I purchased a bird feeder, actually two, Amazon has these strange pricing practices. This particular item was purchase one for $18.00 or two for $21.00. Who in their right mind would buy one? I ended up with two, now I’m using twice the seed.
All I wanted to do was set out a bit of wild bird seed out possibly use it for photo ops, which I’ve already done. Up to today it’s been mostly Red Headed Sparrows, Doves and Scrub Jays. Each of them prefers a certain type of seed.
I suppose I should have realized that setting seed out would be the source of issues in the bird kingdom. This is a lot like WWE cage fighting, none of these birds get along with any other bird. The Sparrows are a fighting bunch of little ornery dudes and dudettes, it’s like there isn’t enough for everyone. They are constantly pecking, pushing and dive bombing one another. But interestingly enough the males fight while the females stand back watching. The victorious male will then chase all the females but one off the bench, but they only stay there for a few seconds.
As in the photo above two males with the gentleman on the right throwing a hissy fit because the interloper had the nerve to peck a few seeds. Boy Howdy do they fight and raise cane.
Scrub Jays are interesting around the bird feeders as well, however in a different way. I have categorized them in two groups. The Sparrows are the consumers as their main concern is getting all they want to eat, like a buffet table. The Scrub Jays on the other hand are savers hoarding seeds, nuts and corn kernels they keep it interesting. I spread out critter food on the lawn to keep the Jays out of the feeders, that seems to work. The Jays will land on the grass to forage. They will eat several bits of food then pick up a nut and fly off to stash it. They then back off a distance and watch the spot it was hidden in. If another bird had seen it placed that bird may raid the stash in which case the Jay jumps to life. It attacks the thieve chasing it into the hinterland the Jay will then re-locate the morsel. They remember for six months where each bit had been hidden and remembering which will rot the quickest; keeping the nuts for last.
That sign of peace the Dove is after all not so peaceful. They watch the Jays hide their stash, following them to it inevitably being chased and pecked by the tough blue bird. They are equally territorial as many other birds but especially abusive to their mates, actually attacking one another. They chase the other Doves from the critter food on the lawn.
The most civilized visitors are the California Quail, up to now I have not witnessed any aggressive behavior from them. I imagine they stand in awe witnessing the mayhem going on mere feet from them. I don’t know why they are above the fray perhaps it has something to do with their exposure as ground dwellers.
At the end of the day after the sun sets introducing the dark side of life the furry critters emerge. They finish every bit of food left in the bowls and on the ground, one things for sure it is entertaining.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance