Of Polite Patrons, Bandits, Gleaners and Hunters

All through the year, our backyard is busy with birds and other little creatures.  This past month has been no different, with much of the activity centred around the feeders.

The cardinals are regular visitors, the male so blazing red against the dreary winter backdrop that he stops me short every time I walk past a window.  The male and female always appear together, but dine one at a time, the other waiting by in the apple tree.

Chickadees, juncos, goldfinches, and the occasional blue jay also frequent the feeders.  A resident flock of mourning doves will descend on the snow beneath the feeders, or alight in the branches of the sumac, all plumped up and soaking up the sun, or patiently waiting for a turn at the niger seed feeder.

A beautiful little cottontail rabbit has made our backyard home as well, and sometimes gleans beneath the feeders, along with the squirrels.

The suet feeders draw downy and hairy woodpeckers, and the white-breasted nuthatch, as well as some bolder bandits.

But it hasn’t been just seed and suet eaters this month.  I looked out one day to see a sharp-shinned hawk in the top of the apple tree, dining on some unfortunate bird.  The hawk stayed for close to an hour.  When it finished eating, it flew over to another branch, still clutching the leftovers and sat fluffed in the sun for a while.  The next time I looked out, it was gone with the carcass and all.

As always, ’til next month, happy birding.


About Rachel Lancashire, ON

Rachel Lancashire lives and birds in Ennismore, ON. Groundcovers nursery worker by day, she is a freelance writer and artist in her spare time. She has had articles about birds and wildlife published in Nature Friend, GreenPrints and The Banner. Her art, inspired by birds, can be found on her blog, MyWildMuses, and in her Etsy shop, Miss Sitta's Nest.
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2 Responses to Of Polite Patrons, Bandits, Gleaners and Hunters

  1. Elaine says:

    Great title for this post.

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