Thursday, June 11, 2009

Welcome Home Downies

I was only gone a few days, but I made fresh suet when I returned and what happened next made me laugh. I could hear the birds gathering as soon as I put it out, obviously remembering winter time servings.
I looked up from the blue jay in the previous post and found these two beautiful juvenile downies hanging from the feeder together. As you look at the images that follow, you will see the one on the left plunged her beak into the suet cake so eagerly that it came back coated in dough. She made a few attempts to peck at the dough afterward but then began to look a bit bewildered. "Okay, I'm headed for a good ole tree trunk to get this mess off my nose!" Meantime her buddy had the feeder to herself for a few minutes before she too flew to the tree. In this image you can see her juvenile belly speckles more clearly.
Sweet, sweet Downies!

A special word of caution about feeding suet in the summer. Suet made from lard and/or peanut butter is rich in protein. Unlike winter, there are many other protein rich foods available in the spring and summer. Because suet is a tasty treat, birds may over indulge and develop gout, a very painful swollen condition in their feet. Feed summer suet sparingly. Consider it a special and limited treat for both you and your backyard birds.

4 comments:

  1. That picture of the Downy with suet all over its bill is so cute!!
    Reminds me of baby's first birthday cake- cake evrywhere!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bit off more than she could chew I reckon!
    And thanks for the important tip about suet and gout.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hee hee..I love the pic of the downy suet mouth..ha

    ReplyDelete

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