Carol and I went to breakfast this morning, to solve world problems. I feed the birds, she feeds everything (“…but I only put out four cans of corn and that’s all those deer get until tomorrow!”). It has been a tough winter; another forecast two inches fall as I type. Early in the morning Tom has startled deer that have joined the grounds crew under the feeders, and Jan counted a flock of seventeen turkeys passing through.
I've posted this little fellow’s picture before. From the size it is one of the fawns I saw very late in the season, September, October. Actually there are two of them. I see them often on the golf course; it seems to be their haven home. They are not together and not with the herds of deer that use the golf course.
Carol said she has two sad cases at her feeders; one a runt with one useless leg, and a grown deer with a badly injured back leg. They come singly and must be there before the group; otherwise they are blocked out of the feeders. Literally shunted aside. I wonder if that is why the two little ones I see are always alone, as well as separate.
I stopped in the drive this afternoon to admire the bird feeders and especially the ingenuity of the cowbirds. We deterred the big wanton birds from the feeders on either end by filling them with safflower seed. The middle feeder has “the good stuff”, and is adjusted so only the lighter birds can use it.
Jan’s studio window overlooks Station 61, and she told me one day we have defeated the starlings and grackles, but the cowbirds defeated the system, and keep others away by simply being on the ring, closing the feeder holes. They open a hole by one upward flap to lift their weight, get a nosh before their weight descends. I sat in the drive and watched two of them hog that feeder, simply to keep other birds away. I rest my case for not feeding them, too. As if it has done much good.
Ninety minutes later I was home again and went out to “shoot” them. Of course they were done for the day, and I had a female redbellied woodpecker on that feeder instead. This actually is a fun exercise; she demonstrates the system. She’s big; maybe nine inches, almost weighs too much and is too large for comfort. The holes are partially closed and might close entirely if she were upright.
She, however, is miffed because I have not refilled the safflower block at the other end of the line. Well, the hairys, the downeys and probably Mr. Redbelly have worked their way through the safflower block, which will not be replaced until Laura and I get back to the store later this week. To quote Carol, that’s all you get until tomorrow.
This block was finished in ten days. The cardinals like it, too, and I had a little red friend watching me from way up on the oak tree. "Will she refill it? Will she?"