January 19, 2018
For the second season in a row, Cornell Lab and our sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited are rewarding registered FeederWatchers with BirdSpotter prizes. After entering bird counts (aka data) into the FeederWatch website, participants have the opportunity to share a story, memory, or tip. Our third Data Entry contest prompt was:
Antics abound at our feeder sites, whether it is acrobatic squirrels or clumsy birds. Share a laugh-out-loud moment!
Congratulations to our randomly selected winner, Barbara Hostetler of Schwenksville, PA! This is Barbara’s fifth FeederWatch season. She writes below about one of her favorite experiences while watching her feeders:
“This past spring, my resident female Pileated Woodpecker provided me a very special treat by bringing her three fledglings to my multiple feeder stations. Over the many days ahead she would bring them regularly to feed them suet. During that time I had the opportunity to witness the interactions and take many a photograph, not just between the Mama Pileated and fledglings, but between them and many other bird species and the occasional chipmunk or squirrel. One sunny day I was observing one of the fledglings – camera in hand – who was getting fairly comfortable exploring the stand-alone suet feeders that included a hanging log feeder by himself. Standing there enjoying the birds, I witnessed a behavior I had never seen in any Pileated woodpecker before. The noted fledgling was coming around the back of the tree to check out the log feeder hanging close to the tree trunk. It was also at that moment, that a juvenile grey squirrel decided to climb up the front of the tree, also headed directly for the log feeder! ! Needless to say, neither the fledgling or squirrel could see what was coming!
Then, suddenly, the fledgling came beak to nose with the squirrel, and in that moment the fledgling went into full-wing threat display with his crest going straight up in alarm! Simultaneously, the squirrel, having been shocked by the sudden appearance of the fledgling and its quick movements, jumped backwards off the tree, nearly landing on a the half dozen or so mourning doves below, who up to that point were lazily grazing under the feeders! Talk about commotion! The whole affair was so dramatic and comical that it seemed like a lucky thing to have witnessed it. Fortunately, I was able to capture some of the mayhem by camera! To this day, it is a favorite story of mine, and I especially enjoy telling it to my birder friends and family – with pictures as proof!”
Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their hilarity! Interested in becoming a FeederWatcher? Join the fun and you could win great prizes!