Blue jays didn’t like the homemade peanut birdfeeder when it was hung from a chain, but they came quickly after I set the feeder on its side. It’s so interesting to watch each species’ preferences.
Here’s a downy woodpecker getting peanuts from the homemade feeder I mentioned in yesterday’s post.
It’s funny how birds prefer their food offered in different ways. White-breasted nuthatches and downy woodpeckers are all over this feeder. They typically perch on the feeder and peck away at the shell to expose the nut inside. My other peanut eaters — blue jays, red-bellied woodpeckers and tufted titmice — barely touch this feeder and prefer to grab their peanuts from a platform feeder and fly off with it.
I originally used this homemade birdfeeder (made from simply from drilling holes into a section of a fallen branch I found in the yard) to serve suet to the birds. It proved to be quite labor intensive to get the suet into the holes and it has the potential to harm birds if they get the suet on their feathers, so I put the feeder on the backburner for a while. I never like to discard things like this because you never how it may be repurposed.
The other day I got the idea to stick peanuts in the holes instead. It worked out great. The larger birds such as blue jays and red-bellied woodpeckers are strong enough to pull the peanuts out and fly off. The smaller birds such as nuthatches, downy woodpeckers and titmice simply perch on the branch, or even another peanut, to pick apart the shell and get at the nuts inside.
These pine siskins sure are photogenic. I’ve taken tons of photos of the small, irruptive finches and have shared many of them here. Well, here’s another one — this one trying to hitch a ride on a small toboggan.
Well, it’s actually adjusting the peanut, but it is snagging the food out of midair, so “catching” is technically correct. The blue jay originally grabbed the peanut horizontally in its bill. Jays prefer to carry peanuts lengthwise, so this jay tossed the nut into the air and caught it in the desired position.
The reasons may differ, but it is similar to how osprey carry their prey. Ospreys typically emerge from a successful dive with a fish horizontally in its talons. While flying away, the “fish hawk” will adjust the fish to a more aerodynamic lengthwise position.
This apple birdfeeder has been green, yellow and now red. The birds don’t care what color it is as long as I put my home-made suet in it.