Take Turns

Each day since we put up the feeding station in the Pond Meadow, I get the sense that more birds are feeling comfortable checking out this new option for resources. I recently posted photos of a Northern Mockingbird that took advantage of the fresh grapes we put out.

A Red-bellied Woodpecker also learned that we offer peanuts, and yesterday he flew several times to snatch the perfect nut of his choosing. Unlike the Mockingbird, the Red-bellied Woodpecker announced his arrival with a vocalization that quickly taught me he was on his way. Here are a few photos from yesterday.

Even though the Red-bellied Woodpecker is significantly larger than the little birds (Goldfinches, House Finches, Sparrows, Pine Siskins etc…) They didn’t seem overly bothered by his presence. He arrived like Godzilla in size, but not in demeanor. While many of the little ones flew off, some of the finches and sparrows remained while he methodically selected the perfect peanut, and flew off.

This next photo says it all. If I were to caption it, it might go something like,

“When you are trying to make a decision at the salad bar and a big dude comes pressing into your space to snatch the last buttermilk biscuit right over your shoulder!”

Today, the Mockingbird flew in for a few grapes. Although many of the smaller birds tend to flit way when the Mockingbird arrives, it doesn’t seem to be due to any heavy-handedness or turf war. The little ones are just flighty by nature. In the first photo of the Mockingbird’s visit below, you’ll see a White-crowned Sparrow that seemed to have no issue sharing with the larger bird.

Just as the Mockingbird was really enjoying her grapes, the Red-bellied Woodpecker arrived. It appeared they were both a bit surprised by the other bird’s presence. Enjoy this photo essay of today’s observations:

The whole incident reminded me of a person who is expecting “his” special booth at the Diner to be available and, instead, he sees someone else sitting there!

The Mockingbird did return about an hour later and took part in the eating-of-grapes. The woodpecker got his peanut. All was good with the world.

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