backyard dinosaurs #4

today's backyard dinosaurs focuses on diversity...

while looking out at the bird feeder today i saw a whole bunch of different types of birds. from left to right was a house sparrow (Passer domesticus), ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula), and purple finch (Carpodacus purpureus).

this got me thinking to how many different birds live together in just the yard! you'd think in such a small space they won't have enough different things to eat or roles to play. yet even just in my bird feeder they were all able to find different seeds to eat, and each went about eating them their own way! (the kinglet wouldn't have been able to eat if not for the sparrow kicking lots of seed out of the feeder for example... where the finch was able to do its own thing regradless of the other two).

so next time your out and about look at all the different birds that live in the same area, and thing about how they all coexist and interact with one another!


Albertonykus said...

The most common visitors to my feeder are chickadees and juncos. The chickadees fly with one seed at a time to a nearby perch and hammer it open, then return to get another. They tend to discard some seeds untouched and let them fall to the ground, where the juncos seem quite eager to feed. Every once in a while a junco will learn the trick of clinging to the feeder like a chickadee would, and while they aren't as good at it the seem to be able to succeed in snatching a few quick bites. The occasional finch and woodpecker that show up have no problem with the seeds or the feeder, either. Rather than fly off with each seed one by one, these birds just cling to the feeder, going around it and cracking each seed one by one. Sometimes a Steller's jay comes along (always announcing its presence with a loud call), too. Jays aren't clingers, but it doesn't stop them from trying get to the feeder, sometimes by hanging upside down from an overhanging branch! More often they just go for the seeds I scatter on a tree stump close by. More recently I've been seeing white-crowned sparrows, which feed on the ground like the juncos.

Crows are very common here but don't feed on the seeds much. However, whenever I put some pieces of leftover bread out, they always come (often as soon as I enter the house) and take it all. I always try to put the bread in more interesting places for them to find and eat, like on the roof or impaled on branches. I've noticed that to reach a piece of bread stabbed on a branch, a crow will fly at it repeatedly until the bread falls (or the branch breaks).

Then there are some birds that arrive but don't appear interested in the food, like warblers, starlings, and robins, but may have been attracted by the commotion or maybe insects that the ground feeders unearth.

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

aw! soo cute!