Saturday, April 22, 2006

Goodbye grackles, hello goldfinches

Actually posted by Andy, not Janell:

Well, I solved the "Curse of the Grackle" recently. We have a bird feeder in front of our house which was being savaged by the common grackle. They were scaring off all of the other, nicer looking, birds. So, I did a little research and found that the grackle despises safflower seed. So, I replaced our wild bird seed with safflower seed and haven't seen a grackle since then. Suckers.

I also purchased a goldfinch feeder. Apparently, goldfinches are the only birds that feed upside down, so this feeder is designed only for them. This is somewhat humorous when other finches attempt to eat from the feeder. The have to resign themselves to picking up the scraps leftover on the ground. I might end up getting them their own feeder though. I feel for their plight.

One interesting phenomenon I have observed with the goldfinch feeder is that they seem to be very territorial. There has been 1 female, and 2 males at the feeder quite often. As you can see from this photo though, only one male eats at a time. There is space for 6 birds on the feeder, but as soon as the other male tries to feed, the one currently feeding scares him away. It's very interesting to watch.

A final observation about birds. I appreciate the fact that male birds are much better looking than their female counterparts. I made the comment to Janell that this is much like humans. She didn't seem to appreciate it though...As I like to say, it's a good thing we have a comfortable couch.

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