Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Visiting Birds & the "CB" Feeder (FOLLOW-UP)





Two weeks ago, May 29th 2013, here on Blogger, I posted an entry about a bird feeder (which I call a CB feeder and is pictured above) that I had procured to allow my smaller visiting birds like house finches, as well as Cam and Mac (the cardinal couple who visit my garden on occasion) to be able to nosh in peace, as the mourning doves that frequent my urban (NYC) garden often eat all the food!


As you may recall, in the aforementioned entry, I pointed out that I still made food available in my other feeders (throughout my garden) as it was not my intent to totally deprive the mourning doves of any nourishment.

And I also stated that this particular feeder was recommended to me by (and subsequently named for) the knowledgeable Chris Baker, a birder whom I respect, and who is quite creative in her solutions about accommodating the needs of wild birds!

Additionally, I described how I had hung the feeder on one of four poles that support the strands of string lights which I have hanging over my garden.

The fact that I have a roof extension garden means I have no ground to stake a pole system for bird feeders, and the trees that I grow here (Japanese Larch, 'Tamukeyama' AKA Japanese Maple, Acer shirasawanum AKA Autumn Moon, Acer palmatum AKA 'Shisitatsu' Sawa, and Fagus sylvatica AKA Beech), cannot support a bird feeder of any size!

Therefore, because my trees are small and/or do not have the type of branches from which one can hang a feeder, the idea of hanging my CB feeder from the pole seemed, as the saying goes, "like a good idea at the time." And it was a good idea, for I could see it with the help of a long camera lens through my kitchen window. 

However, dear reader, as you may remember, it quickly became apparent that hanging the CB feeder in this location was not going to be a long term solution. One reason for this was because the ever-so-curious, and always-hungry-for-seeds mourning doves, were constantly trying to avail themselves of seeds from the CB feeder, even though it was set up for smaller birds which was accomplished by my lowering the "canopy" on the feeder so that only my finches and cardinal couple (or any bird of that size) could nosh.

The CB feeder's canopy height was perfect for the finches, as you can surmise from the image atop this entry, and is "a scene"  you can view in other photo-ops within my 5-29-13 Blogger post (as well as in a couple of my boards on Pinterest that you may check out by clicking here as well as here).

But, even though I had hoped this feeder would encourage mourning doves to eat from my other feeders which had the same food, it did not, the mourning doves continued hanging around the CB feeder: staring shamelessly at the finches which were nibbling!

I have only recently discovered (via a You Tube video) that one of the habits of mourning doves is to observe other birds eating, in an effort to find food sources, which I found interesting, hence I'm sharing the video with you. It is posted below.



As you can see (from this clip's content), it is not unusual for mourning doves to try and gain access to feeders that are not meant for them; and I must say that I admire their spirit in going after things, even when they are difficult!

But no matter what feeder I have, the mourning doves seem to prefer to eat from the ground, a fact that was mentioned in the video clip, and evidenced by the images (taken in my garden) posted below.



The only thing the mourning doves seem to "value" over eating, is stopping to pose for the camera, as the second image (directly above) indicates.

But getting back to my CB feeder, as I stated earlier it was my hope that this feeder would be a comfortable place for Cam and Mac to enjoy a snack. After all, the feeder's canopy was lowered to accommodate their height!

However, I have found with all of the feeders I have had in my garden, that Cam and Mac do not care for perching, even if the manufacturer of a given feeder has indicated cardinals will perch on it to feed.

Like the mourning doves, Cam and Mac prefer to "eat the crumbs that fall to the floor," as you might surmise from the images below showing Cam noshing in the rain.



Admittedly, I made it easy for her to do so by placing a saucer (filled with her favorite food) under one of my garden chairs —  but trust me on this — dear reader, like the mourning doves, Cam prefers to nosh directly from the floor of my garden as she is a ground feeder by nature. And, like the mourning doves (but in Cam's case only if she is in a good mood), she will allow a photo-op as you can see in the picture directly above this text.

Having said this, I will tell you, the best way Cam likes to eat is when Mac feeds her, as seen below (in images which I've uploaded to TLLG's other cyber venues).





Now, after giving you all of this info about how my mourning doves and Cam prefer to eat, I admit that it is a digression to some extent re my initial intent for today's blog entry, for as I said in the seventh paragraph, "it quickly became apparent that hanging the CB feeder in this location was not going to be a long term solution. One reason for this was because the ever-so-curious, and always-hungry-for-seeds mourning doves, were constantly trying to avail themselves of seeds from the CB feeder . . . " 

But another reason that I realized I'd placed the CB feeder in a not-the-smartest-location, was that, because of its proximity to my Actinida kolomikta and Actimida AKA Kiwi Vinesseeds from the feeder were spilling out unto the hard-earned lush foliage of my beloved kiwi!

As a result, the mourning doves were eating the spilled seeds from the kiwi's leaves causing the "placement" of holes in the foliage, as I also described in my 5-29-13 post, where I included photo-ops. 

(For purposes of convenience I'm including a copy of one of the aforementioned picture of this below.)


Towards the end of my 5-29-13 post, I mentioned that I had taken the feeder down and that I was planning to have Juan V help me find another place in my garden, saying, "Until Juan comes to do the re-hanging of the CB feeder, the birds that visit my garden will work out the eating situation — without my interference — as evidenced by the different types who ate their meals today from the saucers and "house" feeder which are still atop my garden's ledge!"

As it turned out, I devised a way to hang the CB feeder by placing a pole from a broom into the container which houses my kiwi, and then hanging the CB feeer from there. Photo-ops of my solution can be seen below.





As you can see, the CB feeder is not directly over any foliage, and as you can see, a "lone" mourning dove immediately made him/herself at home atop of it! 

And soon after, he/she began doing what the video clip said mourning doves do: observe other birds eating! But this mourning doves seems to be doing more than observing, unless he/she is extremely near-sighted like yours truly (as seen in the images below).




Although Cam and Mac still never attempted to avail themselves of this feeder, the male and female house finches enjoyed noshing there, under the canopy, even in the rain as you can surmise from the photographs below.





And this arrangement for the hanging of the CB feeder may suffice, but I am always willing to revisit the drawing board should another idea come to me. 

Meanwhile, Juan V saw my "solution" when he came to work with me in the garden yesterday and he took an aerial view of it which I have posted below.



I have superimposed a black-rimmed circle around where the CB feeder is currently located, and I have added a white arrow to indicate its former locale, where a suet feeder now hangs.

At this time the suet feeder seems to only appeal to my visiting bluejays as seen below.


THIS IMAGE WAS FEATURED ON TLLG'S FB PAGE


Additionally, a baby (or perhaps a teenager) bluejay seems to have found his/her way to the suet feeder as the latter of these images seems to indicate. 

But they are also availing themselves of the hook that supports the CB feeder in its new location and using it as a "platform" or a "stage" as they sing, which you can see below.



And with that thought, I come to my conclusion on the placement of my CB feeder, but stay tuned, as there is still a follow-up "story" surrounding this which I will post within a week's time!


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