For the last week our yard has been overrun by flocks of birds; Common Redpolls, Bohemian Waxwings, and Pine Grosbeaks. I believe this is because I changed from a mixed bird food back to strictly black oil sunflower seed; that seems to be the crowd favorite around here.
It seems that these birds have a pretty efficient communications "grapevine". Within 24 hours of filling the feeders the resident Chickadees and Nuthatches were joined first by a few, then very quickly, by massive flocks of Redpolls, Waxwings and Grosbeaks. The squirrels were also out in force.
The cats have been having a fabulous time stationing themselves at various windows watching the show.
The Redpolls are fun to watch as they move like one big organism, flying in and taking off in one large orchestrated group. The slightest noise will spook them and send them flying off, only to return a few seconds later. They also get into tiffs at the feeder with the resident Chickadees and Nuthatches. We've been having little scuffles all week, but so far no casualties. No window casualties either, which is surprising as the Redpolls often hit the windows. They will hit people too. Benton and I have almost been hit multiple times walking around the corner to our cars. The birds travel rapidly up and down the driveway between the front yard and back yard bird feeders. You better remember to look both ways before entering that line of avian traffic!
Other sightings at the feeder this week. Two Northern Flickers were hanging around eating the suet cake. This was very exciting as they were the first that I had ever seen. Beautiful birds! They were joined by a Gray Jay, which is also a rare visitor to our yard.