Those of you who are fortunate to have hummingbirds come to your garden, to get a sip from your feeder, or to enjoy the nectar provided by your flowers – you’ll know how intolerant they are. I’ve actually seen one hummingbird come up behind another, who is feeding, and hammer him on the head with his bill! Come on guys! Relax!
But that’s summer! Let’s get back to this season: mud, or the end of winter.
I’ve been watching the birds at my feeders since January. When I first put out the suet feeder, it took a while for the downy woodpeckers to show up. Perhaps a bit more cautious. Let the chickadees, white-throated sparrows, juncos, cardinals, titmice see if harm comes. They had already tested the feeder territory, eating the sunflower seeds and perhaps felt safe in the area.
I was delighted when the first nuthatch showed up. Just him. It took a while for another one to brave this new thing, a suet feeder in the woods! And then, a couple weeks ago, a pair of downy woodpeckers started coming for their dinner too.
It has been surprising to me to find that downy woodpeckers are not “sharing” birds. If another bird gets near the suet while they are feeding — look out! Grump City! Much like hummingbirds, charming little things to watch, until they feel they have had enough sharing!
One morning recently I saw a downy grab a chickadee and actually toss him aside.
Goodness. Much like hummingbirds. Grumps! — Much like some people! Fortunately not many of them, right??