I’ve started parking on the street, at least one house away from Redquarters. No, the parking pad is not being re-done. No, it is because fall has arrived, bringing with it a bumper crop of hawthorn berries… and robins.
Redquarters has lots of plants for the birds and bugs, especially butterflies and hummingbirds. As far as berries go, we have holly, hawthorn, and if you squint a little, rosehips. The robins love the hawthorn. As soon as it finishes ripening, they will swarm it and strip it in less than a week. With predictable results as far as the remains left on the grass, the sidewalk, the driveway, the cars in the driveway… sixty robins leave quite a bit behind.
The robins also like to drain the bird bath. How do they do this? By turning it into a whirlpool and sprinkler head combined. They get in it, bathe, and then splash around so hard that two robins will drop the water level by half. But the grass gets a good drenching. The blue jays are almost as bad, but the jays don’t show up with 50 of their friends. Thus the robination was born, with things such as, “Alma, go refill the bird bath. We’ve been robinated.”
We’ve not had many white-wing doves around the place this summer, probably because 1) the hawk colony, which has migrated to the south already and 2) so much food is available outside of town that they don’t need to hang around where the hawks and feral cats* are. A few showed up on the same day that dove season opened. Odd coincidence, that…
However, once it gets cold, and we put the first seed on the patio and the heater in the bird-bath, we will be bedoveled.
White winged doves are not small. We get a few that are almost chicken-sized, at least when compared to “normal” doves, and we refer to them as Pantex doves, after the nuclear weapons facility not far away. The tend to arrive in groups, nay herds.
So I am parking a wee bit of a ways away, at least until the robins finish stripping the hawthorn tree and I only have to worry about the occasional fly-by drop, instead of coming outside in the morning to a guano-mobile.
*The two feral kittens have grown into feral cats who kill birds and squirrels. Squirrels are OK, but birds are most emphatically not OK. Humane steps will be taken in the near future.
During my morning walks a while ago, I was also seeing flocks of robins. I don’t know enough about trees to know what they were eating, but I enjoyed having shoes as I walked through their gathering areas. I don’t recall ever seeing them in those numbers before. I don’t pay attention.
Just be glad they’re NOT seagulls… Just sayin’
Well . . . at least they aren’t eagles in Mobile!
Link to NSFW lyrics: http://www.horntip.com/mp3/1990s/1990ca–2004_ron_and_the_rude_boys_(CDs)/vol_1/14_in_mobile.htm
One of the most amazing things I’ve seen was a turkey perched rather precariously in a spindly Elderberry tree devouring the berries. The branches were swaying so wildly under its weight that it needed to beat its wings for stabilization, but it never slowed its eating.
Once they find something they like, they’ll do almost anything to get to it. Doves trying to hang upside down to eat from the suet feeder are great entertainment. They don’t handle -1 G very well and fall off.