Friday, 6 May 2011

Open thread - Friday

Maelewis sent in a delightful collection of photos. There's a lot going on in her garden!

[Mae provided the captions.]

After a long winter, I always look forward to spring.

At the end of April, I put out an orange saucer oriole feeder,
filled with orange flavored sugar water. This year,
instead of a colorful bird,
I was visited by a pesky squirrel.

The local hardware store sells bird seed that has been
peppered with hot chili pepper. The birds don't mind
the spice, and it is supposed to taste bad to the squirrels
who raid the bird feeder. I found some hot chili sauce and
painted the orange saucer with the stuff, wearing rubber gloves.

It worked! The squirrels took one taste and left. It doesn't seem
to bother the Oriole. Even though I do not live anywhere
near Baltimore, I'm going to call it a Baltimore Oriole (male).

The Oriole's girl friend. Some years, there have been as many as seven
or eight males and females. Well, there are two so far, maybe there will
be more. I'm not very good at spotting nests, though.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male) stopped at the feeder too,
and he is supposed to eat seed. Wishing everyone a lovely springtime!

I muddled the photos of the Oriole's girlfried and the Grosbeak, so maelewis clarified:

The female Baltimore Oriole aka The Girl Friend is also orange, brown and black, maybe a little lighter colored orange.She is sitting in the tree. The one that is white and black with the red spot on his chest is the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and he is investigating the orange dish even though he is a seed eater.

The chili peppers have stopped the squirrels (for a minute), and it doesn't seem to bother the birds. Yes, I will have to replace it if the rain washes it off. I have plenty more.

Some other things that I meant to include: In addition to orange colored sugar water, the Orioles also love grape jelly, especially Welch's. It's a magnet for them. Another bird feeding tip came from a professional bird watcher and feeder: multiple feeders, no fighting.

The sugar solution also attracts hummingbirds, and they have already come to visit. They have been too fast to catch in a photo. Let's just say that they are as green as a certain Irish guy and as cunning as a guy from Texas. One day, I'll catch them, too.

Thanks, maelewis. These birds are gorgeous and the stories are quite funny...