Being housebound from a recent appendectomy and ice storm, I had the opportunity to do some widlife watching through our rear windows. Deer of course are a common sight, but not usually this close to the house. This day, there were five (a third one is just visible in the photo, if you enlarge it, between the back deer’s head and the power pole). There was even a buck with the group, annoying the does that either are or, soon will be, coming into heat.
The deer were also checking out the seeds around the feeders. You’ll notice a squirrel has managed to bypass the squirrel baffle. He had a little help from a crow. During the ice storm, a crow landed on the tray and dropped it down to the baffle. That put it at an easy leaping height for squirrels. We tried moving the tray back up but somehow one particular squirrel could make a running climb up the baffle, sit on top of the baffle, then leap to the tray, then to the feeder. We had to take the whole assembly apart, raise the tray and baffle so there’s no room on top of the baffle for a squirrel and the tray is too high to reach in one leap. Now, the tray sits just below the hopper feeder and the crows can stand on the tray and feed out of the feeder above. Sighhh! If it’s not one thing it’s another.
The crows did come in handy the other day. I had a big container of leftover stew that you can’t compost because of the fat, and I didn’t want to put it in the garbage. So, I gave it to the crows along with a dead mouse I had trapped in the kitchen. The mouse disappeared first, but the stew was a big hit as well. Somehow without a sense of taste or smell, they knew which morsels were meat and took those first, then ate the veggies at their leisure. Each crow approached the stew pile in their own way, some casually sorting through the pile, setting aside choice pieces, others snatching and flying, but always approaching the pile one at a time, determined by some unknowable hierarchy. It was fascinating to watch. By the end of the day not a scrap was left.
The birds are still coming to the feeders in large numbers. The feeders were empty for a week during the early part of my recovery, but the birds were back within minutes of filling them.
In this photo of our main feeder, there are 20 Cardinals, one Mourning Dove, 12 Dark-eyed Juncos, and two American Goldfinches (and two Fox Squirrels).
No murders, but lots of action from my Rear Window.