I went out this morning to feed the birds and water the plants. The plants looked strange. The yellow begonias had flowers, but it was thin on leaves. The ruffled petunias had some flowers left (not many), but the stalks had few leaves. “Odd,” I thought. They weren’t entirely leafless, but I figured, well, it’s the end of the season. Maybe the flowers are just dying back.
Come to think of it, even the little red petunias seemed thin on leaves. Didn’t they have more leaves yesterday? That was when I noticed there was a goldfinch sitting in the petunias.
The kitchen screen extends across the whole window, so I didn’t think I could take pictures through it, but I had a camera in my hand and there was the goldfinch. He wasn’t just sitting in the petunias. He was eating the petunias.
Where did all the flowers go? The goldfinch are eating them.
And yes, at least with the Pen F, I can take pictures through the screen. The camera ignores the screen. I have no idea how it does that.
Notes: Goldfinch eat only grains. Their favorite food is thistle. However, they will also eat salad greens and while not specifically mentioned, they will eat any tasty green food. They do NOT eat insects at all and unlike most birds, are picky about feeders. If it gets grungy, they won’t use it until you clean it.
Apparently any salad greens, especially lettuce, makes them happy. They like fresh (newly grown) leaves and occasionally, some flowers. I think the reason they are after our flowers is that everything else is dry from the prolonged drought, so fresh greens — petunias and begonias — are a treat. They also like fruit. When apples start coming in over the next few weeks, I will start putting out cut up apples for them. I sometimes put out oranges in the winter. Many garden birds like oranges, even insectivores.