks or so, and it has been impossible to put in a post lately. So here goes.

After a long break where we had taken our seed feeders down due to the visits of a very persistent black bear, we just started puttiing out feeders for the day and have narrowed it down to some seed on our platform feeder and a full finch feeder.

It is nice to have the birds back, especially the American goldfinches - the males decked out in their summer gold and the females just starting to return after fledging the babies. Their song has been nice to hear.

Had a mixed seed tube feeder up for a few days, but with no baffle on the pole the chipmuncks were having a field day. However it was interesting to watch our neighborhood male cardinal try and get the seed out of this feeder. We’ve told people for so long that they really don’t like using perches on the tube feeders, and this one particular male certainly TRIED to make an exception. He practically hung  upside-down on the perches to get seed out, but he did it.  Very interesting to watch.

I have also seen a hairy woodpecker trying to figure out the finch feeder along with a bunch of chipping sparrows, including a lot of juveniles. Also a bunch of baby chickadees have been showing up too.

Can’t wait to get everything back up again.