Monday, July 29, 2013

It's For the Birds at Moogie's Manor

My father, Boompie (that's his "grandfather" name, after Jimmy Stewart's character in Mister Hobbs Takes a Vacation -- "Boompah?!?!  What kind of a name is Boompah?  You couldn't do any better for your own father?!"), instilled in me at an early age a love of, and fascination for, birds.  Except sparrows.  Don't ask. It's a long strange story.  Anyway, I can just sit and watch birds for hours.

Back at the Mansion in New Orleans, birdwatching was pretty much limited to Mockingbirds, Cardinals, and Doves, with the occasional obnoxious Crow or Pigeon thrown in.  And, Doves are just stoopid birds with very little personality, so they don't really count, and that just left me with Cardinals and Mockingbirds, who are meaner than a snake!  It was hardly worth setting up a feeder because the Mockers wouldn't use it and the Cardinals got bored with it, and it attracted rats.

But, here at the Manor, we have a wooded green space in back that is home to scads of birds!  Moogie is in hog heaven! (Heh -- get it?  Razorbacks?  Hog Heaven?  I crack me up sometimes.)  We have Cardinals and Mockers and Finches and Titmice and Chickadees and Nuthatches and Hummingbirds!  I have three feeders on the back deck!

(There's Moogie's reflection in the window. Say hi!)

Having three feeders, however, means we also have a herd of greedy, marauding squirrels. 

I originally hung the feeder in the first picture in the spot where the new squirrel-resistant feeder now hangs in the second pic.  Not a good plan.  Acrobatically-gifted squirrels had it emptied in a day.  The new spot is just far enough away from any good launching points to keep them at bay.  Pepper said he'd hang and re-fill it for me (Moogie is height-challenged), but I had to clean up the Kamikaze squirrel carcasses.  So far, no squirrel carcasses!

As for the new feeder, so far, so good.  It works on a weight and spring principle -- it closes the food ports when heavy critters get on it.  The squirrels tried every angle possible for a few days -- you could just see their frustration when they shook their furry little tails and had to give up.  Sometimes they will sit and stare at the feeders, as if willing the feed to hover into their greedy little paws.

But, I think some of the birds must be in cahoots with the little vermin.  Some of the birds appear to prefer a specific type of seed, so they'll sling the other types right out of the feeder!  And the squirrels, being the determined moochers they are, now just kinda hang out on the deck or the rails and scoop up what has fallen, without really even having to work for it.

And that drives Bouie nuts!  I'm just hoping he doesn't go through one of those windows.  Mysti just gets excited because Bouie's excited.  Come to think of it, however, she has started tracking the squirrel scent lately, so I suppose I should start worrying about both of them now.

We have a dominant Hummingbird who has staked out his territory around the hummingbird feeder.  He loves to light on the feeder and drink his fill.  They are such incredible little birds!  And, fearless.

So, it's apparently the best of times for the local bird populations, now that Moogie has become their neighbor.

I wonder what else we'll discover?  Hopefully nothing reptilian.  Ewww.


  1. We recently added a bunny to our critter collection. He does the same thing with his food- eats what he wants (about half) and scatters the rest. Makes me want to stuff it down his cute little throat!

    "That stuff costs $9/bag! A little bag! Eat it! EAT IT! For a free bunny you sure are expensive!"

  2. Ah! What a GREAT verandah you have! (And I'm sumthin' of a connoisseur of verandahs, so I know from whence I speak)

    I expect further pics of the near-great-outdoors, preferably with the residents in said pics, cocktails in hand. ;-)

  3. Outdoor cocktail hour will probably be delayed until cooler weather, Buck. And, by then it will be football season! What could be better -- football, cocktails, and a new verandah with a ceiling fan!

  4. acrobatically gifted squirrels? lol! i love it! oh yes, those birds are most likely in cahoots with the squirrels. all those critters can have strong personalities. never a dull moment, especially with your bouie trying to be the new sheriff in town.

    love your back deck, btw :)

  5. Nice! My current problem is a raccoon who can empty both seed and hummingbird feeders in one evenings swoop. I keep forgetting to bring them in.