News from the bird table
If the cooler weather we’re experiencing this week has had you reaching for your winter woolies, imagine the effect it’s having on garden birds; one week they’re seeking refuge from piercing rays of sunshine and the next, they’re focusing their attention on procuring high-energy seeds and trying to stay warm.
The cool weather is unlikely to be welcome as birds are now in the stage of moulting and their feathers aren’t as protective as they will eventually be, during late autumn and winter. We needn’t worry too much, though, as nature has a way of working these things out - the extra consumption of high-energy and high-protein seeds and foods may even accelerate the growth of a fine set of strong feathers. Let’s hope so.
However, let’s spare a thought for young birds as they’re getting their first taste of what’s to come.
Our bird table is busy with Greenfinches today – they’re huge fans of Sunflower Hearts. And who can blame them? It’s clear to us that they can identify different varieties of sunflower easily. Sunflower Hearts are clearly the fast (super-nutritious) food choice of Greenfinches today, and that’s not unusual.
If you’re already feeding sunflowers to Greenfinches, watch how they rotate the seed in their parrot-like beak... They’re so used to crunching through seed husks that this rolling action happens habitually, the Sunflower Heart is a real treat for them, however, as the husk has already been removed. The benefits of this are, that they expand less energy as they don’t have a seed husk to crack open, therefore they're consuming more calories but burning less energy.
Some Greenfinches will happily sit at the bird feeder and nonchalantly pluck hearts, seemingly without a care, from a feeding port; however, a number of Greenfinches may select a single heart and then fly away swiftly, to eat the bounty in private. Perhaps they feel more secure? It sure does add to the comings and goings of a busy bird table and it’s fascinating to watch.
I'm off to grab a jumper and fill the feeder. Enjoy your day.