Monday, January 31, 2000

2000 January

  1. I have seen the crows post sentries to watch for me to toss out food. They roost in the tops of one of the two poplar trees. When they leave, several fly up to the sentry post. A few minutes later, they all, but one, fly away. How do they decide who stays?

    The squirrels are getting bolder. One scaled the door to peer in the window! The noise he made scared the fool out of me!

  2. Put out a suet holder with a block of peanut butter & suet in it. The pet store has quite a variety of different flavor suet blocks. Next, I think I'll try one of the ones with blueberries in it. Bird pemmican!
  3. No activity yet at the suet block. Four inches of snow today.
  4. Noticed a chickadee at the suet block. I'd like to see some woodpeckers. I may have to mount the holder at a higher elevation. Right now it's barely 4' off the ground.

    Lots fewer squirrels with the snow on the ground.

  5. I've also noticed that the LBJs are a lot more skittish in the snow. Do they know that the snow robs them of their natural camouflage? Noticed the first House Finches feeding. These were real pests at RR. There were only a few here today.
  6. Saw a Titmouse at the suet block. Still no Woodpeckers. The Mourning Doves like to come in a small flock at dusk.
  7. Saw two Starlings feeding for a while. I hope they don't bring their friends. Most of the Chickadees have finally figured out the suet block, and now line up for turns.

    Crows have remarkably sharp eyesight. A Crow was in the drive, at least 40' away, and was keeping watch in my direction. I was standing about 12" from the door window, which is about 10" x 20", so I was in shadow. The Crow could easily see me, and took flight when I shifted my head a few inches.

  8. Heavy snowfall today; a Nor'easter. Birds are struggling to scratch through the snow to get the seed, which soon gets buried by fresh snow. Starlings have an odd behavior to uncover seed buried by the snow. They insert their long beak into the snow, then open wide, the lower beak pushing aside some snow to make a small hole about 1" deep and, perhaps, a seed or three.
  9. The Chickadees are the boldest. They will fly down to pick up seed that I have just put down. With me standing right there, they will fly right down to my feet for the seed. And I know that they see me, because they will scold me from the branches before flying in to take a sunflower seed.

  10. Saw my first woodpecker at the suet block. It was either a Downey Woodpecker or a Hairy Woodpecker.