Monday, January 11, 2010

Dizzy Dining

Les packed a suet feeder in his bag on the last flight to Panama. It turned out to be one of the most valued items we brought. We plan to buy a few more when we get back to California and bring them down.

At first we put the bananas out on an old termite-infested table. It worked pretty well for a while. Then the squirrels discovered the feast - they take the whole banana away, consume it, return for more, and repeat. The Clay-colored Robins are also a problem. I don't mind that they have some of the bananas, but when they land it creates chaos, and if all the other birds don't disperse after the noisy landing, the robins clack their bills aggressively and lunge at any remaining tanagers or euphonias or honeycreepers. This bad behavior is not welcome in our yard. There is only so much time we can devote to the policing of robins and squirrels, so we have resorted to using the suet feeder to the exclusion of all other food-delivery methods. We were concerned that the larger tanagers (Hepatic, Palm, Blue-gray) would not be able to feed from it, but we need not have worried. While the honeycreepers, euphonias and Plain-colored Tanagers handle it best, the 3 larger tanagers manage quite well and get their share of the delicious bananas. It's great fun watching the show, and I asked Les to capture some video of it. The maximum Palm Tanager load on the suet feeder to date is 8, although the camera was not rolling when it occurred.

1 comment:

  1. I have at least one suet feeder I'd be proud to donate for the euphonias to spin around on. I'll plan to boil it in lye or something for a few hours to try to remove the rancid, greasy coating - it will smell and feel like new when you receive it.