April 02, 2021
The birds have been tearing through the feeders as they prepare for spring nesting. I have been needing to fill my feeders on an almost daily basis. I say almost because I admit there are days when I just do not go out and check to see if they have food. The three seed feeders are flat and placed high so the only way I see if they have seed is when the squirrels (yes, we now have three) jump to the fence and make the feeder swing. Instead, I gauge activity on the thistle feeder and the corn level in the squirrel feeder (which the squirrels rarely use). Since the corn level was low, I decided I needed to refill the feeders.
When I got outside, I made two discoveries. The first was that the reason the corn level was low was because the birds (got to be the jays, right?) had picked all the larger pieces of corn out of the feeder and thrown it on the ground, which I find aggravating. When I looked up online to see why they do this I found the likely reason is because they are rejecting poor quality food in search of something better (size, difficulty to crack?). The other reason mentioned was that I might be using the wrong type of food in my feeder. While that may be the case, the feeder is not designed for birds. It is made for squirrels and I use a prescribed squirrel mix of corn, sunflower seed, and peanuts. Maybe I should post a sign explaining this to the birds.
The other discovery was that I found my sunglasses. I had lost my glasses several weeks ago and looked for all over the house and car for several days. I lose my sunglasses on a regular basis. That is why I tend to buy $5 pairs at the grocery. I had this pair for a while and really liked them. I had to break out an expensive pair of fishing glasses Melissa purchased as a gift a year ago. When I went out this morning, I found my cheap pair laying under one of my feeders. While this was an area that had other implements around it on the ground, the glasses were lying in plain sight. Perhaps I did not see them because of their camouflage design. I doubt it however, because it is hard to match camo cement.
Thoughts: I have decided to move the squirrel feeder to a location further away from the bird feeders and place a tray underneath it to catch the corn that is thrown out. I am also going to look for another mix of squirrel food. Hopefully one of these three measures will help. I find it interesting that while I used to spend hours trying to keep squirrels out of my feeders, I now spend the same time finding ways to feed them. The squirrels and their behavior did not change, but my attitude about them did. We can choose to make conscious choices about actions that were previously done subconsciously. We can choose to associate with people different than ourselves. We can choose to see people as individuals rather than groups. We can choose to acknowledge that even though looks or actions may be different, that does not mean bad. Do the work. Change is coming and it starts with you.