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Interesting Observations about Feeding and Intelligence

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I have a ton of juncos this year.  Possibly because I had been only feeding by broadcasting black sunflower until yesterday.  I haven't been putting up feeders because I have been inundated by house sparrows in the last couple years.

I also keep a birdbath and heat it during the winter.  

The titmice (my favorites) always make do, whatever the situation.  Yesterday I decided to put out a couple special feeders hoping that they would get some uninterrupted feeding before anyone else noticed.  First I hung a little basket full of black sunflower close to the front door so I could watch closely.  The speed with which they checked it out exceeded even my expectations!  Next I put a basket out on the vinyl siding wall in a more exposed location (pictured) and again they checked it out immediately, even before I put whole nuts in it.  They were more cautious with this one while I stood by the glass door but the size and specialness of the treat seemed to overcome their fear.  I noticed that, while they were eating quite a bit, they were also dashing over to a stand of evergreens across my neighbor's yard, maybe to cache the seeds and nuts in the tree bark?

I used to hide nuts in crevices all over this side of the house years ago and titmice were the only species that regularly checked all the places.  The downies and nuthatches did also, but not as regularly as the titmice.

Yesterday the only other birds that started to notice the sunflower feeder were a house finch and a few juncos that fluttered over it to take a look.  Today the nuthatches and downies have come and partaken of both baskets, but the nuthatch seems to prefer clinging to and shopping under a wrought iron table.

I've always been attracted to the curiosity and intelligence of the titmice.  They make me so happy!

What are you noticing and enjoying most about your backyard birds so far this winter?


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