[CT Birds] odd feeding behaviors

Anthony Zemba AZemba at MaguireGroup.com
Mon Mar 19 16:00:02 EDT 2007

Along the same lines as Bev's observation with suet-feeding Robins, I have had a Hermit thrush visiting my feeder in Durham off and on since the Feb 14th nor'easter. It appeared again this weekend. THe odd thing is that after watching it for a while it appeared to be eating cracked corn and proso millet. Maybe the suet crumbs originally attracted it? or the general activity around the feeder attracted the thrush for protection in the mixed-species flock. Anyways, this brings up a good point about the importance of "starvation foods" or foods that aren't preferred by any particular species, but may serve a critical function in getting the species through the last grueling months (weeks?) of winter before invertebrate prey becomes accessible again. THere was some discussion awhile back about birdscaping. I see Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) as being a critical addition to the birdscaped yard as may generally not be a preferred food initially but since the berries are retained on the branch for a long time they may be available later in the winter when the preferred food resources have been used up, and our feathered friends are scrapping by on whatever is available. 

Anthony Zemba  

>>> <Katz1449 at aol.com> 3/19/2007 3:35 PM >>>
I was watching a solitary robin this afternoon in my yard.  It was  feeding 
on the ground under the suet feeder, picking up bits of the suet which  fell as 
the woodpeckers and sparrows were eating from the suet  feeder.
 It flew up and clung to the suet feeder and started pecking and  eating the 
I haven't ever observed a robin doing that.  Is that an unusual  feeding 
behavior for the robins?   Usually I see them on the ground or  in the evergreens 
eating berries.
Bev Propen

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