Bird Brain

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What you see above is a bluebird feeder. The cup holds meal worms which are like chocolate to bluebirds. The cage is designed to keep out pesky larger birds since meal worms appear to be a gourmet treat to a wide variety of birds. We had several bluebirds show up in the winter and a pair has stuck around since then so the feeder gets lots of use.

There are birds that are smaller than the bluebirds who can easily pass through but, since they are smaller, they don’t eat as much. The real goal is to keep out the starlings because a single starling could probably eat all the worms in the cup in a few seconds. Plus starlings always travel in flocks, so without the guard, you would need a constant supply of the worms.

Young starling – slightly smaller than the adults but not yet wise in the way of things.

Late this afternoon, my wife comes to tell me that there is a bigger bird in the bluebird feeder. Turns out it was a young starling that managed to push its way in and probably was very happy to get the free meal. Except nothing comes for free which he may have realized when he couldn’t get himself out of the feeder.

Not really sure why. My guess is the wire may have more give if you are on the outside pushing in. Or he just got into a lucky position and couldn’t duplicate it. But he’s thrashing around in the feeder pushing his head through as many of the gaps as he could without being able to get the rest of the body to follow.

Fortunately, for the bird, the top of the feeder comes off easily. That was designed to allow easy access to add more worms but it also works great when you need to free a bird that has put himself in a bad spot. Of course, with me taking the feeder down from the post and opening the top, the bird just redoubled his efforts to squeeze through the grate. Only when I tilted the feeder did he realize that escape was possible and he flew off.

The real question is what lesson he takes from the this. Does he just remember that he could squeeze through and I’ll find him trapped again. Or was the trauma of being in jail enough to keep him away from the worms. Could also be that he’ll just grow a little more and won’t be able to fit through anyway.

Just a little bird drama for the day.

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