All winter I make sure the birds are fed. We are lucky enough to have a great variety who visit, even if not all of them are crazy about seeds. (That means YOU, oh Walter the Security Guard Mockingbird). Some hang around for a week, others winter here. This year, I've kept seed in the feeder all year round because we're out in the country. I see us as that rest stop off an Avian Interstate Highway where birds can eat, take a swim in the birdbath and relax before they move on.
Then there are the ones which pretty much live with us year round. Sure, the Red Wing Blackbirds like to be first in line and I've noticed Papa Cardinal eats before Mama Cardinal does...and the little Yellow Finches follow suit. But one day I noticed we have one Red Wing Blackbird who looks out for others. He's rather imposing in size and the smaller birds will often hover nervously in the nearby fig tree until he's done. But once he figured out that I would continue to fill the feeder, he became....helpful.
While he sits on the bird feeder to get his fill, he now rakes seed out of the feeder, for the small birds waiting below. Rather than being a pig, he now looks like the Head Chef. I think the Mourning Doves are in love with him.
This year, his and his feathered brethren left me a gift.
Sure, these were seeds that got kicked out of the feeder and not eaten...
or maybe even um... recycled.
Either way, while I pulled up the other "grasses" the birdseed left behind,
I decided to leave the sunflowers alone.
And I'm glad I did.
If you look closely, you can see the top of the birdfeeder in the background.
Oh, they can still get to it
and I think the little birds are enjoying the sunflower jungle effect.
If you look even closer,
you can see their gift is suddenly being attacked...
by Japanese Beetles!
Now if I could only get Mr. Red Wing Blackbird to do something about them!