We are very fortunate that our window feeder is so popular with the songbirds around our home. We get up close views of everything from little Carolina Chickadees to Red-bellied Woodpeckers that can only hang onto the edge of the feeder and reach over the side to grab some sunflower seeds. To sit in the office chairs and see the birds eat, fight and even chill out no further away than 4 feet from us is a year round delight. And we have learned much about bird behavior from these very seats.
Today we are going to describe a fledgling Tufted Titmouse that we are going to assume is a male. This gut feeling that he is a male comes comparisons to human male behavior. The first contact with him came a few weeks ago. Susan and I were sitting in the office when we noticed him fluttering and bouncing into the office window. He ends up grabbing onto the bottom of the top window frame, using his tail to keep him erect. He immediately starts to peck at the window. I have no idea if he was attacking his own reflection or confused by the invisible “wall”. He decides to take flight again and ends up grabbing onto the tiny ledge at the bottom of the window. Again, he starts to hammer away on the glass with his beak. We could tell at this point he had a very small crest in addition to his other challenges. He looked up and could see the window feeder above him. He did at least know he wanted to get there.
He took flight once again, bouncing off the window and feeder a few times until he settled on the rim of the bird feeder. I said he knew he wanted to get up to the bird feeder, however I am not sure he knew why. Well the bird feeder was empty at the time. Okay, so more pecking on the window. He then opens his beak and tries to bite the plastic rim of the feeder. That did not seem to produce any satisfaction for our young Einstein. He then decided to try laying in the feeder like it was a bird bath. It’s not that big of a feeder and is decidedly dry.
During this, he keeps looking out into the branches of the tree that is right next to the feeder. Susan spots another Tufted Titmouse that appears to have an interest in this little guy. She can see an insect in the other birds beak and it seems to be trying to get our little feather heads attention. He looks at her and she keeps squawking at him. However, he is not budging from his current source of interest. He bites the feeder rim a few more times as we listen to the other Titmouse’s continued fussing. At this point it has become obvious that it is likely mom in the tree. Again, I am calling her mom from a behavioral standpoint and nothing more.
What happens next is familiar to a large number of us as parents and when we were children. She bursts from her perch, flapping her wings and screeching in front of “junior” in such a manner that even I felt reprimanded. I can only compare this to when mom has been angered by one of her children to the point that only the full legal name of the child will suffice in communicating what is wrong and what needs to be done immediately. She has to do this a second time before junior gets the point and follows her back to a branch in the tree.
Well, we see junior on a regular basis at the window feeder. Easy to identify him as he still pecks on the window every time and has that tiny little crest. At least he now grabs the sunflower seeds instead of the tray before he flies back to a branch to crack open the prize. Yeah, he’s just a little different. Glad he’s with us.Filed under Updates | Comments (6)
I mentioned before about birds roosting under the deck on a small ledge. Last night when I went out to top off the cracked corn tray I noticed this little cutie. It is a wren and most likely a Carolina Wren. In order to get this picture, I turned off the outside lights and carried a flashlight and the digital camera back outside. I used the flashlight to locate the bird and with the flashlight in one hand and the camera in the other, I snapped a couple of pictures.
What you are looking at is the underside of our deck that is on the second story (the deck with the feeder cam). The wren is facing the wall (deck beam attached to house). It is setting on a 1 inch ledge that lines the bottom of that beam and helps support the floor joists. The weather was a little wet last night and it had found a nice dry place to spend the night. We find them roosting along this beam on a regular basis. Later, JimFiled under Updates | Comments (5)