Birds are on the move in the metro area. Today while at the KARE 11 Studios you could hear Canada geese honking all over the golf course across the street. I'm getting excited for Nebraska and for the Rivers and Wildlife Festival--I can't believe I'm leaving again next week! If you are a person like me who is fascinated by mass movements of birds, Nebraska really is a good time. I know that no one has ever really put the last six words in previous sentence together in that order before, but you've got to believe me that Nebraska truly is a good time. For someone who has to wait for spring for another month or so, the idea of being able to hear western meadowlarks and prairie chickens while watching cranes dance in the distance is really all I have for the nest month or two.
The best part is that the Eagle Optics booth will be at Rowe Sanctuary so I will be able to enjoy the birds while I work. They have a great feeder set up and you have a view of the river with all the large windows.
I have adjusted my feeder set up yet again (here is the last configuration) because of the pigeons. Blasted birds. In the photo below we have a Droll Yankee X-1 Seed Saver holding a Mr. Bird Pecan Seed Log (ask your local bird store if they carry Mr. Bird products. This sunflower, pecans and a tiny bit of millet held together with some type of gelatin). I liked the idea of the log because I don't think piegeons will be able to peck at the food as well as a downy woodpecker, chickadee or cardinal. Also, Non Birding Bill won't have to replenish this as much as he would with loose seed, since he's in charge of the feeders when I travel (I'll make sure not to have any gourmet mole in the home). I was inspired to put the Droll Yankee feeder together based on a similar set up I saw with an Aspects feeder at a Wild Birds Unlimited in Hudson, WI.
The other, smaller feeder is a Clinger's Only Feeder. I can't believe I actually bought the little plastic, green Clinger's Only Feeders. When I ran the All Seasons store in Wayzata, one of my employees had a Clinger's Only and kept telling me I need to carry it. I'm usually a snob about plastic feeders since they can be so easily chewed and we carried so many other feeders, I never took her suggestion as seriously as I should have. A clinging type feeder is meant for only clinging-type birds like chickadees, nuthatches, finches and sparrows. Of course, now that I'm not at that store, I can see Lori got through to the new manager and she's carrying it. Which is lucky for me, because I bought it. Having a massive pigeon problem, this feeder should not accomodate pigeons and allow one spot for the smaller birds to feed. It's far enough out on the bracket that I'm hopeful the squirrels won't jump to it. We'll see how it goes.
The changing of feeders is enough to freak all the birds out so no pigeons have been on them the last few days. A male cardinal arrived first thing yesterday morning. He perched in his normal spot, looked at the two new feeders, chipped a few times and then flew away. Cardinals really don't deal well with change. He made another attempt this morning and went for the X-1 Seed Saver. I haven't put up the Squirrel Twirl with the feeders yet. I want to see what tactics the squirrels and pigeons take before I put that one out again. It needed a rest anyway, the pigeons were wearing out the battery.
As I was repositioning feeders, I left one of my containers of bird seed on the floor and Cinnamon the oh-so-clever rabbit has discovered how to open the container and eat the food on the inside (That's her starting the process at left, by first opening the spigot and will eventually work her way to the larger opening). I don't know whether to exclaim how clever she is or resort to calling her a bunny butthead. I think she's acting out again. Excited as she is to go to with me to Nebraska next week, she just learned that Non Birding Bill and I are heading to Ohio soon and will more than likely have an opportunity to meet Chet Baker. Since this is a plane trip, she will have to stay home and guard the apartment. There is some major disapproval as she sees Chet as a sort of rival. I keep telling her that it's all in her head, Chet is by no means copying her success of Disapproving Rabbits and she should embrace him as a chum, or better yet, a peer. However, she disagrees with his opinions on digging and chasing small furry creatures. Ah well, perhaps some us do better with an imagined rival to help us strive to be better and more creative...then again, I may just be reading too much into my rabbit.
I need to get to bed, I have my 5:45am bird update with the Punnetts tomorrow.