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Birds of the Garden Empty Birds of the Garden

Post  trolleydriver on 7/4/2016, 2:52 pm

There is a Downy Woodpecker that visits one of our bird feeders. It takes some seeds then flies over to the post which holds the feeder and appears to deposit the seeds in a crack in the post. Fascinating to watch.

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Post  CapeCoddess on 7/4/2016, 4:48 pm

lol!
That's hysterical! Will you have sunflowers growing out of your post next year?
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/4/2016, 5:19 pm

He is making a cache for the Winter! You feed year round though, right, TD? I do too. Haha, he is a resourceful fellow!
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/4/2016, 6:13 pm

Post to Woodpecker Gardening forum:
I've been planting birdfeeder seeds all year, but none ever germinated! The original birdfeeder is still producing, but I'm really hoping I can get some more birdfeeders to grow. I'm putting the seeds in the same wooden post as the original, so I know it's suitable wood for growing birdfeeders. Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can get these silly seeds to sprout? Do they just need to overwinter?
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/4/2016, 6:19 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:Post to Woodpecker Gardening forum:
I've been planting birdfeeder seeds all year, but none ever germinated! The original birdfeeder is still producing, but I'm really hoping I can get some more birdfeeders to grow. I'm putting the seeds in the same wooden post as the original, so I know it's suitable wood for growing birdfeeders. Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can get these silly seeds to sprout? Do they just need to overwinter?

Woody, might need to use a heating pad and 'round the clock flourescent lighting to get decent germination on those seeds. They are notorious for being tough to propagate.

rofl funny post
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Post  Judy McConnell on 7/4/2016, 8:54 pm

On a negative side of birds in the garden - I have a (or more) catbird(s) who dearly love bean seedlings and have stripped one of my bean patches bare.  Silly birds!!  One was out of sight of them or the seedlings were too tall for their likings and are beginning to flower (under bird netting).  The original bean patch will be recovered AND replanted. Yes, I understand that they like fruit - one peck out of each tomato when ripening but NOW I have enough bird netting that the tomatoes should be safe (well, except for the squirrels who also take ONE bite).
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Post  Windmere on 7/4/2016, 9:04 pm

You all gave me a good laugh.  We have the same kind of woodpecker visiting our feeder, but he never does anything very interesting.  Wink
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/4/2016, 9:09 pm

@Judy McConnell wrote:On a negative side of birds in the garden - I have a (or more) catbird(s) who dearly love bean seedlings and have stripped one of my bean patches bare.  Silly birds!!  One was out of sight of them or the seedlings were too tall for their likings and are beginning to flower (under bird netting).  The original bean patch will be recovered AND replanted. Yes, I understand that they like fruit - one peck out of each tomato when ripening but NOW I have enough bird netting that the tomatoes should be safe (well, except for the squirrels who also take ONE bite).

I get it. The birds took every one of my sunflowers last year. Not one made it.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/4/2016, 9:58 pm

I'm wondering if my robins nesting under the deck, right next to my garden, are protecting it from other birds. I haven't (yet) had problems with any birds going after my pea, bean, or sunflower seeds/seedlings. I've seen the robins go after the grackles in the yard and chase them away, perhaps they chase off other garden-visiting birds when I'm not around.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/4/2016, 10:27 pm

Robins are like the bouncers. They are insect eaters, so do not populate the feeder. But they are really the enforcers when it comes to bullies. Large and in charge. cheers
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Post  trolleydriver on 7/5/2016, 7:13 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:There is a Downy Woodpecker that visits one of our bird feeders. It takes some seeds then flies over to the post which holds the feeder and appears to deposit the seeds in a crack in the post. Fascinating to watch.

Now the plot thickens. I was out on the patio using the BBQ to cook up some things for dinner. Ten feet away, the downy woodpecker was doing his thing ... taking seeds from the feeder and stuffing them into the crack in the post. He flew away and a moment later a squirrel climbed the post. It looked like he was getting (or trying to get) the seeds out of the crack. Ain't nature wonderful.

Birds of the Garden Animal-graphics-squirrel-557373      Birds of the Garden Real-life-angry-bird-smiley-emoticon

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/5/2016, 9:13 pm

Yes, it is! Funny! I was going broke feeding my birds(read; squirrels) for years. They would climb the pole, hang on the feeder and (in winter) suet box. Eat, eat, spill, spill....repeat.

Went to Ace Hardware this past fall. Audubon Squirrel Baffle. $29. Seemed pricey, but money back guarantee. Bought it. Best thing EVER! I have saved double the money in feeding material, at least.

Birds of the Garden Image39

See that upside down cone? The Bomb. Squirrels occasionally get up,there, but no biggee.

I now feed them separately. I am a pushover.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/5/2016, 9:49 pm

Summer set-up

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Nectar and sunflowers...suet comes out in the cold, post hummingbird season!
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/5/2016, 11:56 pm

I tossed a cabbage butterfly caterpillar out of my cabbage this morning, onto the driveway. (No more growing cabbage without covers. Picking the caterpillars off kale and collards is tedious but doable. Once they are in a heading cabbage... Mad Impossible.) Turned back to what I was doing, heard wings, looked up - robin had green in its beak, turned back to the driveway - no cabbage worm (yes they can crawl away fast, but not that fast.) I didn't think they ate those but I guess I gave the robin a thank you for keeping the pea/bean/sunflower-eaters away. I hope I can do it again. Meanwhile, though, robins are getting berries from somewhere. There are three babies that I can see. This one was sort-of "But... but... I wasn't done yet" after mom/dad flew off.
Birds of the Garden Img_5710Birds of the Garden Img_5711
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Post  trolleydriver on 7/6/2016, 8:58 am

There was a robin trapped inside one of my chicken wire cages.  The cage does not cover the whole 4x4 bed so he must have found a way in under the side that does not sit on top of the bricks surrounding the bed and where there is a small gap between the bottom of the cage on the ground. He was frantic to get out.

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/6/2016, 3:53 pm

Oh, no, it's a trap! I'm glad you found him in time, TD! Now he knows why the earlier bird had skipped those worms...

I dropped cabbage worms for my robins again this morning, intentionally this time. Offering accepted. Partly... beak was already pretty full.
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Post  sanderson on 7/7/2016, 1:19 am

Amazing photo!

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Post  trolleydriver on 7/7/2016, 9:14 am

@sanderson wrote:Amazing photo!

+1

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Post  Kelejan on 7/8/2016, 1:14 am

I have had what looked like a kerfuffle at the swallows' nest in my car port.  Four swallows were flying to and fro making lots of noise.  At first I thought it was a takeover from a pair that perhaps had lost their own nestlings but I have only seen that among penguins when they fight over one chick.

So then I thought perhaps that the extra birds were the ones that had just left the nest and all four were encouraging the remaining bird to launch out into the world.

I expect things will be quieter tomorrow morning if they have been successful. I will miss them when they go as they have been coming here since we put up the nest in 1996.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/8/2016, 8:26 am

Thanks, Sanderson and TD! It was taken from the deck, so I had a clearer shot than I would have been able to manage at ground level.

Kelejan - I hear you. I'll miss my robins later this year, as much as their griping at me when I'm apparently on the flight path gets wearying. Let us know what happens. Wow, 20 years of swallows!!  Shocked What sort of nest (box?) did you put up for them? I have a Carolina wren box partly made (not house wren, as we have bluebirds about, and wrens don't play nice with bluebirds) that I have to finish and find a place for. The robins have been nesting under the deck since before we moved in. Sometimes in late fall or early winter I'll take down the abandoned nest so they can build a nice, new, clean one in the spring.

The house sparrows who have a nest inside the roof of the neighbors porch, and "my" robins, have been hanging out in the purple leaf sand cherry in the front of the house. They flee when I go past, but I can hear them from inside the house and wondered what they were doing. It doesn't have fruit or seeds right now, so what's so consistently interesting? Well, I got in the car the other day and saw a sparrow doing some impressive aerobatics at the front walk -- it nabbed a Japanese beetle! The JBs LOVE this bush. I bet the robin is hopping about under the bush snapping up the ones that get startled and fall to the ground playing dead.
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Post  llama momma on 7/8/2016, 11:36 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Yes, it is!  Funny!  I was going broke feeding my birds(read; squirrels) for years.  They would climb the pole, hang on the feeder and (in winter) suet box.  Eat, eat, spill, spill....repeat.  

Went to Ace Hardware this past fall.  Audubon Squirrel Baffle.  $29.  Seemed pricey, but money back guarantee.  Bought it.  Best thing EVER!  I have saved double the money in feeding material, at least.  

Birds of the Garden Image39

See that upside down cone?  The Bomb.  Squirrels occasionally get up,there, but no biggee.  

I now feed them separately.  I am a pushover.

I had one of those baffles at my last house.  Squirrel couldn't get to the seed from below so it propelled itself through the air from tree branches that were maybe 10-15 feet away!  Would land so hard on the feeder the pole would sway back and forth.  Talk about determination.
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Post  trolleydriver on 7/8/2016, 7:44 pm

This afternoon there was another woodpecker at my feeder. The male (red head) was here last time. This is the female.  It allowed me to get within a few feet of it. I also caught it on video. The sound in the background is the pond waterfall.  BTW the feeder is squirrel proof ... the openings close when an creature that is too heavy steps onto the ring.

Click on the following image for the video.

Birds of the Garden Pbucket


Still photos follow:

Birds of the Garden IMG_2154_zps1bgmcvig

Birds of the Garden IMG_2155_zpspb1jz0mh

Birds of the Garden IMG_2157_zpso1mdi0o4

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Post  sanderson on 7/9/2016, 1:45 pm

Very Happy

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Post  hammock gal on 7/12/2016, 8:03 am

Can't tell you the amount I've spent on "squirrel proof" bird feeders. Thing is, the squirrels have nothing better to do all day but sit there and figure out ways to outwit every feeder we throw at them. This one was a clear, plastic sphere with a spring inside, and a space between the two halves of the sphere. You put the seed in the lower part, and small birds could perch on the edge and get to the seed, but if anything squirrel sized landed on it, it would compress the spring, and close the two halves of the sphere together. Didn't take this guy long to figure out a way around that!!! This picture isn't very clear, because I took it through the window, but this is what I saw as I looked outside to check on the feeder one day. No, you're not seeing things, he's inside the sphere, tail hanging out, munching away. Twisted Evil My girlfriend once bought a feeder that would close if something as heavy as a squirrel landed on it's perch. There were perches on opposite sides of the feeder, so the squirrels figured out that if they tag teamed the feeder, with one of them on each side, it would counter balance the closing mechanism, and the feeder would stay open. Those guys are scary smart! So I'm convinced that resistance is futile, and I just keep putting out enough food for everybody.
I give up!

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/12/2016, 9:33 pm

That is hysterical! They are scary clever! And wily. And flexible and fearless.....I feed them peanuts. They like that. Sometimes I give them a pile of sunflowers, especially in the dead cold of winter.
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