Parental care

The starling parent, below, has a morsel ready for to feed its juvenile, above. The youngster is perfectly flight capable, and follows the parent around demanding to be fed.

Mom, Dad, get back here!

We noticed a behavior in starlings that we had not seen before. Adult starlings were moving through the yard, doing their normal grazing thing.

Some adult feathers are beginning to show on the backs of these two starling juveniles

What was different was the sight of juvenile starlings, one or two per adult, staying amazingly close. Every time the adult moved, the juvenile stayed right with the adult. We watched as the adult would grab a worm or grub an give it to the youngster. When the adult flew away the youngster would squawk and carry on very loudly. This parent/young interaction went on for minutes at a time.

Suet yourself

Always looking for a new thing, we decided to try our hand at making our own suet. An internet search produced several different recipes. A quick trip to the store and we had what we needed to get started.

 

  • crunchy peanut butter
  • Crisco
  • corn meal
  • quick cook oats
  • white flour
  • bit of sugar

 

 

 

 

 

The simple ingredients were fairly easy to mix in the pan over medium heat. Once everything was mixed we pressed it into the aluminum pan, roughly an inch thick. After setting in the freezer for about we cut the the appropriate size cakes for the cages.

Couple of starlings going bonkers over the new suet

The results? The birds went nuts over the home made suet when we put it out. Sher and I had a ball watching all different species enjoying the new suet. It seems like the starlings especially had gotten a sugar high. They acted like like a bunch of kids who got into the candy a half hour before bedtime.

Additions to our backyard bird sanctuary

Sher spotted some small but pretty bird baths in a local store’s ad flyer. We decided that they would be a nice addition to our backyard. We thought that we’d use one of the glass receptacles as a true water filled bird bath. The second, however, for now we put bird feed in the second one as a shelf feeder.

Glass bowl bird bath

2nd bird bath as a shelf feeder

 

 

 

 

 

We have been thrilled with the number of different species of birds that have been gracious enough to visit our backyard.

A brash Blue Jay

Chipping Sparrow in the new feeder

Two Starlings enjoying the suet

We have so enjoyed sitting in our backyard watching the birds coming and going from the bird feeders, now scattered across our backyard. We will keep the bird and critter photos coming as we capture them.