Tag Archives: turkeys

Ralph, Pete and Bambi, Turkeys And A Flock of Birds

29 Aug

My husband loves to feed birds.  We have always had bird feeders and books identifying birds outside our kitchen window so we could not only watch the birds but identify who was visiting our feeders.

When we moved 17 months ago, my husband was extremely concerned that the birds would not find us!  He even put a sign up on our deck beneath the bird feeders telling the birds our new address.  Yes, he is a bit crazy.  But then he is a pediatrician, so he has never grown up.

Happily, the day we moved in, a cardinal perched on his bird feeder.  I was able to say, “Look the cardinal read your sign.  I am sure the other birds would follow.”  Follow they did!   We now have a flock of birds of all sorts lounging near our yard.

Our new, small subdivision backs up to a park and a golf course.  Acres and acres of natural beauty along with several small lakes and a stream.  The animals love it.  And our home has become a gathering place for all sorts of nighttime and daytime visitors.  All due to my husband’s bird feeders.  You see, he does not just buy any old bird food.  No, he buys what I call the Mercedes Benz of bird food, hearts of sunflowers.

We have had turkeys and mourning doves and chipmunks happily munching on the seeds that fall to the ground.   We see chickadees, finches of all colors, Blue Jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, robins, swallows, and a multitude of other birds gathering on the feeders, many times waiting their turn to eat.   We buy bird food in 30-pound bags, several at a time.  And yes, we do have a hummingbird feeder as well, which we recently moved. 

Our garden is surround on two sides by a limestone wall, one side by our house, and the other by a wrought iron fence.  It is lovely and peaceful during the day.  But we have found out that at night, it is a place of high demand and drama.  We recently put in a security camera in the back of the house.  Included in its scope are the birdfeeders. 

We have found it quite exciting to watch and the videos explain much.  We were going through so much bird food, we really could not understand how the birds were eating so much especially at night.  We found out that our bird feeders were being raided by a raccoon, who my husband promptly named Ralph.

Ralph draining the bird feeder!

Ralph would stand on his tippy toes on the fence and reach up to tip the bird feeders right into his mouth and just drain the seed. So first my husband put bricks under the pole to raise the height of the feeders. Ralph won that battle. He climb up the fence, climb up the pole and shimmied down to the feeders. Then another raccoon joined him, I named him Rocky. They did not get along and often had loud fights with growling. I honestly did not like that.

Now the war was really on.  My husband started bringing the bird feeders in at night. Ralph and Rocky showed up, but there was no food. Friends started recommending solutions.  Put a slinky on the pole!  Get a dog!  (Cats don’t work.) Then the best advice came from a friend of mine, who got us into bird feeding and watching years ago. She recommended we get this raccoon baffle thing that is put on the pole. The first night it was on, we just put up two bird feeders to see what would happen.  Ralph could not get the food.

Birds waiting for a morning perch to eat!

With the raccoon baffler in place, we can leave our feeders out at night.

But in the meantime, my husband had been putting humming bird nectar out on a low pole.  And one evening when Ralph moved out of the vision of the camera, we noticed a deer, named Bambi of course.  Bambi had been draining our hummingbird feeder.  So now the humming bird feeder is inside the garden behind the gate, and the hummingbirds are happy. So the deer is back to eating all of our sedum plants! 

Ralph and Rocky can no longer climb the pole, so the birds are happy.  In fact, the raccoons have not even shown up for a week now.  But our yard is not empty.  Now that the raccoons are gone, an opossum, who my husband named Pete, has spent some time walking along our walls at night.   He joins the chipmunks and lizards who already inhabit the hedges.

As for the turkeys, Tom and his three lady friends, they come whenever the mood strikes them. It has been entertaining and fun to watch the wildlife, and I guess feed them. And no animal was injured in our battle to keep the birds happy.

An earlier battle: https://zicharonot.com/2014/05/18/man-versus-squirrel-devastation-disaster-depression-and-destruction-of-dreams/