Friday, October 19, 2007

Who Will Win the Battle of the Bath?

When I first noticed the action at the bath there were several House Finches on the edge, a Bluebird bathing, and a Nuthatch trying to decide exactly why he'd come and if he should stay.

By the time I got the camera on them, the bath was down to two House Finch and then suddenly Mrs. Goldfinch dropped in for a drop.
Suddenly the House Finch bolted. And there was Mr. Cardinal eyeing Mrs. Goldfinch.

Eyeing her did nothing to cause her to vacate and she's so into bath ecstasy that she could care less about Mr Cardinal. He isn't thrilled about being disrespectfully splashed.

He tries the I'm big-and-close-tactic. Not a chance, she could care less.

Actually the splashing feels rather good the bath may be big enough for the both of us after all. In fact, the more splashing the better the bath. Two birds mean half the work. Notice the "ghost bird" taking off bowl left. Got me. I've no idea. I really didn't see another bird involved at this point. until the photo exposed it.

Wait! What happened? Is it something I did?
Mostly likely not as Mrs. Goldfinch probably saw Mrs. House Finch coming and decided she was finished bathing, drinking, or doing anything with water.

Then like a bolt from the blue Mrs. House Finch is back and Mr. Cardinal is so startled, he leaps for the edge trailing a wing and leaving his splash behind.

Not only is she back but she's being downright menacing.

That worked but wait, just what is that boltng through the air like a buzz saw?

Guess who? The smallest combatant yet. he has a peaceful drink--ALONE!

Tuesday there were eight squirrels in the yard. That was a new record as previously I'd never had more than five and usually only four. Getting all eight in a photos with all the scurrying and zooming around proved impossible. I only was able to manage five. As at any given moment a number had scrambled away with another racing at their heels.
Watching the war, I began to wonder just why was there a turf war today. There are lots of feeders in the neighborhood. They can't all be empty. Daily, there are numerous scuffles between individuals but this was much bigger. Much much bigger.
What was it?
Ahhh. Possibly a coincidence but possibly not. Usually I fill the feeder with a wild bird mix in which I've added to the already existing sunflower quotient another very healthy helping. But the day before I'd run out of the bird mix and today was an all oil seed day.
It could just be. Who needed the other feeders? Not these guys, they are going for the ice cream sundae of bird food.
The moral of this story? Never under estimate the power of fat.
Donegal Browne

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