As previously mentioned, we recently installed a new bird feeder in our backyard. And despite having observed an extremely wide array of fauna in our travels over the years, we must say that the robust activity around this simple steel pole has really sucked us in. So, with prime bird-watching season emerging, here are some things we have learned from more in-depth study of our feathered friends.*

*Before you leap to judgement, we will tell you that it is a very short hop from being the guy seeking every opportunity to get out there and grab life by the horns, and being content sitting in your backyard cradling a cold one as your excitedly ask “Hey – was that a White-Breasted Nuthatch?” You’ll see.

Blue Jays are, pardon our French, a pain in the ass. They are called “the alarm clock of the forest,” and with good reason, as they are extremely loud. They are also bossier than the mother-in-law from The Lockhorns, kicking other birds off the feeder, and even going so far as to imitate hawk cries to scare other birds away so they can feed alone. So, while Blue Jays are handsome, and deserve credit for having a professional baseball team named after them, we certainly wouldn’t want to take a long road trip with one.

Finches are noisy, and travel in large groups. Basically, they are a lot like teenagers.

With their bright colors and prominent crests, cardinals are famously striking birds.They are also monogamous, sticking together in pairs. The male is also about as gallant a companion as one could hope for, standing watch and waiting his turn while the female eats (take a leaf from his book and open doors for your better half, gentlemen).

Hummingbirds like nectar, so a different feeder is required for them. This minor hassle is more than offset by being granted the privilege of seeing the world’s smallest bird enact highly maneuverable flight patterns that make Maverick and Goose look like pikers. Interesting fact: hummingbirds can slow their metabolic rate and enter a state of torpor, not unlike dad after Thanksgiving dinner.

We understand that raptors are a prey species, and a fellow has got to eat and all, but—regularly consuming your own species? Perhaps that sort of behavior should be left to the fishes.

There are 23 different kinds of woodpeckers flapping about in the continental United States, and it is always exciting to see one stop by to sample from a carefully chosen menu of suet cakes. Unless of course your house is clad in wood siding, in which case you, much like the walrus fellow from those old cartoons, probably do not care for this species very much. Pileated, downy, hairy, Ivory-Billed, red-headed, or red-bellied, we appreciate them all. But if pressed, we would have to say that our favorite is the male Northern Flicker, because they have a handlebar mustache that reminds us of master thespian Sam Elliot.

Source link: https://dukecannon.com/blogs/journal/duke-cannon-is-really-enjoying-his-new-bird-feeder by Zeb Pirkey at dukecannon.com