Bird Wars

'a nuthatch & sparrow'

This summer there’s been a couple of white-breasted nuthatches hanging around my yard. They climb up & down the trees, eat bugs in the crevices of the bark, just do normal nuthatch things. But lately they’ve started to hop over to my bird feeder. I’ve never seen them do that before; they’ve always just stayed on the trees, searching for bugs. It started with them flying over to perch on the feeders roof; they’ve gotten bold enough to actually come & feed from the feeder. This seem unnatural for nuthatches, as they are such up-&-down birds, always hanging on the trees. I wonder if for some reason there aren’t many bugs to be found in the trees.

The sparrows take up most of the feeder now, & since it can’t accommodate the large flock of sparrows that land in my yard daily, there are always fight over who gets feeder privileges & who has to feed of the ground. There’re a couple of the male sparrows always who always seem to win at these. But even those sparrows will back off when the nuthatch decides to feed. The nuthatch appears to be more intimidating (although I wouldn’t want to mess with a beak that long if I was sparrow-size), & is given free feeder privileges whenever it appears.

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Squirrel vs. Sparrow

A few days ago, I saw a couple of squirrels were having some kind of argument; they chased each around my yard & up a tree, which had a bird house on it that was home to a family of house sparrows. The squirrels weren’t interested in the chicks as far as I could see, only in chasing each other around & around the tree, but when the squirrel’s disagreement brought them close to the sparrow’s nest, the parents flew out of the bird house, & started dive-bombing the squirrels. The squirrels were startled, & quickly retreated. It was amazing how they wouldn’t stand up to an animal half their size & a fraction of their weight. The sparrows must have pretty sharp beaks.

Here is a video of a bird fighting with a squirrel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2DaaE5PKKs&feature=related

& two squirrels fighting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcHXqvvWj8E&feature=related