Views From the Recliner
Guest Blogger, Susan Fellows
My first-floor, corner apartment sits on the edge of a large green space and parking lot surrounded by a stand of pines, maples, and oaks. On one side is a complex of boutique stores, restaurants, and apartments/condos. Nearby and opposite the greenspace is a residents’ home for memory care. Last year I had placed outside my living room window a double shepherd’s crook feeder visible from my recliner. I am older and have some medical issues that restrict movement. So, a good view of the outside and the birds is important to me. They are entertaining! That first year I had what seemed like a million new sparrows that went through the wild bird seed like crazy. This year, I haven’t seen as many newly fledged sparrows.
Attracting a Variety of Birds
This year I put out several feeders on the double shepherd’s crook – one for black oil sunflowers and another for wild bird seed. Also on that post, I have a “cage” of suet and a sock of blick niger thistle seed. A couple of months ago I added a single shepherd’s crook with a mealy worm feeder. This spring and early summer I have seen pairs of the house and purple finches, house and chipping sparrows, several pairs of goldfinches, and at least one pair of bluebirds. They come to the sunflower and thistle seed, which the goldfinches seem to prefer. About a week ago, a mockingbird started coming and feeds entirely on the suet. Recently I put out wild bird food which hangs from the other hook on the double shepherd’s crook. I had put out mealy worms that I prefer the bluebirds have, but the house and chipping sparrows decided they own it. Flying over and calling from the grassy area are killdeer. With their shrill call, they are easy to spot as they hobble away with their fake broken wing act to lure predators from their ground nest. They nest in low vegetation, like the nearby grassy lawn.
The memory home nearby has a bluebird nesting box on the quiet side of the building. I believe that is where the bluebirds come from.to feed. Several days ago I heard quite a racket from the feeding station. Looking outside, I spotted a fairly large bird with a highly streaked white breast, perched on the top of the single shepherd’s crook. An adult bluebird was also on the feeder. The bird making the racket had its beak open waiting for the adult to feed it. It didn’t. It was time for the baby to learn to eat on its own. At that point, I could see bright blue in its tail feathers. I was so excited! It was a baby bluebird!
Another day, I was looking out my window when suddenly a little, male chipping sparrow with his chestnut top on his head arrived bringing with him a smaller bird that landed close to him, beak open. Dad bird fed baby bird several pieces of seed and then showed baby bird how to do it, but as I watched baby still hadn’t got the hang of it.
Invasion by New Comers to the Feeder
A newcomer at the mealy worm feeder appeared recently – starlings. I was invaded by baby starlings. At least 15 had taken over the feeders. To lure them away from the hanging feeders, I put out a seed block on the ground at the base of the other feeders. Although I can’t see it, I expect the starlings may be happier at it than just eating crumbs from the open mealy worm feeder. I hope they will leave soon. They eat everything.
I have enjoyed sharing all these spring bird-related events with Winding Pathways. I expect to be inundated with newly fledged sparrows any time soon. Enjoy your birding adventures as I have enjoyed what I can see from my recliner.