Saturday, March 22, 2008

Doing it the hard way

I've got some more blurry pictures of my backyard birds for you.

But this is blurring with a difference. It demonstrates the different feeding styles of each type of bird.

Here is a chickadee:

He hangs onto the perch, off to the side with his body in a vertical position, and facing the escape route, then quickly bends his head down to grab a seed, and immediately flies off.

The nuthatch, though:

Stands in normal posture on the perch, facing the feeder, then twists his head down sideways. Note the right foot holding the lip of the feeder.

And a junco:

Stands on the lip of the bucket, body horizontal, then quickly upends, like a mallard, to get a seed, which he brings up and eats in a normal position before he flips over again. One I was watching today flaps his wings wildly during this procedure; the one in the photo did not.

And here is a pair of pine siskins from last spring. Watch closely: the one on the right at the start of the video stands quietly, stuffing his face from the open slot. But the one on the left has found a seed stuck off to the side, jammed in a bent end of the cut. He spends the entire time twisting upside down to worry it out, even though he has a dozen easy-to-get seeds at his side.

I'm still trying to get the towhee, doing his chicken scratch routine. And the varied thrush, with his leaf-flipping trick. Wish me luck. And patience.

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