Monday, October 29, 2007

Bird Feeding, part 3

Peanut feeders are an important part of my winter bird feeding protocol. There are two basic types, one with larger holes for dispensing peanuts in the shell, and one with smaller mesh for unshelled peanuts.
The center feeder is for peanuts in the shell,
the two on either end for unshelled nuts.

Blue Jays love to take the whole (shelled) peanuts away to cache for later, so I always like having some available. Before I started offering peanuts in the shell, I saw maybe one or two Blue Jays a day, sometimes none at all. Let me hang this feeder, though, and within minutes, I will have 5, 6, or even more jays all at once. They fly in and out so quickly that I have yet to get a decent picture of them, but I'm trying. The ones who are too impatient to wait their turn at this feeder will come to a platform feeder to gobble up a crop full of black oil and safflower seeds, but even they don't stay still for long. For a big bird, jays are damned hard to photograph.

The jays aren't as interested in the unshelled peanuts, which leaves them for the less aggressive birds. Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers love this feeder, as do White-breasted Nuthatches and especially Tufted Titmice. Occasionally, I will see a chickadee here, too.

This is a better picture in person. When I took it, I still had my old, Stone-Age computer, and couldn't upload or store photos on it, so I was getting my pictures on a CD. Now, I can't find the disc that has all my bird photos stored on it, so I had to take a picture of the picture.


Mary Ann said...

I love to feed the shelled peanuts too - really draws in the birds. Unfortunately, my favorite pet store went out of business recently - they always sold peanuts in bulk so it was nice. Might you know a good source for me to try? Thanks!

holly said...

In reading this, I'm confused (and it could just be me and a long day). Your caption under the feeders says 'unshelled peanuts' and then 'peanuts in the shell'. Aren't they the same thing? Or am I just reading this wrong?

And no, I'm not trying to embarass you! I'm thinking that maybe it's just my comprehension is off.

KatDoc said...

It's not just you. I worked those phrases backwards and forwards, trying to make them come out right. Where is the Grammer Gorrilla when you need her?

What I was trying to say is that Blue Jays like their peanuts in the shell - the way you would buy them at a baseball game or some pubs - where you have to crack off the outer shell and throw it on the floor before you can eat the nut. That's what the middle feeder, with the large holes, is for.

Smaller birds, and woodpeckers, like their peanuts with the shells off, the way they look in the Mr. Peanut jar of dry roasted nuts, just as you would eat them. That's the photo I have with peanuts, minus shells, in the feeder with the smaller holes.

Is that clear as mud?

~Kathi, thanking you for the opportunity to clarify (or confuse) the issue

holly said...

So, we got yer shelled and we got yer unshelled? ;)