[mou] Backyard shift
thomas at ANGELEM.COM
Mon Jun 25 10:32:18 CDT 2007
Well, I finally had to do something. Between the yammer and feeder
drainings of the absolute neighborhood of grackles in my yard, I had
to try anything to prevent my birdie paradise from becoming a summer
blackbird hangout. Their presence effectively eliminating, out-
competing, antagonizing, and distracting my birding pleasure of
practically every other species of bird that I had come to love and
appreciate amongst my grapevine/bittersweet arbor foliage and my
first-of-the-year water feature. Nothing can be so annoying as an
area dominated by noisy, aggressive blackbirds - unless perhaps I was
running a BBA (blackbirds anonymous) hostel, a BB rehabilitation
resort (doubt if I could enroll the overdone papparazzi favorites
Lindsey or Paris to at least check it out or would that be equally
annoying?), or some other type or recovery respite that would serve
to provide an opportunity for these denizens of grain elevators to
better themselves. Then again, I thrust my personal anthropogenic
illusions on these critters - and after all they are simply grackles
being and doing grackle things.
Aside from my analytical ravings and personal self discovery
wanderings, my favored birdies were no where to be seen - just
grackles and plenty of them! So I took action. I removed - yes
removed - my feeders - the ones that held the corn, sunflower seeds,
nuts, peanuts, dried fruit, and other assorted grains designed to
attract my birds of choice and supposedly turn off the house sparrows
(never did work that way anyway). I also let the suet feeders run
out - they were being emptied in a single day anyway without me
seeing a single non-grackle.
I did leave my modified covered feeder platform which seems to be
working very well in moderating the frantic feeding frenzies of these
birds. I have covered the floor of the feeder with chicken wire that
allows selective pickings through the screen rather than allowing far
flung outcastings of seeds by picky or competitive birds. The
squirrels really appreciate the underling abundant residue from such
habits as evidenced by the line ups of "rats with fuzzy tails" (as I
have come to know them) and the ample sproutings that will eventually
become my sunflower forest later in the summer (another way for the
wiley squirrels to reach their feeder nirvana).
Anyway, the other feeders outside my home office window came down. I
did leave up the thistle feeders (love those goldfinches and actually
appreciate the colorations of the house finches) as the grackles
aren't that hungry. I also left up the jelly feeders who
delightfully are attracting the catbird family, the oriole family,
the occasional robin, and the almost always now present thrasher family.
And my goodness the results came fast and furious - if such
adjectives can be related to a void, an absence, a clearing, a
silence or an opening for something else. I pulled everything for
one day and the grackles were gone - practically every last one of
them - nary a grackle to rasp my auditory nerves or spray seeds for
ground squirrel hibernation preparation. It was like a magic wand
was passed giving me exactly what I wanted - nothing except jelly
feeding birds for a full day.
So I got brave - not bad for only 24 hours later - I put back up the
doubled suet feeders outside my window in hopes of seeing a downy or
hairy and for sure to support the thrasher clan - and lo and behold -
they came and the grackles didn't. Twenty-four hours later I risked
again - up went the window suction-cup-held trough feeder in which I
put shell-less sunflower kernels. Would it hold? Were the grackles
primarily interested in only the numerous tube feeders and their corn/
shell seeds/nuts/fruit contents - and perhaps the pillaging of the
other feeders was just to check them out or due to competition?
Could I put up any seed and not re-draw these nuisances to my space?
Yeeessssss! In fact I even began drawing in Chipping Sparrows and
the orioles were even soon checking the window out - there only a
foot from my face as I sit at my desk earning a living was a
beautiful male oriole - can it get any better in late June?!?!?!?
Bottom line - by playing with the availability of various feeders and
food types, I modified the bird population in my yard and can now
enjoy my other resident birds - for even if they were always present
I was too focused on my annoyance by the grackles to notice.
Another huge experience was how I modified my garden watering methods
to feed my birding compulsions. I altered the water delivery so that
the sprinklers would water the overhanging tree branches. The water
still got to the garden or the surrounding desired vegetation plus a
great birdie surprise! - a pair of previously unseen Cedar Waxwings
were soon showeringing in the tree branch drippings only to be joined
by the orioles and chippers. I hadn't seen any of them at the water
feature. I figure they must be shower versus tub bathers. But that
is another story.
Always something to discover with living in the moment and taking
Angel Environmental Management, Inc.
Spring Lake Park, MN
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the mou-net