Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Undesirables

I am linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

I have to start by saying this is just my opinion, some birders or people might actually like these bullies birds. But I describe them as my undesirable birds visiting my feeders.  I mainly get upset with them because they are like bully's at the feeders. Scaring away the smaller songbirds that I am trying to attract.

Oh yes, hard to believe my yard is not always filled with beautiful, colorful birds. So here are a few of my undesirable birds. And not everyone will agree and I am half kidding. I love all the birds and wildlife.



The Common Grackle is attractive with its shiny head and iridescent feathers. But, they are big pigs and they scare away my little birds.


Above are two of my undesireables, the Grackle and a Starling. When these two join forces, they can wipe out my feeders. Besides being pigs, they leave a big mess behind. I will not go into what kind of mess they leave behind. But, it is not pretty.

The next undesireable is the Mourning Dove. I know they are cute and sweet looking but, at times I can have 20 or more on my deck railing and feeders. They take over everything and the other poor birds do not stand a chance.  They seem to be over populating, if there is such a thing. Can there be too many Mourning Doves?

And when these large crows coming flying in all loud and crazy, all the other birds leave immediately. They eat all my suet with one large bite. I can not afford to feed these American Crows.


Another one of my undesirables is the Brown-headed Cowbirds. They may not eat as much as the piggies above but their parents skills are lacking when they lay their eggs in other birds nest. They should hang their heads in shame!  I feel sorry for my Cardinal parents that have to raise a baby cowbird along side their own baby cardinals.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my UNDESIRABLE BIRDS post. Thanks for the visit and I always appreciate your comments. Have a great day and week ahead.

To see more beautiful birds please visit Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday and for some nature scenes visit   Michelle's  Nature Notes

58 comments:

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

not sure i have ever seen a "Common Grackle" in person. so cool!! those feathers are so fun. ( :

Sherrie {Bird Lady} said...

I can relate! Some birds are just not polite! Fortunately I don't get alot of undesirables here, but used to get alot at one of our old homes.

Carletta said...

Well said Eileen!
Your situation sounds much like my own.
So far I only have two starlings. The Grackles haven't made an appearance yet nor the cowbirds.
Some folks would add Blue Jays to your list. I actually like them and don't mind them as much as these you've mentioned.
I think the doves are more numerous here as well. I like them and their cooing but in small numbers.
Lovely bokeh in that Grackle shot and I really like the Grackle and Starling together!!! They are very colorful to photograph.

TexWisGirl said...

i'm like you - i enjoy them all and marvel at their beautiful colors and feather patterns. but BOY can they plow thru the seed! :)

DIMI said...

Dear Eileen,you are so lucky seeing those beautiful birds in your yard every day!Magnificent shots and photos!!I love them!!!
Hope you have a lovely day!
Dimi..

Connie Smiley said...

Eileen, you sure have some gorgeous undesirables! Beautiful shots!

If you'll excuse my saying so, don't you have a season on doves? They're quite good on the BBQ.

NatureFootstep said...

lol, I know exactly what you mean. I have a similar problem but on much smaller scale as I only have a few birds on my balcony.
They may be bulleis but they look good. :)

HansHB said...

Lovely photos!

Debbie said...

oh the trials and tribulations of feeding the birds and dealing with all those undesirables.

they are all beautiful in their own way but they sure do eat a lot and hog all the food. here, they can polish off a small suet in one day. it was cheaper to put 2 kids through college.

now i am dealing with 2 hawks, talk about undesirable....

Carole M. said...

the Grackle makes for a great photograph and those cardinals sure do at the wow factor to any photo you take; thanks for sharing Eileen

Our Neck of the Woods said...

They sure are cute, but I understand what you mean about them being bullies. My grandma always talks about how the crows (she calls them "big black birds") take all the food away from her other birds.

Jeanne said...

Good story. I agree with you. I've never seen such a pretty picture of a grackle!
Thanks for visiting my blog.
jeanne

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I agree 100% on the undesirables. But when the light hits the grackle and starling just right they really are beautiful as shown here. Those cowbirds are something else, aren't they?

Carver said...

I know what you mean. I like all the birds but the ones you mentioned do qualify as bully birds. I had problems with them when I had a lot of feeders. I used to have 10 different bird feeders for different birds and the grackles would bang up against ones designed for small birds and knock the seeds out.

I don't have issues since I stopped using feeders and only feed the birds in bad weather. My yard has returned to nature and I have so many things that go to seed that the birds find a lot to eat and I help them when the weather is bad. I never thought I'd stop feeding the birds all the time. I also kept suet feeders out and fruit but gradually phased out the feeders and let my yard be a natural habitat.

SquirrelQueen said...

I know what you mean about them taking over and being piggies but they are pretty. I have been seeing more and more Mourning doves here but ours are very shy.

Linda Gross said...

The majority of the birds I have been seeing at my feeders have been the undesirable birds!

Maria said...

Hehe Eileen, you're so funny. Usually what you call the "undesirables" are precisely the most intelligent birds of all. Grackles, blackbirds, crows, starlings, have superior intelligence and adaptability. It seems to me also they're trying to get through winter and they see your feeder as a haven, specially the doves. Have you tried offering other cheaper foods, like having cheap bread around for them so there's an alternative for all? Have you tried changing feeder types? I feel so bad for them since they're considered the "outcasts" in the bird world (for humans). What the Brown-headed Cowbird does is a strategy for survival. It's making the Cardinal a "foster" parent and uses its nest as a host nest. Nature is grand. I believe we can all learn from it, one way or another.

Beth said...

Hi Eileen, My feeder contains safflower seed ONLY - the grackles and starlings aren't interested and stay away. I don't feed suet because the raccoons pull the whole container down and eat it all. I do feed niger and in season I have grape jelly out for the Baltimore orioles (the cowbirds like it too, but I don't mind sharing with them). We do have a hummingbird feeder as well. From time to time I put out peanuts just for the bluejays.

Tammy said...

Well, at least the undesirables take great photos!

Karen said...

I have only seen one starling in my yard this winter, but the mourning doves are here in big numbers. Your photos are lovely, even if these birds are undesireable.

Leave It To Davis said...

GRACKLES...can we talk here? They multiply so fast and we have MILLIONS here...literally....just in our town alone...at sunset, you don't want to be walking in the parking lot at the mall or the grocery store because they head for the lights, for some reason...and they come in hundreds of thousands and poop and it's just disgusting...they have killed more trees by roosting in them and pooping all over them every night. Some of the businesses have resorted to covering their trees with enormous nets so they can't get into their trees and kill them. They also shoot off "cannons" at sunset to try to get them to leave. It's awful. When you eat outside at Chikfila, the grackles have learned to walk up and stare you down for some of your food. I have even had them come and sit on the same bench with me when I have been eating at picnic tables outside at lunch where I work. They will walk around you and get really close. They are supposed to help control mosquitos, but I'm not too sure they help...they are more into trying to get human food!

Terry said...

Well I'm glad you got that off your chest, lol. I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY THOUGH

Kusum Sanu said...

Ahh! Thats a lovely story! I like your list of so called undesirables :)

Lynne said...

Great pictures of some "pesty piggies" at the feeders.

mick said...

Great photos of all the "undesirables" and "bullies". It would be a different list out here but with the same kind of birdy behavior. My neighbor put out a seed "ball" and had to take it down within a few days because of the numbers of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos it was attracting!

AmitAag said...

Wow! How cute those birds are!
http://amitaag.blogspot.in/2013/02/call-beach-by-any-other-name.html

Bob Bushell said...

Sorry Eileen, I think that every bird needs a place to feed, unfortunatly, it is your place.

Phil said...

A great story and commentary Eileen although I do detect some humour in there, despite your protestations about the "undesirables". I guess that if we like feeding birds we have to accept that just like the human world, the animal world has some undesirables and bullies too. Funny about your Morning Doves, over here our Collared Doves can get quite numerous where feeders are involved- suppose that's part of the reason it is such a successful species.

Brian King said...

We had grackles last winter, but none this year. There have been a few starlings around and lots of House Sparrows. We also have some doves, but they don't take over. No cowbirds here, either.

Stewart M said...

Nice set of pictures of some "undesirables".

I'm working on a post called "illegal Aliens" - its along similar lines, but its only on introduced birds.


Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

Stewart M - Melbourne

DeniseinVA said...

Naughty birds! But enjoyed your photos and commentary. Enjoy your day Eileen :)

Nancy Claeys said...

I am of the opinion that all birds need to eat and they can't help what they are... I love them all!

Great captures of the desirable and undesirable birdies Eileen. :)

Giga said...

Wszystkie ptaki chcą jeść, ale małe przy dużych nie maja szans. Mam na balkonie mały karmik i tam duże nie sięgną. Duzym czasami sypię ziarna do skrzynek. Pozdrawiam.
All the birds want to eat, but small at large do not have a chance. I karmik small balcony and large did not reach there. Large grain sometimes sleeps in boxes. Yours.

Cindy said...

I guess we all have some undesirable visitors from time to time but you have some interesting ones here. I love the Starling. Found you through WBW.

i stora drag said...

Hi Eileen!
The first bird looks nice with its blue head, but you says its not nice. :) Maybe its so, I don't know, Ive never seen one. Good photos!
Greetings Pia

Jori said...

That top one with the blue head is pretty! I guess because he thinks he's pretty he can bully. ;)

Crafty Green Poet said...

Grackles are handsome, but I know they're troublesome. Starlings of course we get over here, we used to think they were troublesome, but since their populations starting decreasing rapidly we're growing to love them. Such fabulous plumage, and those mormurations when they get together in a big group to put on their aerobatic displays are just awesome....

EG CameraGirl said...

We seem to have the exact same bullies at our feeders! You took great photos of them.

Mia McPherson said...

I don't see out feeders any more so I don't have the bullies coming in and scaring away the smaller birds. There are huge flocks of starlings here though and sometimes when I look out my living room window the grass actually disappears beneath them. Love these images Eileen

Beetlebirdhare said...

So true - our main culprits for clearing the bird table are pigeons! Love your photos of your 'undesirables' though : )

Cynthia M. said...

I completely understand the 'undesirable' label you've put on these birds. I really don't like Starlings or Brown-headed Cowbirds for many of the same reasons you mentioned. But I have to admit a fondness for crows. They're definitely noisy and piggy eaters, but they are so beautiful and smart. I can't afford to feed them either, however... :)

Montanagirl said...

Well, I agree with you whole-heartedly! I have all the same pesky birds here that you mentioned. Not Mourning Doves so much, but dozens of Collared Doves come in and take over everything. I can't even ground feed because the Doves clean it up in about two minutes. All my feeders are caged feeders which helps some. I do not like Grackles which we get a lot of (starting pretty soon) but not many Starlings come in.

bailey-road.com said...

These guys can be pesky, but I still like having them around.

~~~jennifer~~~ said...

For the most part, I don't mind the undesirable birds. But, for some reason the crows at my bird feeders drive me crazy. I know the starlings can be terrible, but thank goodness we only have a couple hanging around. I'm almost jealous of your mourning doves. We have them around, but I've never seen them at our bird feeders. Good luck controlling these birdy bandits.

Elaine said...

Quite a line up of bullies! Fortunately we don't have any of them here. Mostly I've been having Redpolls at my feeders, and when the horde is swooping around it keeps the Chickadees away. So in mass (somewhere between 75 and 100) I think the Redpolls become bullies, plus they go through a LOT of seed!

Indrani Ghose said...

I understand how undesirables are actually desirable yet you call them undesirable. Love the shots of your undesirables.

Pam ;) said...

I agree 100 percent Eileen- some birds are definitely undesirable.
Great shots!

Eden said...

Beautiful photos. I really enjoyed reading your undesirable birds post.

Rambling Woods said...

I think anyone who watches and feeds birds feels the same way. It isn't their fault that they are bullies or non-native pests, but they can clean out the feeders in a short time or take the place of other bird babies in the nest...Michelle

Wally Jones said...

It's sometimes difficult to accept nature for what it is, but there is a plan at work out there.

Your images clearly show the beauty of even the "undesirables", so that's what I'll concentrate on.

Jen said...

The grackles are everywhere! They land on my car in parking lots, sometimes before I can even come to a complete stop. Annoying!

Liz said...

We have a few "undesirables" here in Aus too!! Bullies and destructive.
Lovely birds... but undesirable behaviour!!
Great photos though, Eileen!

Jen Sanford said...

Ha, great post- my mom always referred to the doves as "dopey." I still think of them as such, but in a charming way of course.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

This was really interesting Eileen! When we fed birds (before we sold our house) I had to stop putting out suet because it attracted so many starlings and like you said they scared the good birds away from the seed feeders. We didn't have grackles and cowbirds in Oregon, but I hear people complaining about both of them here in Florida as well as starlings.

One other bird I'd add to my undesirable list is cormorants, at least in Oregon. There are way too many of them and they destroy the coastal vegetation because of that "not pretty" stuff.

missing moments said...

You sure hit the nail on the head ... I totally agree about all of these being my least favorite in the yard! Just this afternoon there were over a dozen doves feeding. Ugh!

Irene said...

All those lovely birds in your backyard, Eileen. Lucky you! The Redbellied Woodpecker is a beauty, the male Cardinal too. Great capures :)

Irene

Ken Schneider said...

Eileen, you are being too hard on these guys. Admire them for being the survivors that they are. And, hey, iridescence is a great asset!

MyMaracas said...

Years ago we were plagued with grackles at our feeder; my son, then four years old,dubbed them "greedybirds". We see all these sometimes where we live now, but thankfully they don't come often or in large numbers. And I agree - cowbirds are the worst. Each one represents a whole lost nest of something more desirable.