callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,
callmemadam
callmemadam

Nature watch: bird brains

I’m not a believer in spoiling wild birds. They’re wild! Let them build their own nests and find their own food. But it is nice actually to see the garden birds rather than just know they’re there, so I have a feeder hanging conveniently from a tree branch, just where I can see it whenever I’m eating. When I put out those suet chunks impregnated with bird goodies and which you can buy so cheaply at the market, I had happy visions of flocks of tiny birds clinging daintily to the bars of the feeder, pecking away. Alas, there are too many big birds around. The cunning rooks (or crows, which?), baffled at first, found a way to get at the food. They would fly repeatedly at the feeder, stabbing their evil great beaks through the bars until, eventually, the suet bars crumbled and they were able to eat what fell to the ground. The Messerschmitts of the bird world.

The feeder currently (this is a joke, see later) contains lumps of a courgette loaf which turned out a disaster. As it included vegetables, nuts and dried fruit (geddit?) I thought the birds would like it. At first there were no takers and it seemed the loaf was so horrible not even the birds would eat it. Then it started to disappear. The crows (or rooks) are cleverer than ever; they’ve learned to cling to the sides of the feeder to get what they want. They are so monstrous (if they’re crows), that the feeder sways dangerously and twig, food and bird seem about to tumble to the ground. I hope it won’t happen as I’ve run out of handy twigs to hang things from. I thought magpies were supposed to be intelligent birds, yet every day I see one (I assume it’s the same dimwit) trying to get at the food and doomed to failure. It attempts vertical take off from the grass, flutters frantically just far enough to almost reach the tantalising treat, then collapses back on the grass. This goes on until the poor creature is tired out. Will it find a way?

Picture here if I manage to take one.
Tags: wildlife
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