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By Sandra Ebeling
What a cold week we have had.
A busy week for sure at the feeders and waterers.
I’m sure all of you bird watchers have been going through the food and suet. This cold snap was hard on all outside creatures.
Today as I was working in the kitchen, I heard the Blue Jays cawing something fierce. There was a Falcon of some kind, I think it was a Prairie Falcon, sitting on top of one of the shrubs next to the feeder.
He was eyeballing all the small birds that was trying to hide in the bush and on the ground. Juncos are their main prey, and other ground feeding species are frequent targets, but any bird that lags behind its brethren when the hawk attacks may fall to its clutches.
Although watching the food chain in action can be disturbing, take comfort in knowing that the force of all falcon’s strike usually dispatches its prey instantly.
The kestrel and falcons usually carry off its prey to pluck and eat elsewhere, generally on a high perch.
There are other feathered pests that will bother your feeders.
Crows,Jays, mockingbirds, and ravens are bullies.
They can wreak havoc with the gentle daily life of a feeding station.
Apparently these birds missed their kindergarten lessons on learning to share because when they arrive at the feeder, all the see is “Mine, Mine, Mine”.
The chase away the less aggressive birds.
The solution to bully birds is to add more feeders.
I have another feeder farther away from the front porch feeder and it manages to keep most of the bad birds out there.
Although, the Blue Jays come swooping in two or three times a day and the other feathered friends scatter.
If you happen to be able to get or have a tray feeder, ou will be able to coax Cardinals to the feeding area.
Or scatter some corn mix on the ground.
I have not been successful at all with Cardinals this winter.
I can’t tell you why.
One type of food I would like to try is a bird feed block. It is a block of food.
You simply sit it on the ground and you’re ready. You could possibly place on platform feeder as well.
There are all kinds of homemade bird feeder recipes to try.
Google them and give them a try. You will sure to be excited to see what all is attracted to your homemade food.
Please stay safe and warm.
Until next time, good birdwatching.