We’ve lived in our house for 34 years now and in all that time, I’ve only seen Eastern Bluebirds once or twice and they’ve never stayed long . . . until now. For the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing two males and a female pop up at the feeders periodically. Most days I see them for at least a few minutes. I’m trying to encourage them to stay.
This post will be a bit different than my usual posts. Instead of sharing everything I’ve learned afterwards, I’m going to offer a real time journal of what happens along the way. Hopefully by the end of it I’ll be able to report that I’ve succeeded in enticing a pair to stay and nest in the yard. I hope you’ll take the journey with me.
My newest feeder is a Woodlink Squirrel-Proof Seed Tube Feeder in their Coppertop Tube Feeder Series. This one is bigger than the Nuttery Globe Seed Feeder, another cage-type feeder that I purchased a year ago. The Woodlink feeder measures 19” from the top of the extended hanging loop to the base (or 16.5” not including the loop.) It has six food ports instead of the four of the globe feeder. The tube that holds the seed is taller, although a little narrower. It holds a quart of seed. Because the feeder is fairly tall, I had to adjust my feeder pole using extensions.
I seem to have a growing collection of bird feeders. Some women can’t stop buying shoes. I can’t stop buying bird feeders. Just when I think I’ve got the yard set up perfectly, some bird dynamic changes, I look for a solution and there I am buying another bird feeder!
The problem I was having was a real pain . . . or a non-problem depending on your point of view. While all birds have their good and bad qualities (as seen by humans), I have mixed feelings about Common Grackles. While I think their feathers can be very beautiful in the sunlight and they are quite clever, their manners at the bird feeders don’t endear themselves to me. They tend to arrive in groups and if they like what they find in a feeder, they’ll hang around all day, dominating the feeders quite aggressively, not letting other birds have a chance.
I only have grackle issues periodically, mostly in the spring when they are moving in really large groups. But this year, a small group of them settled into our neighborhood, decided they liked my feeders and didn’t move on. With a crowd of grackles on the feeders, I was hardly seeing the Carolina Chickadees, White-Breasted Nuthatches and Tufted Titmouses that have been yard regulars for years. Even the finches and sparrows were getting scarce. What to do?