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I feel bad for the birds...


By Raquel


but enough is enough! It now takes them 4 days to eat all the seed in the birdfeeder, and there’s no way (with the price of birdseed) that I can keep re-filling it twice a week or more…so I make them eat what they spill on the balcony and what puddles on the birdfeeder tray…

I was about to put their water out when I saw these two sharing the seed on the balcony, thought it was cute…Buit I am now going to re-fill it only once a week.

Anyway I was mystified as to why the seed was going so fast…and watching carefully one day (going to the window every time I heard chirps or calls or screeches and carefully peering through the window) I noticed that the birdfeeder is now attracting range of birds!! I have the chickadees, the doves and now also a small brown bird, slightly bigger than the chickadees but with no black stripe..I want to say it’s a wren. And also these big ugly black birds with – red eyes!! Ugh. I know they’re birds, but they gave me the willies. I wish I had a picture of them. They could be blackbirds, I guess, I don’t think they’re grackles. ?? But I’m not sure. But of course with a higher number of birds and bigger birds no wonder the seed gets spilled everywhere and doesn’t last as long! So now…they’re rationed. Poor birds. But the recession is hitting all of us hard. =0

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I am not sure that they need our support so much during the spring, summer and autumn months. We humans have upset the balance of nature and being intelligent creatures we feel responsible and want to restore what we have damaged, but we are also part of nature and nature evolves. Part of being responsible is also ensuring the birds do not come to rely on us. I feel we should support our fellow creatures but not interfere to such an extent that they come to rely on us. I am sure the birds need to retain their foraging skills, so don't feel bad. I believe you are doing the right thing.

5 Apr, 2009


There are lots and lots of grackles in some parts of Texas.
Black shiny looking feathers, but eyes not especially red ~ unless maybe they had a late night out on the town. Lol.

I empathise with you, Raquel, about the cost of feeding birds. Can you get those feeders with an outer cage, which only the little birds can go through to reach the seed ?

5 Apr, 2009


You may find in your area that through the summer you can attract as many or maybe more birds just by offering fresh water alone. That way you can save your money for feeding in the winter!

5 Apr, 2009


I think that as you have been putting food out, just doing it once a week will ensure that when they are looking for a 'top up' to what they are finding naturally, they will not waste energy by having to look elsewhere.
I too find that after my birds have eaten the most nutritious/their favourite seed they will indeed clear it all up, if I don't put any more out.
Could the small brown bird be a sparrow? The one in your picture looks like one to me.

5 Apr, 2009


I've been feeding on Fridays (so I can watch them over the week end) and allow them to clean up the spill overs the rest of the week. The problem with identifing the black bird is the "red eye" I found the "Chihuahuan Raven" that could be in your area but the eyes are discribed as light brown.
Try to help you identify your birds.

5 Apr, 2009


Thank you Xela, I'm sure you're right - I guess I never thought of it that way because Houston is so warm, I figure there must always be seeds available but maybe I'm wrong on that're right about the foraging skills, you know once I saw a program called "Life After Humans" and they theorized many animals would not make it without humans around....most sadly the dometic dogs, either very small or very big ones...

Pottygardener, that's why I do kind of want to keep putting the seed out so they "know" it will be there...They do absolutely clean it up, it's amazing I don't need to sweep at all! It could be a sparrow, I really do need to get a bird book...think I will ask one for my birthday from my sister!

Wohlibuli, I might try that, especially in deep summer...I saw today how a dove kept coming back though there was no seed just to splash in the water and drink from the puddles of water left over from when I watered my pots...

Yes, TT and Kmccue07, the red eyes have stumped me too - could they turn red when they get angry or are hungry? It was a pair of them hogging the birdfeeder...thought of ravens as well but I have never seen one (just read about them in Edgar Allan Poe's poem! lol) I could get another birdfeeder TT but not at the garden budget is going for flowers! I bought another scented-leaved geranium today! =0

6 Apr, 2009


I will try the link, Kmccue07, thank you!

6 Apr, 2009


Hi Raquel, the small brown bird in your photo is a House Sparrow. These sparrows were introduced to North America from Europe. Surprisingly, from what everyone is saying on GOY, their numbers seem to be declining in England.
The black bird with the red eyes might be a Phainopepla. I believe their range is S.W. US to S. Mexico. They have a crest on top of their heads. Does this sound right? There is a photo of one at this website. .....

7 Apr, 2009


Hi Gilli thanks so much for all the info. A house sparrow, huh? Well, they're the most abundant birds I see here...wonder why they would decline in Britain?

No, the bird didn't have a crest...but I'll check the link out!

8 Apr, 2009

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