I managed to get a shot of that silly Magpie going after the suet feeder. Apparently the 'fat-worms' are just an appetizer...this guy actually manages to hang upside down from this feeder; tail spread, wings flapping like some guy who has slipped on a banana peel. But I've never caught it. It must embarrass him when I get out the camera, because he always takes off in a hurry!
As I watched a bunch of big, black birds gather in a tree; it is not unusual to see as many as 5 or more crows at any one time…but as I watched, more and more big black birds arrived to join the other agitated birds. Yes, it seemed I was watching a ‘mobbing’ where many birds will harass a predator; usually an owl or a hawk. As I watched, many birds came and some would leave…but I never did find the object of their ire. Course, I didn’t try…had I gone out and into the alley under the tree I surely would have been the straw that brought the whole scenario to an end. I didn’t want to do that and my reward was…more than 50 big black birds in that tree! There were also 13 Black-billed Magpies on one branch, joining the ruckus. These big Corvids seemed less than half the size of the black ones…so either I was watching a mixed bag or this was a tree full of Ravens! Awesome. I have enjoyed watching a single crow dine with a couple of magpies right outside my back door; and while I could see the crow may be heavier, the magpie was every bit as long…and perhaps taller. While the tree was just too far for me to get really a good look at details, I’m convinced these were the larger Raven.
All day Thursday and Friday morning I watched as many as 200 Rosy-Finches feed in my yard. I was surprised to find just two Black Rosies feeding alone yesterday…along side House Finches and Evening Grosbeaks. I’ve never seen anything but large flocks of those the Rosies. Generally, perhaps because they like to feed so closely together, I get lots of photos of them on the ground in a huge mass. Yesterday I took a picture of a tree they use in-between forays to the ground. Just look at all those pink-butts!
And while I’ve not looked for it and haven’t noticed it in a week or so, I did clearly see a single White-winged Dove today, too. I wonder if this is the same bird that’s been around for so long and why, like the one who froze its feet and disappeared, does it hang around with the Eurasian Collared-Doves? I’ve done some research and doubt they cross; White-winged Doves are actually more closely related to Mourning Doves; which cannot cross with Eurasians. Unfortunately, I seldom find the much smaller Mourning Dove in my yard, anymore.
I did see one of the Song Sparrows that feeds under the thistle feeder with all the juncos and across the yard one of the Cassin’s Finches with that pale, pale belly who feeds with the House Finches at the Sunflower Seed feeder.
I quit putting out the acorn-sized kibble I offered to the magpies along with the fat-worms and peanuts-in-the-shell for the Blue Jays. A Lewis’s Woodpecker which is not a bird usually drawn to feeders, had decided the kibble (a large-sized kibble for my very big dog) was a great food source and claimed ownership of my yard. This guy was pretty scrappy and mixed it up with everybody from magpies to flickers to starlings, as well as the Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers I like to have visit. The only other person who’s had them to her yard told me Lewis’s will drive off even the chickadees and nuthatches…and so I’ve quit the kibble offerings. And yet, still he comes…though he forages further, now and spends less time here. While he seems to ignore the fat-worms, the Lewis’s does like the caged, suet-feeder.
Today, I had a huge flock of Evening Grosbeaks in the yard. There are often as many as twenty of these beauties at and under the feeders, but today I’ve watched more than fifty at a time…more than I could easily count. I had to guestimate how many ‘blocks’ of ten birds I could see…and even while more birds arrived, I counted at least five blocks before they all took off for the trees. This makes me so happy, as I’ve read the Evening Grosbeak is on a decline.