I'm not sure exactly what happened or who is to blame, fingers are being pointed everywhere, but sometimes bird feeding can go a little wonky.
Yesterday Non Birding Bill was on the phone and I overheard him say, "Oh dear, oh, I'm so sorry. Well, in fairness it was in the same drawer as the suet...Okay, I'll tell her and I'm sure she will make fun of me."
When he finished the conversation I asked what had happened. When I was in Arkansas, he went over to Mr. Neil's to watch some Dr. Who. When I go out there with NBB, I normally make sure all of Mr. Neil's bird feeders are in working order, so NBB did the same in my absence. He went to fill the suet log and found a drawer full of suet plugs. Some was the usual No Melt Woodpecker Attractor that I bring but there was also a baggy full of something that looked like crap suet that was probably picked up at a discount store. Since the baggy was open he decided to use that.
A week later, Mr. Neil was maintaining his feeders and noticed that a couple of the holes on the suet log had been ignored by the woodpeckers. Upon closer inspection he discovered that someone had filled the suet feeder full of gourmet chocolate that he picked up in the Cayman Islands specifically for making mole. Apparently, NBB had mistaken gourmet chocolate for crap suet. When I asked how this had happened NBB insisted that it looked nothing like chocolate and it was even shaped in plug form like the suet I get for them and was sitting right next to all the suet plugs. He said the worst part was that since he thought it was crap suet, he thought the best thing would be to get rid of it so he just jammed packed the feeder as full as he could to get rid of it.
Fortunately, the birds had the good sense to ignore the gourmet chocolate since that can be lethal for them.
So, the lesson learned? Never store your gourmet chocolate where you store your suet plugs.
A question I am left with: Even if it is fancy gourmet chocolate, can it really be all that good if it looks remotely like suet?
Sunday's Raptor: Kestrel--saw it most unexpectedly, one of my favorite ways. I was walking past our windows and caught a glimpse of a bird I knew right away was a small falcon. It flew behind some trees and landed on top of a chimney. I could only see the tail, but I saw it bob up and down and that confirmed kestrel to me. I also saw a few red-tailed hawks and a bald eagle. One of the red-tails was on a dead gray squirrel in the middle of a road. NBB and I weren't sure if it had just killed the squirrel or was taking advantage of fast food in the form of roadkill.