TOO MANY BIRDS! – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Rely

Be careful what you wish for. I wanted more birds? I got more birds. I have new birds I do not recognize, or at least don’t recognize them as the usual local avians. There is a white one with a cockade that looks like a huge, overgrown Titmouse, but he’s the size — maybe even bigger — than the Blue Jays. He looks like a Gray Jay but might be an immature flycatcher. I rely on my bird books and the Audubon lists on the Internet, but so far, they have failed me.

The birds are moving as the weather moves, so it can be hard to ascertain if that bird now lives here or you’ve got the identity all wrong.

Everything except the finches have returned. There are no finches. They may still be nesting in Canada and I think I spotted a house finch the other day, but I didn’t get a good enough look at it. They may have been pushed out of the feeders by the squirrels or Blue Jays.

We are out of bird food. They ate 36 pounds of food in about a month and that is a LOT of bird food. We need to check out the feed and grain stores and see if we can come up with something they will eat that costs less. I can’t afford $100 worth of birdseed in a month. That’s more than the dogs — including their medication — cost. And of course, there are the squirrels who eat at least half the food — if not more. I wanted birds? I got them!

Chickadee and Titmouse

Mom, he took the WHOLE FEEDER!

One little nuthatch

Two Tufted Titmice

More Titmice

Name that bird! The size of a Blue Jay with a very small crest in black or dark blue

Titmouse in early (very early!) sunset

19 thoughts on “TOO MANY BIRDS! – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. That is a question I OFTEN ask myself – hearing about your financial squeeze, I always wondered HOW can they feed that monster army of birds, squirrels?
    I just had a terrible experience with Amazon bird food. As HH needs to car to drive to Switzerland back and forth all the time, and me having absolutely no access to any bird seeds, I ordered 15kg and 50 fat balls from Ama. I only ever compare 4 & 5* ratings. The seeds I then ordered with over 150 good ratings arrived and the 10kg of mixed food is total ‘merde’ (pardon my French!). I hardly dared putting them out but I had to, added lots of wonderful and perfect sunflower kernels. Within hours the Ama food was all over the garden, messy, the sunflower seeds eaten and the birds asking for more. I tried to write to Amazon and ask for a refund – but of course you can’t. Have to wait to give my ‘verdict’ until I’ve calmed down a bit….. THEN (only) I checked why the heck that garbage had such great ratings and saw that the 5* all dated back to 2017/18. From then on only 1 & 2 *s….. lesson learnt!
    Bird food for Christmas – that sounds like a perfect idea – I would love to spoil you a bit but from France, or God forbid, from Switzerland, that would be a tad excessive 😉

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    • A lot depends on how long the seeds were stored and that IS the problem with Amazon and food — for dogs AND birds too. Sometimes, it comes out of the warehouse with moths or mold and it’s from being stored too long. I’m looking for a local food and grain place — and the birds and squirrels are going to have to go down to a lower level of food. I CAN’T afford it. I have a moral issue with the birds — which is that they are dying by the millions and if we don’t feed them, we may not have any in a few years. All the animals that share our world are suffering badly from having their habitats destroyed and weather changes. I know I can’t save them all, but I can keep a few alive.

      There’s no food for them this morning. They ate it all and no more is coming until later today, The squirrels are the most baffling part of the problem. I know they get hungry and I don’t mind feeding them. I enjoy their antics … but they eat and eat and eat and there are so MANY of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn for president….
        You are so spot-on with everything. I only disagree re the squirrels. They multiply at an alarming rate and with their hunger and recklessness diminish the birds’ survival chances.

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    • There are squirrel “stoppers” but they won’t work on our deck because the squirrels get to the food from below by climbing the wooden stake that holds up the hooks and the feeders. And even with the best will in the world, squirrels are astonishingly good at figuring out how to get past just about ANY barrier. Also, I don’t WANT to starve them. I just want them to stop eating everything all at once. I put out two feeders and they are BIG feeders. the hanging one holds almost 5 pounds of seeds and the other one holds about the same. The squirrels, doves, Blue Jays, Cardinals and other larger birds clear the flat feeder in hours. It take them about three days to empty the hanging feeder. Call that about 10 pounds of feed two to three times a week and a little more in winter when I know we are the only place putting out food.

      It’s cold early this year. We should not be in a polar vortex before Thanksgiving (at the end of the month), but we are. Apparently, the oaks didn’t put out much in the way of acorns this year either. When they have a good year, you can see acorns everywhere. This year? Almost nothing. Probably next year.

      It depends on the weather and also, I think the oaks have a cycle of their own. My bird feeding is fun as a hobby, but mostly I do it in the hopes of keeping the birds ALIVE. We’ve lost more than 30 million birds over the past decade and will lose, now that climate change is hard on us, another couple of million with each passing year.

      I can’t stop climate change. This is the best I can do and it’s nowhere near enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Hitchcock had a point with his film. By the way I have a finch. Mr. Swiss seems to be better than any books, he knows them all, even if he only knows the Swiss German name. More tomorrow 🙂

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    • Yesterday we filled both feeders with all the rest of the food. The hanging feeder holds about 4 lbs of food and the flat feeder another two or three. They are nearly empty today — and we are out of food until the next package from Amazon comes in. This is ridiculous. I think we spend more on food for the birds than we spend for US!

      Liked by 2 people

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