I have had an invasion of American robins this week. They came by the hundreds and have not left.
Usually they land, eat bugs, then move on, but this time they looked around and decided they would hang out. Life is good here.
So, every day they have been drinking and pooping in my bird baths. I’m not sure in which order; we’ll leave that alone. Because of that, twice a day I put fresh water in all of them and replace the dried mealworms.
My resident birds, the cardinals, woodpeckers, chickadees, and others have to fight to get their share.
But one robin has taken it to a new level. He or she has decided to chase my bluebirds off the mealworm feeders. None of the other robins are doing this, just the one.
For four days the bird has sat on the platforms and chased the little bluebirds away.
I love all the birds, but this is pushing my patience, so I tried to run him off so he could join his flock in the pasture.
He’s not budging! I almost touched him once.
I could not get a photo of all the action, but here he is in all his glory. I call him the Bluebird Bully.
Yesterday, many of us mentioned hearing and seeing hummingbirds in the tree tops, gardens, and at some feeders. Today, just after noontime, this hummingbird posed for the camera. Enjoy the short narrative as to what happened.
I looked out the window and saw a hummingbird at the feeder. I grabbed the big camera and went outside, somewhat hidden, and stayed motionless for 15 minutes or so.
It was still raining off and on, pleasantly mild, thundering, all foliage was wet. The hummingbird sat on a tiny branch on a large Crape Myrtle tree next to the feeder. Did he see me? Most likely! So it was standoff. I stayed motionless and was not going to move, no matter what was itching or biting me. This went on for many minutes; it seemed like forever.
Big raindrops began to fall again. A couple of Carolina Wrens landed in the same tree. The hummingbird was aggravated with them and chased them off. I waited a few more minutes, raindrops more frequent. Then, the hummingbird made his move.
My camera clicked rapidly at the fast-moving target. I wondered, “What type of hummingbird are you, who are you?” I asked repeatedly.
Then, after feeding a couple of times at the left feeder, he came right at me to the camera. I zoomed the lens back, he positioned himself in the upright position, and revealed his identity, proclaiming, “I am back.”
Then he went to the second feeder to feed. Welcome home, Ruby Red-throated Hummer.
At the March 2019 Chapter Meeting, Cindy Travis shared her recipe for home-made suet blocks for bird feeders. These attract warblers, woodpeckers, chickadees, wrens, and more. She’s agreed to share it with readers of our blog!
Cindy says you can easily double or triple the recipe, so you’ll have plenty. The blocks freeze well.
1 cup lard
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup raisins, seeds, or crumbled eggshells (optional)
(Cindy recommends currants as fruit, because they are small)
Dump all ingredients in a pot and heat over medium heat until the lard and peanut butter melt. Stir thoroughly.
Pour into a square pan, bread pan (you can slice the blocks), or into a Ziploc-type plastic storage container the size of your bird feeder.
Cool until solid, then hang in your block feeder.
PS: You can easily find suet feeders in home improvement stores (Lowe’s Home Depot) or big box stores with garden departments (Target, Wal-Mart, etc.). Specialty wild bird feeding stores will have a larger selection, and of course you can find them online (here is a sampling from Wild Birds Unlimited). You can attach them to trees, hang them on poles, etc.