Fill It And They Will Come

The newly repositioned feeder out front is paying dividends:

Tunch has not noticed yet, but he has noticed the action at the back feeder. In fairness, it has been raining all day so he has not been in the window sunning himself.

59 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Nice title.

  2. 2
    mr. whipple says:

    Chipping sparrow?

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    Looks like my feeder. Sparrows eat practically everything. Glad the repositioning has paid off.

  4. 4

    Birdies! Hooray!

    But I am sure that the Tunchmonster will notice the birds and the feeders. Perhaps you are correct, he’ll notice them on a sunnier day.

  5. 5
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Nice. Where’s TUNCHIE??

  6. 6
    Gus says:

    @mr. whipple: Looks like it to me.

  7. 7
    Svensker says:

    It is good that you are listening to your Commentariat Overlords. This gets results.

  8. 8
    David in NY says:

    @mr. whipple: @Gus:

    Yup. Love those little chippies.

  9. 9
    gbear says:

    Eastriver hates you for this thread.

  10. 10
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    LBJ. Snore.

  11. 11
    Mudge says:

    I’ve had some white throated..but they seem to like the seed on the ground. Mostly chipping and song at the feeder….be sure you can see the birds who like fallen seed. I have a pair of towhees..gorgeous.

  12. 12
    Redshift says:

    I think I probably have a pair of cardinals nesting in my back yard. This weekend I was attacking the eternal raspberry menace (and other thorny things) and when I yanked on a vine, a mama cardinal flew out of one of the tall shrubs and started crying alarm from a nearby tree. She was shortly joined by a male, and they chirped their displeasure at me for quite a while without flying away, which I figure means they were trying to draw me away from a nest.

    That’ll be nice; we don’t get a lot of cardinals in our current neighborhood. It’s almost enough to make me want to let the raspberry thicket take over the back yard again. (Apparently our suburban preference for plants without thorns is a major factor in the decline of songbirds — thorny plant = safer nesting site.)

  13. 13
    mr. whipple says:

    @David in NY:

    They’re such happy little buggers.

  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
    jeffreyw says:

    Mrs J saw a hummer today! They’re late.

  17. 17
    mr. whipple says:


    We still don’t have any. :(

  18. 18
    CPO Snarkey says:

    Set up a bird bath as well. Or several. Your feathered friends will multiply.

  19. 19

    Next up:
    John complains about Tunch’s constant chattering at the birds.

  20. 20
    colleeniem says:

    @jeffreyw: Between your nature and food pictures, your version of the world is one that make life worth living!
    Just wanted to say I appreciate it.

  21. 21
    trollhattan says:

    I sees “open thread” tag, so I kan haz post that Mister Dam-the-American-West (not a Jeremiah Wright reference) has died.

    See “Cadillac Desert” for much more.

    @ J Cole–Nice boids!

  22. 22
    David in NY says:


    We’ve had (upstate NY) lots of white throats this year, more than I remember. But we may be keeping the feeder up a bit later than we have in recent years. The fear instilled in us by the wildlife control guy who stopped by us on his way to respond to a call about a bear at somebody’s feeder (said he couldn’t do anything about a bear, but he’d sure tell them to take the feeder down in the summer) seems to be dissipating. Maybe I’ll have to take a look at the picture given us by the lady who used to own our house, with a bear cradling the feeder at her new place in his right arm like an old pal. Might make me decide to reserve it for winter use, as we have been.

  23. 23
    David in NY says:

    Open thread, you say?

    Well, don’t you think that after Ben Nelson’s last little ploy, cutting a special deal to get Nebraska’s Medicare bills paid by the US that he had to renounce, that he’d avoid that sort of thing. But noooo! He’s back. This time casting a vote plainly at he bidding of a single one of his constituents — guy named Buffett.

  24. 24
    Derelict Dog says:

    Bah. Avian Welfare State.

  25. 25
    jeffreyw says:

    @colleeniem: Thank you, one day you too can be an old retired fart. Also

  26. 26
    stuckinred says:

    @jeffreyw: One can only hope!

  27. 27
    jeffreyw says:

    @stuckinred: Good evening, sir.

  28. 28
    eastriver says:

    I hope you got a clean shot. The little ones are tasty eatin’. Gotta be careful of the tiny bones, though.

    Hey, here’s a menu:

    Roasted Songbird
    Braised brussels sprouts
    Moroccan couscous

  29. 29
    merl says:

    if tunch wasn’t so fat, he could climb that tree and have a nice snack.

  30. 30
    JenJen says:

    Oh, how pretty, John! Hooray!!

    You could use some birdhouses. I just love watching the males bringing shiny objects back to the nest in order to attract mates; so much action this time of year. Such a delightful allegory.

  31. 31
    ellaesther says:

    Oh, birds! And a nicely filled birdfeeder! And a soon-to-be-entertained Tunch!

    Oh, much nicer than the foreign policy issues that I was just yelling about so loudly that a) my 5th grader politely asked if he could close the door and b) I have a headache.

    Birds! Thank you! It’s just like Cute Overload here, it is. (In the best possible of senses, of course!)

  32. 32
    BethanyAnne says:

    Hey! Is this an open thread? I’ma pretend it’s the current open thread :) I got a job!! OMG! I’ve been out of work for a year.

    Mentioned last week or so that I had a “final” interview with a company. There’s drama there, but no mind.

    Today at lunch, a recruiter called, and asked a couple of questions. She said the company she was searching on behalf of was going to move fast, and might just grab a resume from the ones they get and say “use them”.

    This evening, she emailed to say that’s exactly what they did. I start on Wednesday!

    I has a job!!

  33. 33

    @eastriver: Would you like a nice pair of cement shooze for Kissmass sonny?

    BTW – My Lai doc on tonight PBS.

  34. 34
    Elie says:


    I hear what you say about thorny bushes being good nests. Thorny bushes and weeds such as thistle also provide good nesting material and food for our goldfinches here. They also like to nest in our Himalayan Blackberry bushes which are invasive, but have oh so sweet and juicy berries that all the birds like.

    So much of what humans consider noxious, like milkweed, which is where Monarch butterflies lay their eggs, are part of nature.

    One of our neighbors has a good sized property and he has left the back part to go kind of wild with wild berry bushes and such. The goldfinch and other birds just hang out do our local Coopers and Sharshinned hawks — looking for the birdies

  35. 35
    demo woman says:

    @BethanyAnne: Oh Happy Days are here again. Congrats!!

  36. 36
    BethanyAnne says:

    @demo woman: Thank you! Happyhappy :)

  37. 37
    David says:

    Hang a piece of corn off of a tree branch or the eaves of the house so that a squirrel can get to it by jumping on it. They jump on it and eat the corn while it swings back and forth. The cat would love it.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @BethanyAnne: WOOT! Meads on me in celebration!

  39. 39
    Perry Como says:

    JC is going to turn into the crazy old animal lady.

  40. 40
    ArchTeryx says:

    That would indeed be a chipping sparrow! Very common, terribly cute, and absolutely fearless defenders of their territory. I’ve seen one kicking a House Sparrow’s rear end more then once.

  41. 41
    Mudge says:

    @David in NY
    We’ve never had white throated before..I’ve been here 20 years. I don’t think we have bears this far into the city, but I have 11 deer, who only occasionally eat seed. They do eat tulips. Lots of cardinals, blue jays, catbirds, titmice, and every woodpecker except redheaded and probably hairy. Hairy-downy is a tough call. Have downy, red-bellied, pileated (not at feeder), yb sapsucker, flickers.

    Plus rabbits, groundhogs, fox squirrels and red squirrels. Saw a red squirrel catch and eat a bird last summer. Looked it up. They do such things. It drives our cat crazy. They are nasty.

  42. 42
    Yutsano says:


    I think I probably have a pair of cardinals nesting in my back yard.

    I’m pretty sure I have a mating pair of California quail nesting in the raspberry bushes out back. I can live with this as they are very cool birds to see running around, and the chicks are the cutest little balls of fluff running over the ground. The trick will be dissuading my orange hunter to leave them alone, although they haven’t been scared off so far.

  43. 43
    gbear says:


    Send some Chipping Sparrows to my yard. I’ve got a bunch of goddamned House Sparrows that really need to have their butts kicked.

    My neighbor noticed that House Sparrows hang out in flocks that, when frightened, all take off at the same time. He took this bit of information and decided that having a big flock of House Sparrows around would be a really great burglar alarm! and he started putting out bread to attract as many of them as possible. I’d spent about 10 years experimenting with feeders to minimize the House Sparrow problem so I was kind of pissed off and printed out some birding book info to give him and I went over to talk to him about it. He told me to mind my own business and quit harrassing him or he’d call the cops. I haven’t spoken to him in well over a year now.

    Did I mention that my neighbor is a tad paranoid?

    edit: Please no one tell me that I sound a lot like BoB. I’ve had a bad day as it is…

  44. 44
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Yutsano: /cheers Part of me won’t really believe it until after the first day, I think.

  45. 45
    stuckinred says:

    @jeffreyw: Hi!

  46. 46
    spudgun says:

    @BethanyAnne: Fabulous news, CONGRATULATIONS! Very happy for you!

  47. 47
    grumpy realist says:

    Tunch will probably look at those cute little critters and think: ah, flying snacks.

    Interesting how different cats are about the prey they like to hunt. One of ours went after anything with four legs (furry Somme every morning on the doorstep) but turned up her nose at things-with-wings. Petroc, on the other hand, thought birds and mice were the dandiest snacks to chow down on and was “whatever, ignore it” about anything else.

    (I do have to say my sense of oh-my-god-he’s-going-after-the-poor-birdies was decidedly nipped in the bud after watching Petroc hunt. His technique was to sit right under the bird-feeder in plain sight, then lazily reach up and snag something. I figure a bird that can’t spot a 15 lb grey cat sitting a foot under him in plain view licking his chops is eligible for the avian equivalent of the Darwin Award. )

  48. 48
    grumpy realist says:

    Oh, and BethanyAnne, congrats!

  49. 49
    rknight44 says:

    @gbear: You mean the “burger king” birds? I’m guessing your neighbor doesn’t give a shit they’re not even supposed to be here (sounds like Dante’). Just got in and shit – missed a bird troll thread. Somebody tell John Cole it looks like he’s got a good bit of adjunct in his bird seed.

  50. 50
    snowbird42 says:

    I do better with just sunflower seed…lots of birds

  51. 51
    gbear says:


    The stuff I copied for my neighbor was from a really great birding book published by the MN Dept. of Natural Resources called ‘Wild About Birds’. The book goes so far as to say that, because House Sparrows aren’t a native protected bird, just go ahead and kill them if you have too many around. House Sparrows are just incredibly harmful to native birds.

  52. 52
    rknight44 says:

    @gbear: And starlings. Who knew the Shakespeare Society of New York could do so much damage? Non-native species, whether flora or fauna = bad things.

  53. 53
    gbear says:


    Yes, and there are all kinds of aquatic invaders too. Asian Carp being one nasty issue right now.

  54. 54
    S. cerevisiae says:

    Great that you can keep the feeders out in summer. I have to take mine down because I have a pair of merlins that nest near my yard and I don’t want to make it too easy for them. Although the merlins are quite a treat to watch – they fly like fighter planes and will chase off birds many times their size.

  55. 55
    BethanyAnne says:

    spud and grumpy, ty! :)

  56. 56
    Elie says:

    @S. cerevisiae:

    I feel your pain and acknowledge my human tendency to want to modify and interpret nature by my values.

    My local bird hunting hawks ( Sharp Shinned and Coopers hawks) are just doing what they do. I of course, have screwed with the natural order by having my feeders. I take them down in the summer too — but not because of the hawks but because of the fact that there is so much other good stuff for the birds to eat around here from berries to natural seeds such as thistle.

    I love the songbirds and the hawks, owls and eagles. I don’t want to focus too much on helping any of them but just giving all a boost from time to time.

    My personal favorite, is the plain old crow — smart, caring for its clan and ubiquitous and flexible. I saw one last year with a songbird hanging from its beak… yet they also help their sick clan members and raise the young of fellow clan crows who die (clans are called ‘murders’). They know exactly just how fast to get out of the way and how to judge threat. West Nile virus was particularly lethal to crows, which typically avoid a lot of accidental death, because of their family living styles and sharp intelligence — Its their caring and nurturing each other along with that uncanny awareness that makes them my bird homies. They, like their Jay relatives, also like to bring home shinny ‘bling’ to the missus. Mee Likee that too!

    Also, personal fave: Great Horned Owl, which is HUGE and totally, totally fierce. Make no mistake, if you are a small, or even medium creature (house cats and small dogs beware), it would definitely eat you. It only assesses if it can take you. Nothing else. Its a big, beautiful, nocturnal badass

  57. 57
    Ecks says:

    @David in NY: The same Buffet who called derivatives “weapons of mass financial destruction”?

    Nah, he’s a buy and hold type of fella, wouldn’t bug him if you regulated the crap out of the jocks. He’d probably like it for giving more stable returns on his buy-and-holds.

    UPDATE: Woot BethanyAnne!!!

  58. 58
    Lovely Rita says:

    OMG I’m sorry to hijack the thread but I just went on a blind date with a wingnut. I ended up having to explain to him in a loud voice why we couldn’t just kill all the “bad people”. He means the “real, absolute scum of the earth” as a form of population control or because they are a drain on society. He invoked the phrases “welfare queen” and “crack whore” non snarkily. He spoke of me seeing the “blue side of a barn” while he saw the “red side”. I ended the evening stealing pot from his bag and cigs from his pack for enduring his miserable company.

    It was fucking surreal.

    Rita +4 glasses of sparkling +2 one hitters

  59. 59
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @BethanyAnne: Woot woot! Dead thread, but I had to congratulate you anyway!

    @Lovely Rita: Holy shit. That’s like a bad situation comedy right there. And, what the hell was a nutter doing with pot? Hmmmmmm….

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