Raking Leaves

If only we could train them to do the whole yard.

Every fall the leaves fall from the trees and cover our yard like many other people’s. We tend to collect some of the leaves to use as mulch in the backyard garden. The rest are usually allowed to remain where they are once mowing season ends. We are just not motivated enough to do anything with them. However, this feeling is not universal. A well cleared spot always develops in the middle of the front yard. The birds do not like leaves under their birdfeeder. For them, the leaves get in the way of more important activities.

Popular Seed Block

There is something in there that they like

A couple of years ago we started hanging a Pennington Seed block on a pole outside one of our windows. It seems like every bird in the area, including a number of surprising suspects has come by to try it out. Above is a Northern Mockingbird. At first it was only one, but the first one convinced its opposite number that there was something good here, and since that time I have frequently seen pairs of Mockingbirds visiting the seed block.

Here we have a Tufted Titmouse and a┬áRed-headed woodpecker on the seed block at the same time. Once it is eaten down, we move what is left to one of the tray feeders, and it typically doesn’t take very long for them to find it and finish it off. The recent snows had an interesting side effect. Normally, the local chipping sparrows prefer to eat from the ground or trays. They will also use standard perches. They would come over and land on top of the seed block’s cage and try to reach the top of the seed block. However, when the snow covered everything else, they discovered it was possible to hang on to the side of the cage and get at the only visible seed (everything else was under snow). Since that time, several sparrows have remembered this, and they have continued to cling to the cage to eat. This has led to a second variety of jailbird.I am sorry about the lower quality. I didn’t want to scare it off, and the sparrows seem to be a bit “nervous” about eating here. Don’t worry, it had no trouble getting back out again without help.