Monday, January 18, 2010

Some Birds Are Just Smarter Than the Rest

I have realized that when Bluebirds are hungry they will eat just about anything, even from the seed tube that normally would not interest them. If I am consistent with the food, then they tend to avoid the other feeders. However, I have had to be inconsistent on filling up the food. One day my husband and I had this great idea that we would video the bluebirds eating while we were gone. I filled the feeders and when we got home we discovered they were all empty. Much to my dismay when I viewed the video, most of the food had been stolen by starlings.

Those of you who know me, know I have no love loss for starlings. They are originally from Europe and were introduced into New York City back in 1890. They aggressively compete for food and nesting cavities with our native species of birds. We have the same problem with house sparrows, also not native to the United States, but makeup over 50% of our bird population.

My first nest of bluebirds was lost to house sparrows. While the parents were out looking for food, a male came by pecked the babies on the heads and threw them out of the nest box. I would not have believed it had I not witnessed it myself. In tears I called my husband at work and told him what happened. That night he came home with my first bluebird feeder and I have been trying to help with their conservation ever since. My goal is to eventually become licensed in bluebird rehabilitation.

I hope you enjoy the photos I've posted. The bluebirds continue to come back even if I am not as consistent with the food. However the starlings seem to forget where they found food if I don't put it out at the same each day.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. I remember that day when the house sparrows attacked. Vicious little varmints they were. Learning the tricks of the trade will prove successful.