Tuesday, September 25, 2007


One day last week, the sunlight was shining nicely on our bird-feeding-table, otherwise known as our deck railing. I thought it would be a good time to take some nice photos of the bluebirds eating mealworms. We put out mealworms daily, ring a bell, and the birds come flying in. Usually nuthatches, titmice, chickadees and 2 families of bluebirds show up within seconds of the bell ringing. For whatever reason, the Carolina wrens haven't caught on to the bell signal. Instead, they tend to check the railing all day long, just hoping that there will be worms. Often they show up just after the mealworm bowls have been emptied by the rest of the gang.

So that day I was happy to see a wren show up first,

Carolina wren

before all the worms were gone.

Carolina wren eating mealworm

Then I waited, camera ready, for the rest of the birds to show. And I waited...and waited. For the first time in my memory, the feast of mealworms lasted more than 10 minutes. I rang the bell again - no response. Then I looked up and saw this guy waiting, just 15 feet from our railing. I'm glad the bluebirds were more observant than me.

red-tailed hawk


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I wonder if the hawk is trained by the bell? Cool picture!

Susan said...

That's what I was worried about - am I calling my wild birds into a death trap by ringing that bell?
I've seen the hawk around a couple of times since then, but that was the only time it coincided with mealworm feeding time, so I hope he hasn't made the connection with the bell.

Mary said...

Yep. That's usually the case when all is quiet...

I would love to train by the bell!

dguzman said...

do you use live mealworms or just those dead ones? Last year I bought a little container of the dead ones, and they remained untouched. They just ended up blowing away.

Yipes, that hawk scared me too.