There have been some very mild late Februaries here in southeastern Ohio. This is not one of them. The bluebirds' normal food sources—fruits, berries, the occasional grub or nearly frozen grasshopper—are covered in snow and ice or simply gone in the case of many of the grapes and pokeweed berries. So they are seeking out alternative food sources. I watched them today doing what Julie described to me a week or so ago—eating sunflower bits from a tube feeder.
Bluebirds are not habitual nut eaters. The sunflower bits have no shell to deal with and are small and fairly soft. The bluebirds were on the feeders every chance they got, until the starling mob descended and took over.
I made sure to keep the suet dough feeder by the kitchen sink window full of food. The bluebirds know to watch for the re-up there and they come in right after the first daring tufted titmouse.
I'll bet the bluebirds are as eager as I am for spring to get here. I caught myself starting to eat a handful of sunflower bits tonight. . . hey—it was cold and my traditional source of food is not available.
Labels: eastern bluebirds, winter bird feeding