Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bird Hotline!

I was out of food at the bird feeders yesterday; not completely out as there were 3 cakes of suet but no seeds in the feeders. A few hardy souls were scrounging around the leftovers on the ground hoping to find an uneaten seed. There were also a few birds on the suet feeders but not nearly the numbers that we have in the yard when the "bottomless" sunflower seed feeders are full. I had every intention of going out yesterday afternoon for bird food but instead hung out with the dogs on the couch watching the full season 5 of Top Chef, in order to catch up in anticipation of last night's finale. I worried that the birds were starving and would have a hard night last night since they didn't get their daily ration of sunflower seeds. I really did worry about them and my husband had to reassure me multiple times that without my assistance they would still make it through :-)

Today I went out early on an sunflower seed run. Fred Meyer was out, Pet Zoo was out. I had to drive 10 miles to Animal Food Warehouse to purchase a 40lb bag, which they just had shipped in this morning. (Looks like lots of Valley people are feeding the birds and that is great!) Also the Animal Food Warehouse has lots of inexpensive yummy rawhide chips and rubber chew toys for the dogs, so everyone got something. (well, not the cats, but they are happy with just their food and water and the hammocks in the windows...cats are easy!)

Within 10 minutes of the filling of the feeders the population of birds in the yard went from 5 to over 100. What sort of "hotline" do these little guys have to get the word out so fast that the feeders are once again full?

I should apply for a grant to study the communication between these birds. They do it all without "WiFi" or cellphones or text messages. What is their method of such speedy communication? Could we apply it to our computer networks or other areas of our human lives? Something to think about....

1 comment:

  1. I am a bird watcher/backyard feeder too. It is amazing how fast those birds know when I have filled the feeder and the heated bird bath for them!