I think it's almost time to decommission the winter bird feeders
In February, our local Wild Birds Unlimited store had a special on a fun Valentine feeder. If you bought it at regular price, you got 5 lbs. of peanuts in the shell for free. I decided to splurge since I've been wanting one of these coil feeders for a while now to feed the California Scrub Jays that frequent our garden.
The feeder has been out for over a month now. Usually it stays full for a look time and I've only had to refill it once a week. That was until something else discovered it...
I suspect that the squirrels have finally figured out how to dine at the peanut buffet as easily as the jays have been, because when I replenish the peanuts they are almost all gone by the next day except for a few in the bottom. I have also noticed peanut shell debris around the base of the feeder which is atypical for the jays who prefer to extract a peanut and then fly up into the branches of the neighboring trees to dine on the contents. Squirrels prefer to eat and litter right at the feeder.
It's okay. The timing is good. I don't have very many more peanuts left--probably enough to fill the heart one last time. The daytime temps are warm enough now (it's 72F/22C today) that the bugs are coming out along with the green leaves. It's time for all the birds to do their job of eating the bugs in my garden as they've done for the past decade. I'm already seeing tiny bushtits flitting among the branches of my rosebushes feeding on newly hatched aphids (they will keep my roses aphid-free as they always do).
And the scrub jays will transition from the peanuts I've been giving them as a winter treat back to eating small reptiles, small animals and larger insects. They're a great way to control things like grasshoppers, cockroaches, snakes, lizards, frogs and rodents.
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