Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Visiting Birds & the "CB" Feeder

The house finch pictured here is part of a "breed/variety" which was once known as Hollywood Finches (according to many sources including Wiki). They were given that nickname as a marketing artifice when this variety was initially sold illegally in New York City, and this past Friday, this little guy seemed to be living up to his nickname as he mimicked Gene Kelly's Singing in the Rain ,whilst accessing food from my CB (Chris Baker) feeder.

I am calling the feeder a CB feeder in honor of Chris, a birder extraordinaire, who has been very helpful in advising me on how to "accommodate" the birds which visit my rooftop garden.

I am fairly new to birding, an acute interest which was initially brought on by a humming bird visiting my garden in late May and June of 2012. To my knowledge, the humming bird never returned, but, as you may recall, dear reader, his/her visit was followed by visits from Cam, my lone female cardinal, who has been an on again off again visitor since that time. Cam can be seen in the images below, which were taken on the same day as the photograph atop today's blog entry.

In the first of this series of three pictures, the house finch is to Cam's right, and a portion of my CB feeder is to her left. The second image shows cautious Cam surveying the CB feeder whilst the third of these photos shows Cam surveying yours truly!
The part of the CB feeder that can be seen here is the reason Chris advised me to procure it, for the portion that you see can be raised or lowered (like a canopy), to accommodate the smaller song birds (house finches) that visit my garden. The feeder's lowered canopy can also accommodate Cam and her beau (whom I've recently named Mac), and it was my hope that having a low canopy would deter the larger birds, especially the mourning doves, from taking all of the food (which was still available at other feeders in my garden, including the the trio of feeders pictured below),

as well as from a "house" style feeder and saucers which are all in my garden, atop the ledge which surrounds it.

In terms of the CB feeder, in order to insure that the smaller song birds, as well as Cam and her beau, Mac, can enjoy eating from it, my hope had been that having a low canopy would deter the larger birds! However, for this to take place this type of feeder needs to be hung, which it initially was, as seen in the photograph below.

And as you can see, the house finches were able to nosh from the area under the canopy of the CB feeder! Close-ups of the little guys/gals enjoying their new "dining room" can be seen in the following images.

And with the CB feeder, the house finches were also able to get some shelter from the rain, as you can surmise from the third image of the series posted directly above. However, if you scroll up to the vertical image which appears prior to this particular series, you will notice a lone mourning dove (who was later joined by his/her comrade) atop the feeder peering — shamelessly — over the house finches as they noshed.

Even though mourning doves are not predators of the house finch, at times the way they "rocked" the feeder sent my finches scurrying to make a fast exit as you can see below.

Ultimately once the mourning doves had "chased" the house finches away, they surveyed the CB feeder, as if they were looking to unhook it and fly off with the feeder!

For indeed, I have seen birds fly off with things, not in my garden, but at the beach, where (in a "story" I posted on TLLG's FB), "a few years ago when I went to the beach with my friend Victor, we were walking along the shoreline, and a couple of seagulls PICKED UP HIS SHOES — from where he had left them on the beach towel — BY THEIR LACES; then FLEW OFF WITH THEM!"

In any event, the mourning doves seemed to be going ballistic over the CB feeder, avoiding the food that was placed in other feeders throughout the garden, perhaps, like humans (or at least like yours truly) they were going after something — in the CB Feeder — that was not meant for them! And I am not exaggerating when I say "going ballistic" as you can surmise from the pictures below.

Moreover, the mourning doves' "rough play" OR their "not-knowing-their-strength-modern-dance-moves," was causing a lot of seeds to come out of the feeder which tipped — ever so slightly — when they made contact with it (which may have been their intent) causing massive amounts of seed to spill on to the hard-earned foliage of my Actinida kolomikta and Actimida (Kiwi Vines), for the kiwi vines grow around my terace railing, and are directly below where the CB feeder was initially placed, as seen in a image I postd earlier in today's entry but am posting again, to save you some scrolling, dear reader!

Once the seeds were on the foliage, the mourning doves noshed, eating voraciously from the food atop the leaves,

which left "swiss-cheese" holes in the vines foliage as seen below, and is an 'incident' which was reported" within a previous entry here on Blogger.

All of this has caused me to rethink the locale of the CB feeder in my garden, which is a concern I've posted on TLLG's FB Page, but not before contacting the  expert, Chris Baker, who suggested I try and put something on top of the feeder — other than an electric fence — so the mourning doves could not land on it!

However, when Juan V was here last week, we could not devise anything, other than come up with a plan to install conduit poles and hang the CB feeder from them, which we plan to do the first week of June.

Meanwhile, at that time, the CB feeder was placed on the ledge (it's now being throughly cleaned for when we next hang it) that surrounds my terrace, where the house finches continued to make use of it as seen in the picture atop today's posting.

Moreover, Cam is not a percher, so she never took to the CB feeder until I moved it to the ledge, and now it seems she enjoyed eating from it, as evidenced in the second, third and fourth images in this entry; even though she has always preferred "the crumbs that fall to the floor!"

But at the time Chris made the suggestion to put "something" on the feeder —to deter the mourning doves — she also asked me if the mourning doves' feet were red; and, when I zoomed in on their images in my Aperture Library, I discovered that yes, their feet were red, which indicated that their hormones were in high gear! This was "news" I wound up reporting on TLLG's FB Page!

As it stands now, my CB feeder, once cleaned, will hopefully be installed by Juan V, and for now, in its old spot, I've put a dish of orange slices, which I was told by a number of sources, might lure orioles. However, there has been very little interest in this taste treat — even from the mourning doves!

Until Juan comes to do the 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 you can see, the mourning dove and bluejay did not disturb each other but Cam kept her distance, as if to say, you stay in your branches and I'll stay in mine!

Hopefully, once I've "re-installed" my CB feeder, the mourning doves will learn from Cam's "philosophy," and allow the smaller song birds and cardinals to nosh there — at their leisure — whilst the mourning doves and bluejays eat elsewhere in my garden!


  1. Wonderfull blog, the nature is a great gif for everybody.

  2. Thank you verrrry much for taking the time to read and to comment, Louisette! You are right about nature being a great gift for everybody!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.