However much we love to pamper our
local bird population, there are certain species that we should be
of. Many song bird species are on the decline because of one or more of
these Predatory Birds.
|And Bully Birds
at your Back Yard Feeders.
Male Passer domesticus
The female is
generally lighter-colored and absent
the black bib and eye shadow.
is possibly the worst of the
bunch. It belongs to the Finch family. It is very adaptive, aggressive,
and reproductive. It is known to throw other nestlings out of bird
It will nest in any protected area from lighted mall marquees to large
building supply warehouses, where it appreciates the water fountains
damaged bird feed bags.
It is the
number one enemy of
the Eastern Bluebird. Many traps and devices have been devised to
them from Bluebird houses, but the similar body size makes the chore a
Male and Female are very similar
is a tossup for Songbird enemy
number one. It is every bit as aggressive and adaptive as the English
And it must surely be Purple Martin enemy number one.
have a particular
diet, but these two imports will thrive on burgers and fries in fast
dumpsters, seed from your feeders, bugs from your car bumper, or
grain in livestock manure. Neither requires a bird house, but will nest
in most protected areas. They are both on the most
wanted list of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which has a
underway to bring back the insect-eating Eastern bluebird.
I have seen the
a much larger Flicker from its tree cavity, and drop the Flicker eggs
the ground. In early spring, they often travel in 3's. Its
is very varied and sometimes appears imitative. It is often seen in
flocks with other birds that are black.
are not finicky feeders. Their menu ranges from
Eggs and Nestlings to grain and road kill.
Molothrus ater (male)
are not aggressive or adaptable.
They are just smart. They watch a nest from a nearby lookout, and when
the incubating parent leaves the nest for a snack, the cowbird deposits
her egg in the nest. The Cowbird chick hatches first, grows fastest,
shoves its nest mates from the nest. All the while, the tenants think
is their own nestling, and feed it to adulthood.
eat insects, invertebrates,
eggs, nestlings, lizards, and minnows. And have earned a bad reputation
as a significant pest in corn fields, and also stealing food from other
ground-foraging birds such as Robins.
is less well known as
the villain it is. It will rob bird nests of eggs and nestlings. It
also ruin the fruit and berries in your orchard. And it's a notorious
Bird Bath and Feeder bully.
If Bird Feeder Bullies
are a problem,
you can minimize their effect by removing or modifying
Feeder Perches, as shown here:
"A" shows an angled slippery surface applied to
will have more activity at your Feeders if Birds are discouraged from
perching there. You will also discourage Feeder Bullies; those Song
Birds that chase other Birds from the Feeder while they satisfy their
Birds will hover long enough to grab a seed, then fly to a nearby
perch, while others get their turn to hover momentarily at the Feeder.
"B" shows screening which prohibits large Birds.
"C" shows a Perch removed.
The Screening at "B" can be wire or a plastic netting or product
made for an entirely different purpose; like Milk Crates or Shelves or
many other plastic items