The birds seem to need a snack before they go to bed at night. Sometimes we see a shy blue jay at the feeder. In other locations the blue jays were a bit bossy and loud. When we lived in Midland, the blue jay would take his bath every morning and show up on the kitchen feeder, screaming at me in his wet feathers - a hilarious sight. I had to open the window to feed him, so he flew away and came back once the food was out for him to enjoy.
The starlings ate all their suet, 5 pounds in one week. Last summer they left it hanging, an ugly mess, late in the hot season. I happened to buy the latest bunch just before the rainy season, so they flocked around it until the suet was gone from the baskets and feeders. I am not sure if the adults feed the suet to their nestlings.
"Baby starlings in the wild are fed almost a total insect diet (solid food) by their parents..."
No wonder people hate Starlings: they get rid of thousands of insects each day. How annoying! The adults have beaks that allow them to pop things open. I see them using their beaks to flip covering off of soil life, grabbing what they find. Their gait on the ground is hilarious to watch, rather pompous and wobbly at the same time.
Between Starlings and their cousins the Grackles, grubs are speared in the soil and never mature into pesky things like Japanese beetles (June Bugs).
One starling was simply sitting in the platform feeder, which I found a bit odd. He turned and showed that he was not fully grown, short on speckles.
Mourning Doves are seed eaters that are happy to work through the sunflower hulls on the ground to find some morsels left. They also love the water as much as Starlings. Doves sit in the water serenely, but Starlings splash around like teens at a water park.
Seed eating birds are as welcome as the insect eaters. I keep some areas of tall grass to provide seed for them. Grassy areas also shelter the good beetles that prey upon slugs and other pests.
Bee Balm (horse mint) and Butterfly Bushes get special treatment, because they are my Hummingbird feeders.
|Steve Byland captured this Hummingbird sipping from|
a Butterfly Bush.