Since setting out our Christmas bird feeders a few weeks ago, the first two have been demolished. At first we thought that they blew away in a snow storm, but upon closer inspection we realized that one was on the ground, halfway eaten. The other was completely gone, but the string remained, so something pulled it down.
It’s entirely possible that something was a deer; Kirk found fresh tracks one morning when he went out to shovel:
But there have also been lots of visitors to the one left one the ground. I interrupted a small flock of sparrows pecking away when I went to look, so I figured I’d go ahead and replace one of the feeders.
It only took a few minutes for several little birds to figure out that the black seeds are the good ones:
The chickadees (as you see here) are the most interested, and they manage to hang on to the feeder to get the seeds. They’re also fairly acrobatic when it comes to getting what they want:
It’s too bad the window screen is blocking the view in the photo — in real life, it was a lot of fun to sit just inches away from these guys.
One sparrow tried to figure out how to hop its way up the trellis, but mostly they were content to forage on the ground, as they do. We also had a few birds I couldn’t identify, plus a pretty pair of cardinals:
These guys mostly stuck to the seeds on the ground as well, so I couldn’t get a photo up close. You can see the male front and center, and his wife is actually in the photo also (though I didn’t notice until just now, or I would have centered it better). She’s the smear of pinkish-brown on the upper right edge of the picture.
This couple was fun to watch because they always took turns eating. One would stay on the lookout while the other came to grab some seeds; then they’d switch places. (It reminds me of dinnertime when the kids were babies, actually.) They’ve been back every day, and it’s been fun to see their bright feathers in an otherwise all-white landscape.