More News from the Bird Feeder
A couple of weeks ago I finally put up the bird feeder. I was really curious to see what birds we attract here in New Mexico. I soon found out. Mostly pigeons and sparrows visit our feeder. House finches, white winged doves, Oregon juncos, a few Western scrub jays and one or two curved beak thrashers take their meals with us as well, but the most numerous at any given time are the pigeons and sparrows.
I also put out a flower pot saucer for water. The sparrows immediately decided that was the coolest thing since the Beverly Hillbillies’ cement pond for splashing around in, which they did until all the water was splashed out. I guess bathing water is as hard to come by as drinking water in the desert. The sparrows have stopped bathing in the drinking water, but the pigeons soak their feet regularly.
This year we are taking part in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project Bird Feeder. A couple of days a week we are to watch the feeder for a given time and report the species and numbers of birds we see. We just started last week. I hope we get some new customers as the seasons progress.
One morning while we were eating breakfast, I noticed there were no birds at the feeder.
The reason why was sitting on our neighbor’s chimney. It perched there long enough for us to study it in the binoculars and consult with our field guides. We finally decided it was a Cooper’s hawk. They are known to frequent yards with bird feeders hoping for easy pickings among the unwary.
What I have mostly noticed is that we have no squirrels yet. For years and years the feeders I have put out have been overrun by squirrels. I have fattened squirrels in Kansas, Wyoming and North Carolina. And then there was the feeder in Laramie that was also frequented by Konza, one of our dogs. She had developed a taste for birdseed and would jump up and hit the feeder until it spilled its contents on the ground where she could eat it. It is a novelty to have a feeder where only birds eat.
There are squirrels here in ABQ. I’ve seen them, I think. Maybe I just think there should be squirrels. I can’t really name a time when I’ve seen one for sure.