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The Good, the Bad, and the Clucky

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Old Monday 7th January 2019, 18:45   #1
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The Good, the Bad, and the Clucky

So I've had my feeders up for a couple of months now and I'm having fun watching the different birds, their behaviors, and the species I'm getting in. I'm sure most of these behaviors are what everyone here has seen, but I wanted to share anyhow.

1) The most common visitors are house sparrows and house finches. No surprise there. But they seem to frequently come in together. My feeders must be part of a regular circle they make. It's fun to see them chase each other around like a school yard of children. I even witnessed one sparrow pull the tail of another who wouldn't move.

2) Occasionally black-capped chickadees will visit. They seem to like the hanging tube feeders and don't stop at the platform feeders. The sparrows and finches seem to take food from wherever they land.

3) Flickers like the platform feeder, obviously. One will fly in, land, and spend a minute or two eating before taking off.

4) Blue Jays, on the other hand, will hit that platform feeder, grab something, and they're off again, not hanging out for more than a few minutes.

5) I know that juncos are ground feeders. Unfortunately when I'm working in my den I can't really see the ground from where I sit and work. However, I've learned that when I go refill the feeders I'll throw some food up onto the roof of my shed and the juncos will actually go up there to find food now, so I get to see them.

6) The blue jays, flickers, and doves will also take advantage of the food tossed onto the shed.

7) I have an old grape vine I'd considered removing when I first bought my house. But I've noticed that the sparrows really like to spend time in it, so I've decided to leave it to give them some shelter.

8) When it gets really cold I don't see the birds as frequently. Once it warms up a little they'll empty my feeders in a day. I expected them to come in more when it was cold.

9) I got a nuthatch the other day. I had never seen one outside the mountain area where my parents live. So seeing one here was an unexpected treat.

10) My suet feeders are largely ignored. Is that because we haven't had any major cold spells yet this winter?

And finally, the clucky... My neighbor and I share a small fence. He has chickens. His chickens have learned that seed gets spilled beneath my feeders and so they'll stop in for some food! They're not quite the type of bird I was looking to attract when I set up the feeders, but they do provide some comic relief.
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Old Monday 7th January 2019, 19:23   #2
KC Foggin
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Hi Ondine!

My woodies, nuthatches and Jays love the suet feeders so don't give up on that. I'm surprised that you don't get more birds in the colder temps as there is less natural food around during the winter. And finally, if anything, the chickens are good at keeping the ground beneath the feeders cleaner avoiding the visiting of rodents.
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