Monday, 7 July 2014

Watch the Birdy!

The fat-ball feeder which we have in the tree in the front garden, has been the scene of some pretty despicable behaviour recently.  The main culprits have been the dozens of young Starlings (Sternus vulgaris) which seem to have claimed the fat-balls as their sole right and have been more than happy to fight for them.
The youngsters, despite being quite capable of feeding themselves, have been squabbling and fighting amongst themselves for days now, attempting to make their poor, over-worked parents, supply them with ever greater quantities of fat-ball.  The adults are starting to look a little fed up with it all.
At various times, we have counted over twenty Starlings at any one time, making the most horrendous noise and tearing into the fat-balls as if they were starving...
... then they sit in the tree looking full and sleepy.
Sometimes, a Magpie (Pica pica) will gate crash the party and temporarily settle the dispute before the Starlings once again take up their cudgels.  Magpies always seem rather plain black-and-white birds, but when the sunlight catches their feathers in just the right way, their iridescent plumage is seen in all its glory.
All the fighting has left the poor Great Tits and Blue Tits looking a little shell-shocked as they wait patiently for their turn at the feeder.  This youngster was keeping clear of the fracas while waiting for things to settle down.
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