Birds Not Reading The Books

So, when not tending the bees at Mr. Neil's house, I tend to his birds. He has great birds in his yard. You may recall that last week a pine warbler was bee bopping around our cars and feeding stations. I figured it was eating whatever it could before the insects burst out in full force. Tuesday evening as we were filling all the feeders, the pine warbler landed within five feet of us and started eating the sunflower chips right away. It ate quite a few all the while eyeing us warily. It eventually made its way over to one of the suet feeders.

I had some mealworms in my car and I dashed off on tossed those on some of the trays. The pine warbler ate one, but afterwards returned to the sunflower chips and suet. The warmer weather has brought more insects and it should be eating mealworms, but seems to have a definite preference for the suet and sunflower hearts. This bird is not reading the books about what it's supposed to be eating.

There are two well stocked suet feeders--the large cage that holds about four or five suet cakes (that the pine warbler is on in the above photos) and the ever popular suet log. Despite that, the above male downy woodpecker decided that he was going to for the finch feeder with the teeny tiny holes.

We have a mixture of Nyjer (thistle) and sunflower chips in the finch feeders. Woodpeckers do enjoy sunflower chips and sometimes when food options at a feeding station are limited, a downy woodpecker has been known to peck open finch feeders that have sunflower chips. But this bird's food options aren't limited. There are two suet feeders and they are fully loaded.

And a mere few feet away from where the downy was feeding is a tube feeder with very large feeding ports that don't need to be pecked open and is chock full of sunflower hearts and peanuts. Note the sensible white-breasted nuthatch above partaking of the tasty sunflower seed out of the shell.

There were some woodpeckers with the good sense to use the suet feeders. And because I love woodpecker tongues, I had to show this photo of a red-bellied using its barbed and spear like tongue to grab some chunks of suet. For newer readers of the blog, here is a close up photo of a red-bellied woodpecker tongue.

And this is just a gratuitous shot of the male red-bellied because he looked so purty in the sun.

"Hello, my name is Charlie, I'll be you white-throated sparrow this evening."

I love watching and listening to the changing of the birds on a day to day basis in spring. One day it's fairly quiet and then the next morning the woods are lousy with singing ruby-crowned kinglets. On Tuesday night, the white-throated sparrows were actively feeding well past dusk. They were calling to each other and throughout the night I could hear them calling--I wondered if some were heading further north. There were still some white-throated sparrows the next day, but I don't think they were the same birds that were there the night before.