As we tend to our feeders, we realize we’re helping out our friends by giving them a ready source of food, water, cover and sanctuary. What we tend to forget sometimes is how much they give us back in return. One of my favorite back yard visitors is titmice. Let me give you a few reasons why this is.
They Put You In Your Place
How many times have you snuck up on a feeding titmouse? Did you have any doubt they were NOT pleased with you? Of course not! They’ll tell you in no uncertain terms they don’t appreciate being disturbed while they’re figuring out how to get the best nut or seed from the feeder you’ve caught them on. Often, that scolding will continue long after the initial interruption occurred!
They Tell You Thanks
Yes, in their own funny way, they’ll talk to you from the trees while you’re filling a feeder to let you know how much they appreciate your hard work. Sometimes, all we hear is squawking but it’s there if you listen for it. They’ll cycle through their calls a lot of times to get your attention. Just listen. It’s there.
They Have a Sense of Humor
How else could such a small bird try to make you think they’re tough? Or when they come down on the patio and take a peanut that’s bigger than their head? If that’s not comedy, I don’t know what is!
They Choose You
They’re the quickest to hand feed and accept you into their flock. Whenever I’m trying to hand feed, they are the first ones to step up every time!
When their time on this planet is nearly up, sometimes they’ll choose you to spend that time with. They know you’ve done your best to help them while they were your guest. They trust you’ll help them make the transition beyond. This is probably the most powerful reason I love these little ones! Here is a video of one doing exactly this a few years back. He/she made an indelible mark on my soul that time and life cannot erase. God Bless them!
Tell Me YOUR Titmouse Story
I know you’ve got one! They’ve either made you laugh or you’re hand feeding them like there’s no tomorrow-LOL! Either way, leave me a comment and tell me your titmouse stories. Also, if you know somebody else who might enjoy this story, please share it with them or on social media using the buttons provided.
Hope you’re having a great summer so far!
Unabashed Good News Post
If you’re looking for a “meaty” how-to post, you can skip this one.
If you want to have a little sunshine in your life today, by all means, READ ON!
News In The Shower
So, July 4th this year started as any other day. Did some studying for a blogging business course I’m doing called “Blog Mastermind“, caught up on some entrepreneurial community forums I belong to and was showering in preparation for lunch. While in the shower, my wife called to me that she needed to tell me something. I turned off the water and she said as she entered the bathroom that a hummingbird was laying on the step on its back. She said it appeared to be breathing but that’s all she could tell. She asked if she should pick it up. I told her by all means do but be careful because they’re so delicate. She left the bathroom and headed back downstairs.
I don’t know about you but I hate getting that kind of news when you’re not in ANY position to do anything about it. I was at least 10-15 minutes away from being able to be downstairs. I said a prayer that he/she would be ok and finished showering. My mind just churning about what could happen next.
When I got downstairs, my wife told me when she went out to help it, it had already flown up to our railing out there and appeared to be shaking it off. She took some of the pics below.
She then noticed it was getting very close to the edge of the railing and thought she should intervene. That’s when the feel good part of this story happened.
She said she barely got the sliding door opened and moved toward it before it took off like nothing had happened! This made a HUGE improvement in my attitude and well being when I heard it! Again, take a look at the cute pics she got of her
I found out later another reason I was glad they were ok. My wife told me she was nervous about handling it and she was afraid she would twitch or jerk, harming it if it tried to fly away while on or in her hand. I’m glad the forces in the universe conspired to not have her make that decision. I’m just so glad she was paying attention to what was going on in our back yard!
Who among us can’t say we love when things turn out this way? Anybody whose fed birds in their back yard knows the trials and tribulations that we go through. We get to watch birds feeding together, raising their young and generally entertain us with their antics. But we’ve also seen the birds on their last legs and others who have breathed their last breath in an instant via a window strike.
In short, we’ll take this victory!
Share Your Stories
Leave me a comment and let me know what victory you’ve experienced lately. We all need to know these miracles still do happen. Also, if you think your tribe will enjoy reading this, please share it on social media using the buttons below.
My Attempt To Train My Back Yard Birds
Each of us, from time to time, looks out into our back yards and sees something we’re not crazy about. Whether it’s a squirrel figuring out a way to get to one of our feeders or a large flock of grackles that have taken another one over. Myself, I tend to be a rather active or even proactive birder. If I see something developing, I’ll take steps to either stop it from getting worse or to curtail it completely. I’ve recently had a challenge arise that I’d like to share with you.
I’ve recently had just one squirrel-proof hopper feeder up on my main feeder. I also have an upside-down thistle feeder and a squirrel proof peanut feeder. All sounds just fine so far, right?
So, What’s The Problem, Jeff?
The problem is that the hopper feeder is so overrun with house finches that I don’t see how anything else gets to eat. Before you say it, I’ve tried in the past to just add more feeders to spread out the flock but that just backfires. What ends up happening is I’ll end up with THREE feeders being overrun by them. So, I knew another tactic was needed. Plus, I was already seeing signs some of the house finches may be in the first stages of their eye disease. So, I had taken down the hopper feeder to help them scatter.
I should mention here that some experts with way more ornithological experience than me recommend cleaning them but leaving them up to keep the infestation local. This has NEVER worked for me! All I get is a repeating infection cycle that lasts WAY longer than the 10-14 days they say it will take for it to clear up. My belief is you can’t possibly clean them enough to stay ahead of this so I just clean them and take them down. I do NOT believe this is an irresponsible act either.
Enter The Squirrel Buster Legacy!
The great folks at Brome Bird Care recently informed me I had won a Squirrel Buster Standard feeder for being picked at random from their Brome Bird News newsletter drawing! When it arrived last week, I was excited to put it out there and hoped some of the other birds, cardinals in particular, would learn to use it and this would help limit the house finch incursion. It’s been out there for over a week and I have the following to report: FAILURE!
Yes and No
Well, not a complete failure. Yes, some of the cardinals ARE learning to use the feeder. No, it is NOT keeping the house finches from learning to use this new feeder and cleaning it out too! I will give it a few more days and then I’ll pull that one as well.
But We DO Have Water
It’s well into the nineties here for the last couple of weeks so I believe I am serving them much better by making sure both of my bird baths are full of clean and fresh water. I’ll continue to take that out at lunch and dinner time during this weather.
I’ll let you know what happened with my new feeder.
Tell Me Your Stories
Have you had any luck retraining birds to use a different feeder to keep one species from taking over your back yard? Any other tactics we could learn from? Let me know about it by leaving a comment below. Also, if you enjoyed this post, please share it using the buttons below!