Friday, October 28, 2011

Cache and carry

In the spring, when the feeder population degenerates to starlings and grackles, I stop feeding the birds, usually until the snow flies in late fall or early winter. But this year in October I put out first some niger thistle seed, then some black oil sunflower seed, and was amazed at the ensuing activity. And now I know why: many birds cache food in the fall, to ensure a supply all winter long.

Chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and other birds will store nuts, seeds, and insects in knothole and bark crevices, under shingles and in the ground. That certainly explains the comings and goings in my backyard these days.

My current quandry is fall clean up. There is a lot of dead stuff in my garden. The dead vegetable plants will go into the compost pile, but what about the weeds? I can see birds feeding on the seed heads as I type.

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