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Old 11-28-2016, 07:58 PM   #61
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I put out my bird feeders a few days ago and many of the winter visitors are back. It always amazes me how quickly they find the sunflower seed and suet. So far the chickadees, goldfinches, purple finches, nuthatches, blue jays, and downy woodpeckers have been at the feeders. And from the large chunk out of the suet it looks like the pileated woodpecker stopped by too.

The chickadees are always the first to arrive. Always within an hour or two, and sometimes within a matter of minutes. There are at least a dozen of them feeding by the first afternoon. The excited activity of the chickadees must attract the attention of the other birds.

I often wonder how the chickadees find the feeders so quickly. The feeders are there year round, but they are empty from mid-spring to late fall. They don't visit the feeders when they are empty, but arrive very quickly after they are filled. I don't think that scent plays much of a role, and it would take an attentive eye to notice when they have been filled the first time.

And it's not like there are birds constantly flying around the area such that you would expect them to find the food in short order. Are they spying on us humans 24/7 from secret hidden locations?? I wonder ...
I've often wondered the same thing. I don't fill my feeders in the summer. Withing minutes of putting the food out in the fall, I'll have jays at the peanut feeders. I know we have nesting chickadees and I see them in the trees, bushes in the yard all summer long, so I'm not surprised that they find the seed quickly. But the jays.....they find those peanuts almost before I get back in the house!
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:10 AM   #62
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I've often wondered the same thing. I don't fill my feeders in the summer. Withing minutes of putting the food out in the fall, I'll have jays at the peanut feeders. I know we have nesting chickadees and I see them in the trees, bushes in the yard all summer long, so I'm not surprised that they find the seed quickly. But the jays.....they find those peanuts almost before I get back in the house!
Funny, I experience the same thing with jays, too. If I put out peanuts or nutty seed mix, they know it in an uncanny amount of time! It's one of the many examples of the intelligence of animals that we haven't a clue about. it's one reason why spying on wildlife on our properties continues to fascinate some of us.

Some watch stories of androids and AI on television for their "contact" with foreign creatures, while the wildlife observers gain their's from observing our fellow beings on this strange planet in this strange world, and how these fellow explorers negotiate the adversities all creatures must learn to exist with.... Nice, also, that it's so interesting, informative and satisfying.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:36 AM   #63
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Some interesting info. on how birds find food. Vultures have a very good sense of smell

http://pets.thenest.com/birds-detect...ect-12477.html
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:31 AM   #64
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Funny, I experience the same thing with jays, too. If I put out peanuts or nutty seed mix, they know it in an uncanny amount of time! It's one of the many examples of the intelligence of animals that we haven't a clue about. it's one reason why spying on wildlife on our properties continues to fascinate some of us.

Some watch stories of androids and AI on television for their "contact" with foreign creatures, while the wildlife observers gain their's from observing our fellow beings on this strange planet in this strange world, and how these fellow explorers negotiate the adversities all creatures must learn to exist with.... Nice, also, that it's so interesting, informative and satisfying.
Esactly, Jack! I can spend hours lost in the yard watching bees, bugs, etc. In the winter, I can spend an entire morning sitting at my picture window, sipping a hot drink and watching the birds/squirrels in the back yard. We don't even own a TV, but we do watch an occasional show or movie on Amazon Prime.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:36 AM   #65
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Some interesting info. on how birds find food. Vultures have a very good sense of smell

http://pets.thenest.com/birds-detect...ect-12477.html
Interesting information, Ellen! I think the jays around here "work the neighborhood" and share information. I know a couple of neighbors feed all summer, so they are probably flying over my yard on a regular basis. I also make water available even when I'm not feeding, so they stop by for that. They must just be keeping an eye on me and telling all their friends when the feeders are filled. I usually use a nice woodpecker mix (lots of nuts), black oil sunflower and peanuts. I try to stay away from the cheap seed mixes, they just attract sparrows. But the store manager at work gave me a couple of free bags (broken bags). I've been putting that out....and attracting sparrows and starlings like crazy. I'm not sure it's worth using, even if it's free. The sparrows and starlings are so numerous and so aggressive that they scare the other birds away.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:40 PM   #66
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katjh one of wg's former contributors equilibrium suggested putting cheap feed out in the open. Since it attracts house sparrows and starlings she thought it might attract hawks that will go after the house sparrows and starlings
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:56 PM   #67
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Interesting information, Ellen! I think the jays around here "work the neighborhood" and share information. I know a couple of neighbors feed all summer, so they are probably flying over my yard on a regular basis. I also make water available even when I'm not feeding, so they stop by for that. They must just be keeping an eye on me and telling all their friends when the feeders are filled. I usually use a nice woodpecker mix (lots of nuts), black oil sunflower and peanuts. I try to stay away from the cheap seed mixes, they just attract sparrows. But the store manager at work gave me a couple of free bags (broken bags). I've been putting that out....and attracting sparrows and starlings like crazy. I'm not sure it's worth using, even if it's free. The sparrows and starlings are so numerous and so aggressive that they scare the other birds away.
As I read your words, I was thinking how I have spent much time through the years waging campaigns against house sparrows, and to a lesser extent, starlings. No seed mix, however free, is worth the result of inviting these birds to a yard.

Throw that seed out! ha ha
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:46 AM   #68
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I like the idea of luring the "bad birds" away from the feeders and encouraging the neighborhood raptors.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:49 AM   #69
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Driving home from work one day, I saw a bird I did not know existed: a large nearly-white hawk flying over the interstate. Its only markings were some pale tan bars on the wings.

It turns out that there has been a small population of leucistic red-tailed hawks in our part of the state for the last decade or so, mostly north or south of us, but now evidently moving in.
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:11 PM   #70
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How lucky you were to have viewed one!
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