Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birds at the feeder

Well, I'm feeling almost like I'm back living on the Great Lakes again, what with all this spring rain. It was too wet to go to the park today so I sketched some of the large crowd of songbirds suddenly visiting our feeder again, after weeks of quiet. There are now three young oak titmice visiting. One of them spends extraordinary amounts of time at the feeder calling to mind the child who eats too much candy and ice cream. We now have a family of house sparrows coming around and there are some house finches courting around the black oil sunflower seeds. We had covered the carrot bed under the feeder and found that all the birds were clamoring to get in and clean out the fallen sunflower and millet seeds, so we took off the cover and they've been weeding voraciously, before the seeds ever sprout.

The mourning doves never stopped coming around but seem more tolerant of the smaller birds. These birds are surprisingly predictable. Everyone visits morning, noon and night and they follow a fairly rigid progression. First the titmice, then the house finches, then the house sparrows. The mourning doves come along next and then a pair of pigeons. At the very end are the scrub jays, who seem a bit more relaxed now that their offspring has fledged. Although most of the birds will feed with each other, all of the songbirds scatter when the jays come around, not surprisingly, given their murderous behavior. The mourning doves seem unfazed by the jays and usually remain on the feeder, preening then dozing.


  1. Your bird sketches are just getting better and better, I love the way you focus on subject matter!

  2. I'm liking seeing your progress with drawing and painting birds. You're showing that practice does make perfect.

  3. Great observations Debbie, very entertaining as always!