Sunday, April 07, 2013

Bird Feeders and A House

Judy and I have taken to watching birds.  To this end, we put up two feeders.  

(click on the pics to make them bigger for those of us who can't see shit)

The one on the left feeds Cardinals, Titmouse, Tits (mostly Blue Tit), Cowbirds and some I haven’t recognized yet. 

The other on the right is a Hummingbird Feeder.  I really enjoy watching these little fuckers.  They hover, back up in flight, and are mean spirited.  They do not share with other humming birds that are not in their family.  They fight and chase each other off.  And they are so small, and sometimes they look like those huge back bees that fly all over the place in the spring.

The same thing happens with the Cardinals.  Most birds share the food house or swinging bowl, but when the Cardinal shows up (usually in pairs – one will stand watch on the fence while the other eats) and all the other birds fly off.  The only bird that will make the Cardinal fly off is the Cowbird.  Or when a human opens the door or says anything.  They fly off, then, too.

However, we are looking for one that will work for us.  Living in the country with all the chickens, horses and cows, there is a little pest that will drive you nuts.  Flies!  So we did our due-diligence in solving the problem… we called Dr. Amber (my step-daughter the vet).  The best thing for fly control without using sprays, fly swats, deals with the devil and animal sacrifice, was to set up a home for Purple Martins.  Their main food supply is flies.

So we bought, assembled, and put up the Purple Martin Home For Hungry Birds out in the front field/yard.  See it in the background in the first picture?

Getting that thing on a pole 15’ high was a project in itself. 

This is the time of year they are migrating back in the area, but they are also a bird of habit and will go to their previous dwellings.  So the only chance we had is if some PMHs were removed during the year.   Well, five days after putting up the home, there was one sitting on the roof. 

Judy and I were working in the yard and I looked up and there it was.  But it flew off.  And didn’t come back!  CALL AMBERRRR!

It seems that they send out scouts on their way back to make sure things are as they left them (we have to be meticulous landlords, it seems).  And if not, the scout goes and finds a place.  If he/she is satisfied with it, it will fly back to the flock and vector them in.  This can take up to two weeks.

And this got me to thinking (I know, shut it).  How far in advance will he scout.  Where are the rest while he is scouting?  Are they flying home or waiting at a Bird Waffle House or what?  How does he find them and how does he tell them to follow him?  Is there a Purple Martin Real Estate Office off in the woods somewhere?

When he finds them, what does he say in bird talk?  “Hey honey (or Master or Sire or whoever he reports to) I found a great place that meets all our needs.  It’s fifteen feet off the ground, twenty yards from any trees, two stories high with 12 connecting rooms but has never been lived in.  We can set it up to our liking without having to worry about others messes.  And it’s only a week’s flying time away.  Let’s gooooo!  Up, Up, and AWAAYYYY”

Ma Nature is awesome if you think about what all the critters do and what they go through.  And remember, all those pretty bird calls, creature sounds coming from the woods and bushes and places are just males trying to get laid.

So we will be watching to see if a family sets up homestead.   




Linda said...

I love all your bird houses.

I just wish I lived in a place Purple Martins would live. The tree bit here in the city would be a problem. Does she know any city bird that will eat flies. I have two hens and 2M flies.

Coffeypot said...

Linda, Google it. We did on some of the stuff. Purple Martin houses have to be at least 12' high and 20 years from trees. They don't solemnize with other birds but are very communal in their living. Several families can live in that house.

Janie Junebug said...

I LOVE hummingbirds. I enjoyed your speculation about the bird house hunting.


Momcat said...

Hoping your bird psychology works and the Purple Martins move in. Lovely to have the doings of the birds to watch as well as having your flies consumed..

Old NFO said...

They are both entertaining AND educational... And Martins are strange birds... ;-0

Coffeypot said...

Linda, I just say my goof. Not SOLEMINIZE but SOCIALIZE. Geeze!

Momma Fargo said...

Oh hell. You are getting old. Because that's what old people do. And me. LOL

lotta joy said...

Huh. I thought you said "sodomize". UP HOME, we fed the birds by hand, bird feeders, and squirrel feeders. Everyone was happy except the hummingbirds, so we sat their feeders apart and out of their site. At night there were hummingbird fights right over our heads and you can actually hear them hit each other.

That was the number one thing I noticed, the first night in Floruba. NO BIRDS and no bird sounds. We thought this place would be full of them.