31 May 2012

Hungry birds

Our garden seems full of hungry birds just now, and some have become very tame. The most demanding for food are the starlings, jackdaws and blackbirds. One of the jackdaws appears almost as soon as I open the door, and the male blackbird has been hopping right up the steps to try and beat the other birds, occasionally even feeding from my hand. At first he was scared of the starlings, but then he discovered that he was able to scare them by being extremely aggressive. One of the starlings stood up to him, and there were some fights, both on the ground and in mid-air, that were so fierce that neither got any food.

Yesterday I decided to mow the front lawn, so I wasn't as attentive to their needs as usual. I was very surprised to turn around and find a female duck approaching the duck food trays, as most of the mallard ducks that now visit us are quite nervous and fly off if we open the front door, yet this one didn't seem much bothered about the mower. Just then, Fred shut the garage door, and that was too much for her. She flew off, and I went to find Fred. I was rather puzzled to hear noises coming from the house as I was sure he must be at the garage. Then I realised what had happened. I had left the front door open a few inches for the cable to the mower, and the male blackbird had taken advantage of my absence to find out where the food supply was. Unfortunately he went too far and ended up in our sitting room where he panicked. He must have been there for some time before I found him, because that end of the room was covered in black feathers as he continued to flutter against the window. I opened the window and out he went.

I didn't see much of him for the rest of the day. Today he is back and as demanding as ever, but his manners towards the starlings seem to have improved. I think he has lost just a bit of his confidence as a result of his adventure.