Friday, January 22, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For...

This just in:
"When we bought our home here in Eckert, there were two colonies of Lewis in our big, old Cottonwoods. So we've watched them for nearly twenty years. They are very territorial and will not allow other birds in their domain. They do very un-woodpecker-like things: they sit on telephone wires, they hawk flying-insects, they hoard food (they fashion the tidbit into cracks and crannies in the tree bark), they live in family colonies and won't accept other Lewis's, they don't create nesting holes but just re-fashion whatever is available. And, they're territorial to a ridiculous degree!
We don't have any other woodpeckers (including Flickers), or any bird like a Chickadee or a Titmouse or a Nuthatch! The dominant Lewis's won't tolerate the neighbor's cat! So, Lewis's can be a bit of a pain, but a fun bird to have and to watch. ...E"
I am not sure if my new friend means the Lewis's chased the other birds away, or that she didn't have these birds in her yard to begin with...and so enjoyed the Lewis's. What I know is this, the Lewis's in my yard chases anything he considers to be a threat to his food source. I've watched him buzz nuthatches, chickadees and other woodpeckers. This morning he spent at least twenty minutes running off a Downey he found at another feeder; chasing it from tree to tree as the little guy tried to hide. And just now I watched him go several rounds with a squirrel, chasing up and down and round and round a big cottonwood where he hides kibble. He even tries to run off the big magpies that come to the feeder he likes best.

This morning, I only put out the fat-worms and some peanuts. Perhaps with the lack of the kibble...the Lewis's will move on. As beautiful as he is and as honored as I feel to have him visit here, I really don't think I want to encourage a family from moving into the neighborhood!

My online friend, Mike Ross, graciously sent me these sweet photos of a Lewis's Woodpecker. You can see it is such a pretty thing...and often sits on a pole in just this way.


Anonymous said...


From Huajatolla Valley, Superbowl Sunday Feb 7, 2010: snow 5 inches so far, more to come. 24 deg. several chickadees (mtn and black-capped), 4 A. goldfinches, sev. juncos, few stellers and scrub jays, 3 black-billed magpies, and 1white-breasted nuthatch at feeders. Thanks for the tip on 'Finches Feast'. They DO love it! The poor robins! Eating nothing but juniper berries all day for weeks (if not months) on end. At least 100 (probably more) in the juniper trees behind the house (elev. 7500 ft asl). When not eating, they're fluffed up on a limb looking forlorn and bored. Makes me wish a had a bushel of juicy earthworms for them. 'course the worms would quickly be 'wormcicles' and unappetisizing Robin food(doesn't sound appetisizing to me either).
I really enjoyed the bird-watching today!Great to see good ole Lewis's again. -D.

Beverly said...


Go Saints, huh?

About worms...check out what Connie, a neat lady in Loveland, has to say about <a href=">worms in winter and what they attract!</a>

Isn't it amazing what a difference 500' makes? I swear, I'm going to get at least one FEMALE juniper this spring! [sigh] Oh darn, a big tree can't be cheap...I'm never gonna get that pond! LOL

Thanks for DID see today's post, right? Your note is attached to a post from weeks ago! Sorry you missed the Grosbeaks... We had quite a drama, too. I hope he makes it!

Beverly said...

PS... I forgot I'd told you about Finches' Feast. For those who don't know, Purina sells lots of good (and some not so good) bird seed. I buy Black-oil Sunflower seeds in 50# bags ($19) and 20# bags of Finches' Feast ($22).

Finches' Feast is a mix of the black thistle (Nyjer) and canary seed with some sunflower-heart bits in there too. All the seed is small enough for any finch feeder...but it is half the price of pure Nyjer seed. AND the birds love it.