Turf Wars

The following photographs were taken at one of my bird feeders. It hangs just outside a window on my porch and I took the photos through the window glass. Luckily the angle and the subdued lighting kept the autofocus from getting too messed up.

It was a snowy afternoon and the birds were taking full advantage of my feeders. I was keeping an eye on the feeders since I was doing my counts for Project FeederWatch. I counted 9 American Goldfinch at the feeders and they weren’t in a sharing mood. This particular feeder has 4 ports and the 9 birds were not queueing up in an orderly fashion, as you will see.

Disclaimer! No birds were injured or underfed! Everyone managed to get some seeds. There two additional feeders on a pole about 30 feet (9 meters) from this one. The smarter birds headed over there and got plenty of food. It all worked out in the end.

The first Goldfinches to the feeder had a pleasant meal. (Note: male Goldfinches don’t take on their bright yellow plumage until later in the spring.)

Things got a bit testy as more of them arrived.

“Move over, boys!” A much larger Red-bellied Woodpecker scattered all of them. The Goldfinches had to set aside the squabbling and just sit and wait in the nearby trees until the woodpecker had his fill.

A smaller Downy Woodpecker also scattered the Goldfinches. But he had to work a bit harder to claim the feeder since he isn’t as intimidating as the much bigger Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Again, everyone got some food. No one got injured. But they seemed to waste a lot of energy unnecessarily in a silly turf war.

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