Two weekends ago I went into the backyard on a mission. There’s a little Palm Warbler who just loves my mealworm tray. When I refill it, he invariably visits frequently for the rest of the afternoon. So I decided that he was a very cooperative subject to try to stage a “pretty perch” for him to land on. I’ve read about staging perches for birds around feeders, but my goldfinches are too skittish, and I’ve never had much luck with the Painted Buntings. They know my yard too well, and they know when I’m up to trickery! But I figured I might have more luck with the little warbler. I took some pretty porterweed blooms with nice long perching stems and positioned them around the feeder, trying to position the leaves to prevent perching on the feeder itself, so he’d have to perch on my pretty substitute. Except…
He found the loophole! Smart little warbler, he found a hole and wormed his way in. I think he actually liked the extra cover that my “perches” provided. Instead of grabbing a mealworm and leaving, he stayed and ate it. And another. And another!
By the end of the afternoon, some of the branches had fallen away, and he was really laughing at my attempts for a pretty perch. He who laughs last gets the most mealworms!
It wasn’t a whole unproductive day in the backyard. I’d positioned myself in a slightly different spot than usual to be closer to the mealworms, hidden in the bushes just outside my blind. That put me closer to the Painted Buntings. This next image is straight out of the camera with just a few color adjustments…how’s that for a close-up!
A couple of rabbits love to hang out under our bird feeders. They don’t seem to mind me much. I was surprised when one hopped so close that he was just barely within the Beast’s minimum focusing distance…
My little pair of Common Ground Doves flies in so quietly. They like to sit on my flowerbed edging while waiting for their turn at the feeders. One of these days I’m going to get a more natural background!
This last shot is just a funny pose. I was so close to the bush, that when a greenie Painted Bunting hopped up onto a purple flower and started eating at the pets, I could barely focus on him. I love how the sun forms a catchlight in his eye. Happy bird – they love the firespike blooms!