Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bullies in the Bird World

See the milkcan painted black. Years ago it resided in my father's milkhouse in Ohio and was used to hold milk from the three electric milkers that we used to milk the cows. My husbands's relatives in Missouri were more progressive dairy farmers and had done away with the milk cans and moved on to milk transported through milk lines to a large chilled holding tank in their milkhouse. But every day the milk trucks would roll in Ohio and Missouri to pick up the milk for processing at the milk plant. Today this milkcan holds our birdseed. And my dear husband can go out twice a day to refill the birdfeeders on that shepherd's hook. And who is eating us slowly out of house and home? The darn grackles. I don't mind so much that they eat but that they scare away all the other birds. In my humble opinion they are the bullies in the bird world.


fishing guy said...

J&J: Very nicely done, I find the Blue Jays are bullies around this area.
I finished my country concert post if you want to check.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the beautiful grackle baby bird being fed on my birds blog yesterday or on my brookville blog yesterday?

They eat all sorts of things besides seed. Try old bread like the mybirdsblog shows. They eat that. They will eat just about anything but a bit more selective than starlings.

Blue Jays eat a bit more seed than Grackles and are afraid of Grackles. But I gave up trying to keep one species out in favor of others. I just feed what comes along and am grateful that I can because birds, of all kinds, need a big helping hand in our world today.

I think the milk can idea is really great. I use five of those plastic trash cans with the lid that opens and closes. They are about 3 feet tall and will hold about 40 pounds. If I had it to do over I would have gotten a larger one to hold a 50 pound bag of seed.

I feed whole peanuts in the shell and shelled peanuts and peanut pieces and chips. Also I feed sunflower seed in the hull and out of the hull (both kinds though the shelled ones are not $50.00 for 50 pounds). I also feed cracked corn and dry bread and sometimes the cheap round (pea size) dog food that starlings, grackles, and blue jays love.