Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Clever Breed

At first the observations are highly entertaining and, the object of the observations is a rather handsome brute. Before long he’s joined by some companions and, we continue to enjoy their antics; we’ve not usually had jackdaws visiting our garden and, after all, there’s sufficient food in the various trays for all the visitors, whether it be the ground feeders or the mounted ones.

Our most common visitors are quarrels of starlings, flocks of house sparrows, scurries of dunnocks and, this year especially, blackbirds. We also have not infrequent visits from blue and great tits, collar doves, wood pigeons and, at the top end of the garden, tree sparrows. We have a variety of hanging seed and fat ball feeders which once were the prerogative of the smaller avian species. Admittedly the starlings could make moderately short shrift of the fat balls but, up until now, they’ve not got the hang of the seed feeders.

To our surprise, the jackdaws are not only rapidly demolishing and devouring the contents of the fat ball feeders but, some of this species have developed the agility to manage even the trickiest of the hanging seed feeders. Their learning process has been at almost lightning speed; at least the seed feeders are a bit too fiddly for them to empty swiftly but, the fat balls are now going down at an alarming rate of eight fat balls per day.

This afternoon, I’ve tried filling a spherical peanut feeder with the fat balls; this will hopefully thwart the jackdaws’ ambition to eat for England!

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