Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tufted Titmouse:

We put up a bird feeder last winter. It had a cage designed to keep squirrels out and let only the smallest birds in. Weeks passed without a bird at our feeder. I complained to a neighbor. She said, “Don't worry, they'll find it.”

Gradually they did. I have an iPad app to identify the birds with, and learning this new skill has been difficult. We are feeding “finch food”, but I think we have yet to see a single finch. Black-Capped Chickadees came, sparrows and Downy Woodpeckers.

We are still feeding, and I added a “suet cage” that is another difficult challenge for squirrels. It appears that the presence of suet is a like a mighty billboard. A bluejay once poised above the feeder, looked around and flew away. Starlings have come by and chased the small birds off while they tried in vain to reach the finch food. And I think we are now getting visits from at least four kinds of sparrows.

The strangest visitor has a white cheek and looks positively ghostly. I may have misidentified it because of my life-long fascination with its name, but it seems to be ... yes … the Tufted Titmouse.
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