European Starlings & Change In Weather
The last week of November in Wisconsin can be sunny and bright or snowy and dreary. This week I watched the European Starlings visit the feeder and witnessed both the bright and sunny weather and the dreary winter weather setting in.
It was a funny start to the week. It was Monday morning and I was doing my normal inside housework pattern of laundry and dishes, and I kept hearing a tapping sound. The tapping was patterned as if something was knocking at a door. That is when I looked out the back patio door and saw a large hawk sitting on my back deck rail.
I’ve seen this guy stalking my birdfeeders on occasion. He enjoys sitting quietly tucked into the cedars, trying to prey on the feeder birds.
I’m no expert in hawks but this one is stalking my feeder birds lately. I believe it to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk because it is about the size of a blue jay and the tail is squared off when he is resting.
As was photographing the hawk I heard a tapping at my back patio door, I open the door and in hopped a dark-eyed junco as fast as he could hop. The hawk was trying to make a meal out of the little guy and the Junco decided my house was the better alternative.
Mr. Junco wasn’t afraid of my dogs and hopped around the kitchen for a bit while I grabbed a pair of gloves to pick him up and carry him to the front yard to place him on the deck and near a brush pile. Leaving him a little seed treat to give him strength.
After an hour I went and checked on him and at that point, he took to flight. Sorry, Mr. Hawk. No meal for you.
I Found Out Who Stole My Pinecones
I have had a slew of pinecones that I collected to complete a few pinecone projects for the holidays and had a slew of pinecones on the back deck. Stressing the word HAD. Slowly, they have disappeared. I know who the culprit is.
For the life of me, I couldn’t understand where the pinecones were disappearing to. If it were the dogs, they would still be in the yard, somewhere, right?
The squirrels are eating the seeds, by the look of this guy licking the cone, it must be tasty. Apparently, the squirrels like to eat the pinecone seeds that develop as the pinecones dry out. This little guy must have stolen 50 pinecones over the past month. Just look at him licking the seeds out of the cone – wildlife is pretty amazing! Even if the critters foil our plans for crafting 🙂
As we turned to the second half of the week, we received snow and with the snow came starlings. I know starlings are another bird that can be a nuisance at the feeder at times. Luckily, they only come a handful of times in my area.
That glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen, which is speckled with white at this time of year stands out against the flurries that were coming down. Since they were the only birds at the feeders for a few hours I left up the feeders.
For a bird that can quickly become a pest, they are fairly striking birds during the winter months.
Known as the common starling, European starling, or just the starling, this is a bird that some dislike to see at the feeder. In my area, they only come when it is snowing or we are about to get a snowstorm. I’m ok with watching a few here and there.
When the flocks of starlings come the best thing you can do is take down most of the seed feeders and only keep the nyjer seed feeders and suet up. The starlings eat both but find it a little more difficult to feed on.
If you have starling issues at your feeder – they have a more difficult time cracking the black oil and striped sunflower seeds. Just testing the different seeds types for each bird. Thought that was an interesting fact to pass along.
Still, I gotta leave them something. I just feel for any bird during the winter months, even though I know I am really doing this more for myself than for them. Birds can take care of themselves. I just could leave them without anything – I put little-cracked corn and seed on the deck feeders.
What I am really hoping for is that they finish up that suet block. I just got a new blazing red hot type of suet that birds are supposed to love but the squirrels will leave alone. I want to try it out.