We had a storm today, the remnants of Isiais. As a hurricane, did some serious damage from North Carolina though Connecticut. By the time it showed up in Massachusetts, it was no longer a hurricane. It was barely a tropical depression and it was moving the speed of a car on the highway — about 55 miles per hour. I knew the storm was coming. They told us yesterday that the storm would hit us this afternoon.
It was gray from early in the morning. By around three in the afternoon, the wind had picked up and we were under a tornado threat. I went outside and pushed all the plants against the wall of the house. I first filled the feeders, then realized I should probably take them down because replacing bird feeders gets a bit pricey.
The birds get a little frantic about eating when a storm is coming in. Like people expecting the electricity to go out, they hit the feeders with energy and enthusiasm. We must have had a recent spate of births among the Chipping Sparrows, because they were all out there, mom watching the babies eating at the feeders. Some of the babies still have little fluffy feathers sticking upright.
While the feeders were down, they birds hung around the brackets looking lost and puzzled. I’m sure they could see the feeders on the deck. They were just 12 feet away. The squirrels had no problem digging in, but the birds were confused. They kept looking at where the feeders should have been, then flying around in a circle. Lots of chittering.
“Do you know where the food is?”
“I see something over there.”
“We can’t go there … it’s right next to the door!”
“I think it’s food.”
“No, the food has to be here. Right here. It’s always here.”
When the skies started to brighten up, I put the feeders back up and dozens of Chipping Sparrows descended on them. It’s much easier to shoot brightly colored birds. Woodsy birds like sparrows don’t display well. Chipping Sparrows are friendly little birds and I’m told with a little encouragement can be tamed enough to eat out of your hands. I don’t encourage them to be that friendly. If something happens to me, I want them to be wild enough to manage on their own. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the moment the fledglings are ready the fly, mom brings them to our deck for their first good meal. We are on the food map.
I took a lot of pictures. Aside from the bevy of Chipping Sparrows. there were a couple of Tufted Titmouses, but they wouldn’t share a feeder. A couple of Goldfinches tried to come aboard, but they gave up. Too many sparrows and the Titmouses are big.
Note: You would NOT believe the rage of birders over whether these are Tufted Titmouses or Tufted Titmice. There will never be an answer, just an endless argument.