Sunday, April 19, 2020

The red bellied bully

About 2 years ago a friend gave me this little window bird feeder.

It's small but it attracts a variety of birds and is fun to watch. The highlight for me was when, one morning, a new visitor arrived. Lo and behold it was the lovely northern cardinal … actually the state bird of North Carolina where I live. You can see how stately and regal he is and I felt so privileged to have his company. Every morning he would fly in and we'd have breakfast together.

He would perch on the feeder and take his time surveying the yard and all the action taking place there. It was clear that he was the “boss”. Only when he was satisfied with what he saw would he eat and he seemed to relish every bite. For the past two years he's been a constant friend. He only came to feed in the mornings and after he left an array of smaller and less dominating birds would feed all day.

2 weeks ago I was thrilled to see a new bird. He seemed huge as he perched on the small feeder and it was easy to identify him. A red bellied woodpecker had arrived..

My joy and fascination soon faded however. I always know when he arrives because he zooms in and actually bumps against the window in his hurry to get to the seeds. Then he sticks his big black beak through the hole of the feeder and greedily starts to eat. With his body twitching in anticipation he, literally, creates a gorging frenzy and for each seed that he swallows he throws out many more. He has no set time that he arrives and it's always the same. He has all the traits of a bully and I wish he'd never found me.

The saddest thing is that he must have scared my beloved cardinal away. I have not seen him once since this obnoxious woodpecker took over.      


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Amazing how there are bullies everywhere. Let’s hope the cardinal returns. Such a pretty bird.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What a treat for you to have that cardinal for as long as you did. I don't see them much aorund here although I do hear them, or think I do, from time to time. They were plentiful back in Sarnia.

8:12 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Put out a suet feeder and the Red-bellied won't be interested in the seeds. Be sure to get no-melt hot pepper suet cakes which can be used in hot weather and which the squirrels won't bother. Good luck.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Oh no, you have lost your breakfast buddy. Sorry about the Woodpecker. I have one each year that bellies up to my Hummingbird nectar feeder. Such a piglet he is.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Too bad there isn't some way to scare the bully away without frightening any other birds. I have always liked seeing a cardinal as it's also the state bird of VA where we formerly lived. We would always get a plentiful number to the feeders, and the bullies would be the bluejays.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Joared said...

I always liked the cardinals at our feeder in the Great Lakes State. Haven’t replaced my feeder here in So Cal since squirrels destroyed several I had. Enjoyed finches visiting a sock I hung out a few years ago before the squirrels destroyed it, too. Now I just enjoy our mockingbird’s songs and viewing them monitoring me if I venture outdoors.

12:26 AM  

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