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Monday, January 13, 2014

Tweaking the Bird Feeder

A tiny job done and a fun story to tell you. Mostly, it's been a quiet day. That works just fine for me. I did a few errands and so far have written 1 1/2 chapters. But I did one tiny fix-it project.

We gave up the bird feeder several years ago when our finances became even tighter. But last summer Loretta bought a wire basket, and a compressed seed cake, and she's been keeping it filled ever since. I think Omer bought a couple of cakes too. I've been concerned, because if you are going to start feeding the birds, you need to be consistent about it, but so far, so good. The cakes hold up quite well, so not much seed gets wasted.

However... the basket ended up being hung on a bracket I'd fastened to a deck post for a hanging plant. It worked fine, but you couldn't see the birds very well because the post was in the way. This little chickadee was in sight,

chickadee at bird feeder

but the cardinal (despite the one good picture I got for Sharing is Good) mostly hid. Like this.

cardinal at bird feeder

So today I moved the bracket to a different side of the post. What a difference it makes to me, and none at all to the birds!

bird feeder

Within minutes, the chickadee was back for a snack.

chickadee at bird feeder

Here's the fun story. When I first went out to move the feeder there was one chickadee clinging to the bottom. It was hanging as you see in the final picture above, by one foot. I kept moving closer and closer to the feeder and it didn't move. I realize that chickadees can be trained to become quite tame, but I haven't been doing any of that. Nevertheless, the bird let me reach out and touch it before flying away. How awesome is that?

I think this bird may have something wrong with the foot it wasn't using. The picture here is when it came back, and it's still hanging by one foot. I also got another picture of it sitting on the deck rail and it's listing to the side where the possibly useless foot might be, which lends credibility to the idea.

Injured animals often don't last long in the wild. But I'm glad this one is getting a few free meals, and wasn't afraid of me.

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Unknown said...

Cool! I once got to hold a Hummingbird in my hand for a few seconds. So amazing.

Loritenor said...

Great idea! You will get more cool photos. I hope your new little friend keep coming for food.

Lin said...

Aw, poor little guy. I hope it can survive.

We spend a LOT of money feeding the birds here. Joe buys a sweet nutty no-waste mix and it's a hefty price tag each month. BUT...we enjoy it so. I mean, who else gets a hawk to pick their yard to die in?! ;)

Rick (Ratty) said...

This makes me want to try a bird feeder again. I've tried a few times, but the birds never come to mine. Maybe if I try one of those seed cakes this time.

Ann said...

Well how cool was that, I've never been able to get very close to any of the birds before they take off. good idea moving that hook.

vanilla said...

How neat that you could touch the bird! Closest I ever came, hummingbird hovered in front of my face and licked my nose. No, I do not drink.

Sharkbytes said...

Gayle- that is VERY cool!

Loretta- he'll probably be dead in days- something will catch him.

Lin- having to give up feeding the birds was not fun, but doing it inconsistently is terrible for them, so we stopped.

Ratty- I wonder why they don't come. Are there some bushes nearby or trees so they feel safe to approach?

Ann- I had a chickadee land on me once somewhere else, but it was a place where they were hand fed all the time.

vanilla- I think your story trumps mine. That is AWESOME

Unknown said...

Joan, you have some birds ..... mine are still nowhere to be seen!

Anonymous said...

I kind of want to get a bird feeder, but I'm afraid that Gatsby would find it way too tempting to up his hunting ante

RNSANE said...

In such a cold winter climate, I think it is wonderful that you do have a bird feeder. I think they appreciate the kindness!!!