|British blue tits, already wise to feeders|
Friday, March 4, 2016
Birdfeeders and Italian Birds
The Avian Learning Curve
The menu runs to crushed peanuts, chopped fat and bits of meat, apple quarters, bread and other crumbs, minced cheese rind and any other tasty tidbits that come our way. Plus a bowl of water.
Understandably this diet requires a certain preparation, but the caterers are more than willing.
Some years ago we acquired a bird feeder in England and eagerly filled it with whole, shelled peanuts. It is well known that British tits and other small birds are fond of hanging to the feeder by a claw to peck at the nuts inside.
To our dismay we soon discovered that Italian blue tits and their ilk do not know how to use a feeder of this sort. The peanuts turned grey and soft before anybird found them.
However persistence usually wins out. This year we decided to try again. The feeder was duly filled and hung from a branch of a fig tree not far from the bird table, but in a sheltered position.
A few weeks later we noticed that the peanuts were diminishing in number and full of tiny pecks. And today, for the first time, a blue tit was actually discovered in the act, swinging from the feeder.
Not such a steep learning-curve, after all!
The photos are poor, but they are at least a record of this small upswing in Italian avian education.