Sunday, October 19, 2008

Raiders of the bird feeders

So on my walk yesterday, I happened to chat with a neighbor down the alley and the subject turned to local critters. Specifically, the skunks that, I thought, had been removed from the area. Wrong. Furthermore, she pointed out a couple of pooping points used by marauding raccoons. I was reminded of the conversation while napping this evening -- there was a heavy scampering across my roof, then silence. It didn't sound like javelina hoofs; cats, dogs, ??? Maybe those raccoons romping?

All of which suggests another critter post. This time, a very particular sort of critter post, consisting entirely of bird and beast that have raided the feeders provisioned by friends Patty & Bob, with pictures by Bob. Number one, an acorn woodpecker filling his beak at the humming bird syrup works. But maybe he was eating one of the early bees who showed up en masse at the feeder many weeks later (below).

Patty had noticed that her bird seed was disappearing far too rapidly; then she discovered why. Little chipmunks, stuffing their cheeks with enough food for 25 birds.

But other critters also eat bird seed. Namely, this buck who was out very bright and early one morning to chow down. If you check the picture below carefully, you'll see an assistant buck (left) who has to wait his turn. Is that a raven in the background, also in line?

Thanks, Bob, for passing on a fine picture collection of Mountain Club denizens.

Comment Note: Jan has left a question at an old post (Miller Valley Empties); she asks if anyone rememers Walt's coffee shop. Old-timers??? BTW, I'm fascinated at how many comments that Miller Valley post has drawn; any Prescott folk reading this blog should revisit that old post.


worldphotos4 said...

The deer must have wanted a snack. I've noticed more birds stopping by and trying to crack open walnuts. The do manage to get them open after a lot of pecking.

pb said...

Looks familiar to this Easterner:

For the woodpecker, substitute the tiny black and white flicker.

A white-tail for your deer; we attract females with fawns.

Lucky you out west with honeybees! They are now quite rare here in the east. We get yellow-jackets, nasty mean-spirited beasts.

Granny J said...

steve -- I could believe a raven cracking open a walnut, but smaller birds???

pb -- opportunists everywhere. Our yellow jackets show up at picnics, where they are attracted by the soda pop in cans and by any meat items. We have often entertained ourselves by isolating a bit of KFC chicken or ham from a sandwich and watching the yellow jackets saw off pieces and carry they away, bringing back more of their kind for the feast.

meggie said...

I love to see the different creatures that live in your part of the world!
We used to put seed & honey out for the Lorikeets here, but rats began to visit also, & ended up in our ceiling cavity...then dying up there!

A.Decker said...

Very good progression with the photos. My jaw dropped when I got to the deer! That's amazing.

Plan all you want, but Nature rules.

Granny J said...

meggie -- our humming bird feeders are usually specially designed to make it difficult for other birds and/or creatures to harvest the sugar syrup. But if they can, they sure will, as you could plainly see.

ad -- I was also taken aback by the deer. My friends say that the deer were back today -- 3 bucks, small, medium and large.

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