Doves produce something referred to as pigeon milk, rich in fat and protein that they will give to their young. It’s not really milk; you can’t milk a dove. It’s a substance that the parent allows the nestlings to take from inside their gullet. Beside pigeon milk, it’s pretty much seeds and a bug or two.
The suet has the woodpeckers in a frenzy. The Red-bellied woodpeckers are all over it as are several Downy woodpeckers. The Nuthatches and Titmouse pick at it, but nothing like the woodpeckers. In the end it all works out for the Mourning Doves and Juncos who peck away underneath at the small pieces of suet that fall to the ground.
Three American Goldfinch joined the group of regulars at the feeder for a couple of days then stopped coming by, at least when I was looking. I don’t have any thistle for them, but they seemed to enjoy the black-oil sunflower seeds.
I put out some oranges to see if any bluebirds might stop by. I saw four during the week while walking in the Frances Crane Wildlife Management Area. The Chickadees have looked the orange slices over pretty closely, but two days later and no bluebirds yet. I’ll give them more time. I also saw quite a few Robins while walking at Crane. American Robins are here year round, but it still made me think of spring.
This morning while driving to Barnstable a flock of 14 wild turkeys wandered across the road. They seemed in no hurry. I stopped to let them pass. Once across the road they gathered on the far side and looked back to see what it was that disrupted their stroll. It was early morning and two miles later four more turkeys stood at the side of the road watching me pass.
At the beach this morning there wasn’t mush beyond the typical Herring Gulls. For a while I watched as several Common Eider bobbed on the swells and dove beneath for breakfast. The water was cold, but no match for eiderdown.
No sign of the flock of crows that came through last week, just solitary crows dropping by making noise looking for a handout.
I have a few items on my bird feeding list that I’d like to add out back. I’d like to get a thistle feeder for the Goldfinch and add a tray feeder so that I can put out some mealworms. These are the larva of the Mealworm Beetle. You can buy them and keep them in the refrigerator between 45 and 50 degrees and they become dormant. Some birds will do back flips over these worms.
You can buy 1,000 small mealworms online for about $20. A thousand medium worms are about $22 and for the large worms its $24. But the giant mealworms, that are just over an inch long, will run you about $38 for 1,000. Some local shops may have them for less. But I have to run this one by the wife first. She might not want 1,000 giant worms in the refrigerator.
I also need to get a bird bath. It’s not that my customers at the feeder are dirty, but they probably wouldn’t mind a drink once in a while, never mind an occasional bath.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.