Friday, June 17, 2016

Serving The Frugivores



According to Holiday Insights, the month of June is set aside for a few national observations: National Accordion Awareness Month, National Adopt a Cat Month, and National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month. In an effort to pay homage to the latter, I've been offering fresh blueberries to the birds that visit my urban garden in NYC.

And as you can see from the pictures posted above (which were taken in my rooftop garden), a lone American Robin and a Northern Mockingbird have been enjoying my hospitality.

However, I confess that I may be enjoying the fruits (excuse the pun) of my labor more than the birds enjoy the fruit; for seeing these birds enjoying the blueberries I've provided is entertaining as well as rewarding. The following are a few images that will give you an idea of how fulfilling it can be to offer blueberries to the avian community.









And, if truth be told, I certainly don't limit offering fresh fruit to the birds that visit me to the month of June. In by gone years, I have served raspberries in March, which Harper, the Northern Mocking bird visiting me at the time seemed to enjoy, as evidenced in the image below.


I've also provided grapes and pomegranates during the chilly months. European starlings and Harper enjoyed them, but the photo-ops I have are not my best, so you'll have to trust me on this: birds do enjoy green grapes! As for pomegranates, they were one of Harper's favorite things to eat when he frequented my garden in February of 2015. His pleasure in indulging in this fruit type can be seen in the photos below.




I learned about Northern Mockingbirds appreciating pomegranates by reading Julie Feinstein's blog a number of years ago. However it was only today that I discovered that there is a term for animals who eat fruit: frugivore. I learned of this term from a notification in my Facebook page's newsfeed that came from The Raptor Trust. You may recall, dear reader, I got in contact with this organization when I was inquiring about the status of Super, the Northern Flicker I helped rescue this past April. As I have stated, Super had been transferred from The Wild Bird Fund to The Raptor Trust, but it turned out his injuries were too far along where any recuperation could be achieved and he was ultimately euthanized.

I have something in common with the late Super because I had an accident this past May and I sustained severe injuries. Moreover, I've just found out, via an Xray report,  that in addition to the injuries that were determined at the emergency room where I was taken after my accident, I have broken ribs! However, as painful as my injuries have been, I will survive — unlike Super! It's hard to say that if Super had been able to be Xrayed sooner (by The WBF) if he would've been able to be treated in time. 

But I can say the details of Super's plight have made me much more of the needs of birds that go far beyond providing them with fruit! In talking with Diane Soucy (of The Raptor Trust) and Rita McMahon (of The WBF), I've expressed my dream of being able to donate proceeds from my book, "Words In Our Beak" and or my bird-themed postcards should either of them meet with any success.


However I've not been able to work on subsequent volumes to my book as I'm still in severe pain! It's my hope that Diane Soucy and Rita McMahon will know I'm not blowing them off by not following up with them! I'm truly grateful to both of them for the work do they for our avian friends, and I look forward to recuperating quickly so I can contribute my endeavors to their cause!

Meanwhile I'm very grateful to be able to provide fruit for my winged friends! Seeing a baby robin in my garden, over the past few days, and, ultimately seeing him/her enjoying blueberries (all pictured below) was a blessing during this time of convalescing!



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