They’re Ba-a-ack!

Now that I’m out of house arrest (with no time off for the good behaviour I exhibited), I’m able to pick up bird seed in an order-and-pay-by-phone-and-pick-up-curbside-with-no-contact mode. This year I decided to try a mix spiked with hot pepper juice or somesuch. Squirrels, being mammals, are bothered by spicy stuff; birds, being birds, are not.

What the birds are bothered by, though, is the colour of the seeds: They’re slow to recognize red food as good food. But they’re gradually getting the hang of it, especially the starlings, which travel in packs. Gangs? Somehow “flocks” doesn’t capture the effect or the affect as they noisily swarm the feeder and muscle out all the other visitors.

2-photo collage of starlings at the feeder
Pretty but pretty obnoxious birds.

But the more-welcome birds are also back. The juncos . . .

Peeling a seed: No hands!

The cardinals . . .

Norterhn cardinal feeding on groundAnd even a robin, keeping a careful eye on something off-screen that caught his attention.

2-photo collage of robin
What the heck is that over there?



  1. Tom Watson

    Amazing pictures, Isabel.

    I especially like the last one: the robin peering and saying, “What the heck is that over there?

    Happy Sunday! I’ve forgotten the date…March 57 I think.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – Thanks! I’m trying to persuade the starlings to go elsewhere by letting the feeder run dry for a day or two. They seem to move on faster than other birds.

  2. Tom Watson

    A further thought…why is it that birds are often the harbingers of good news, or just plain goodness?

    Is it because they’re carefree, unfettered? Just to watch them provides a lift.


    1. Isabel Gibson

      Tom – Maybe we like them because of the whole flight thing. But I guess it depends where you are in the food chain whether a given species brings good news. A fish is never happy to spot an osprey overhead.

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