Sunday, July 13, 2008

Backyard Battle

There are several battles being waged in our backyard at any given time. I get a kick out of watching the fights through my kitchen window.

The cause of most of the fighting is backyard bird feeder. Earlier this summer, after careful deliberation and discussion with a salesperson at a local store, The Backyard Naturalist , Pat decided to change our bird seed to all sunflower seeds. It took a while for all the birds to come around to it, but now the feeder is frequented by many birds, especially cardinals. As it turns out, our already greedy squirrels love it too. There is a constant power struggle for control of the feeder. The birds almost always win.

A happy beneficiary of this fight are the NUMEROUS rabbits in the neighborhood. Not only do they enjoy the vast amounts of clover in our yard, they are happy to munch on the fallen seed as well. I can tell these animals do not care for one another as the squirrels chase the rabbits away. Usually, the rabbits will not venture under the feeder, unless the squirrels are gone.

The other feeder that has generated quite a bit of interest this summer is the hummingbird feeder. We have at least two pairs of hummingbirds that frequent the feeder and there is often a great deal of buzzing going on as one of the pairs feels it is their turf. Unfortunately the birds now have to put up with the hoards of ants and wasps that have discovered it. We have always battled the ants, but the feeder has never attracted wasps and bees before. I feel bad for the hummingbirds because they are definitely skittish around the wasps and end up drinking only in short spurts.

I am not sure if I should intervene in these battles of nature, but there sure are interesting to watch.

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