Sunday, February 15, 2009

Birds We Love to Hate...

And the reasons behind it.
I don't think a true - dyed in the wool - BIRDWATCHER
would readily admit hating a 'bird' but the truth of the
matter is there are certain species we dislike a LOT!

First and foremost would be the House Sparrow.

I took these pictures one sunny day through the
lattice of the front porch at work. I liked the birds
sitting in the Holly berry bushes.

A little history here will help us understand where these
birds came from in the first place.
The House Sparrow (8 pairs) was introduced into Brooklyn, NY
in 1851. By 1900 they had migrated to the Rocky Mtns.
Population in the west was aided by additional
introductions in San Fran. CA
and Salt Lake City.

They are of Eurasian origin and were brought to N. Am.
to eat pests that harm crops, but turned out to be mostly
vegetarian.They are not closely related to N. Am Sparrows
but belong to 'Old World Sparrows' or 'Weaver Finches'.

They are hated because they will take over nest boxes
belonging to Bluebirds and other beloved songbirds.

If you have the heart for it...they are permitted to
be removed in various ways from your yard.
In the right setting they can be just as attractive
as the next....

Probably the second most hated bird is the European
Starling! When I come home from work and hear a rather
loud roar from the backyard and see a tree that looks
like this... I know the feeders are or will soon be empty.
They are ravenous and their hearty appetite
will certainly wipe you out in a short time.

Their origin: Europe.
40 pairs were released in N.Y. Central
Park in 1890 by Eugene Schieffelin, a German immigrant who
wanted to honour his homeland. He attempted to release every
species of bird mentioned in Shakespeare's plays. By 1959
the Starling had reached the Pacific coast. In 2002 the
population was 200 million.

While in NJ earlier in the winter I took these photos
of Starlings seeking warmth where heat is released
on top of a building.
These birds too can be eliminated from your yard if you
so desire to do it.

Another much prettier bird has also gotten the rap
for being a 'hog' at the feeders and will throw
your seeds out and chase away other birds..
The Blue Jay.

They are aggressive and noisy and because they
drive other birds away some people dislike them at
their feeders.

But flip side to that would their ability to sound the
alarm when a predator (hawk) lands nearby,
thus, protecting all the song birds.

The next bird that some will discourage from their yards
is the House Wren. As beautiful as he looks here
in the nest box... he has qualities that are not endearing.
The suburban-loving little brown bird often takes
over all the birdhouses in its general vicinity,
keeping all other species from using them.

An innocent he is NOT...
The House Wren will puncture eggs
of other species nesting in nest boxes.
I encourage my wrens as I do not have bluebirds
or other birds nesting in my yard.

Sorry Shelley and 'Bob' but I have to bring this up.
Some people do not like the pretty Mourning Doves
because they will not only drink from your water

but yes! poop in it.

bathe in it......

And just generally sit in it and not let others birds
in to drink. They also will roost in your gutters,
your porch rafters, and make quite a big
mess when they have young.
Don't worry Shelley, I love my Doves!!
Bob's relatives are welcome here.

Last by not least we in the Northeast learned that
these cute little birds that visited for the first time
became a nuisance before too long.
You've but to look at these pictures to see why. They
are super aggressive and will chase away other birds
from the feeders.
No bird seems to be seen as a threat

When you see the beauty of that yellow under wing
you know a skirmish is on.

Get out! Get out! the Siskin says. This is MY feeder.

In all things of Nature there is something
of the marvelous....Arisotle

If we look...
we can find beauty right there among the things we dislike the most.

To God be The Glory ~~ Great Things He Hath Done.


Anonymous said...

Your blog is what my nature journal blog would like to be when it grows up..Amazing photos and I really enjoyed this post..The siskins are a gutsy little bird..Well..back to count...Michelle

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

That was a very interesting post.I do not agree about some of the birds people dislike.The House Sparrows and Starlings,yes.I personally like the Blue Jays,House Wrens and of course the Pine Siskins.I guess I have to take what I can get.

jalynn01 said...

Michelle: Such a nice thoughtful compliment. Thank you so much.

Ruth; I don't always agree with the birds people hate either, but I do understand their reasons. I think every bird can have beauty. Thanks for your comments.

Tina said...

A very interesting post. I agree that most of the birds you featured have their nasty traits..but I guess we need to be aware of the nasty side of nature to appreciate the good side.
I do try and discourage the English/house sparrow and the house wren from nesting in our two nest boxes..and if we are again graced with blue birds, I will help chase and fend for my blues!

Thanks for the info about the hs and the starling. Interesting! :)

NCmountainwoman said...

Very interesting post and some great photographs. I know some people love Pine Siskins, but when they come in such numbers and take over, they are easy for me to hate.

Marsha said...

I enjoyed this post! The house sparrows are in way greater numbers here this winter and they poop in the water dish too! I have to watch my tree swallow nest boxes as they always try to take them over as well.

The starlings are my biggest feeder hogs. They are actually kind of pretty in winter plumage but too expensive to feed.

Next I would have to add the common grackle to this list. They eat more than the starlings and nest in all of our evergreen trees. They then drop what seems like thousands of fecal sacs all over my patio, fountain, bridge and pond leaving such a huge gross mess.

I don't mind the bluejays. they are a bright spot of color in my garden especially in the winter. Though some tell me they may be the reason I do not get cardinals.

I also don't get bluebirds so I love the little house wrens. It is so much fun to watch them nest and hear there chatter.

Pine siskins don't stay here, so I only see them for a week or so in the fall and once again in the spring.

What a fun post and I really LOVE your wren houses. The schoolhouse one especially :-)

CountryDreaming said...

In my case it's a matter of familiarity breeding contempt. House Sparrows and Starlings? Too many of 'em and they're not native. Mourning Doves I can handle, though there are so many in Ohio that I hear it's legal to hunt them. Blue Jays -- Actually I love these feisty feathered friends, along with gregarious Grackles. House Wrens? Love their bubbly song. Pine Siskins are a coveted sight for birders in Northeast Ohio. If you don't want them, please send them our way!

Craig Glenn said...

Interesting post Jalynn. I personally didn't take it to mean that you hated these birds but that you were just making an observation. I am sure birds like people affect people different ways. Some qualities are liked while others dislike them for the very same quality.

Good observations!


jalynn01 said...

If I had bluebirds you can bet I'd discourage wrens and H. sparrows..

The school house box came from Tractor Supply. Thanks for all your observations as well.

Yikes! do tell! hunting season on Doves.

thanks for your observations on Siskins!

You are right on..I didn't mean I hated these birds, just remarking about different traits they have. Thanks!

Bird Girl said...

I sure love to hate the house sparrow and the starlings! I'd rather shoot them with something else rather than a camera ;-) But I don't!!!
Love the blue jays - they looks so cute under you little Christmas tree there! And very nice shots of the siskins in flight (those little hoggy buggers ;-)
I love your little wren, too!

Shellmo said...

Jalynn - You are right about all the birdy trouble makers! And I do have a love/hate relationship w/ the doves! 10 pounds of dove crap in my gutters while they have several babies. And pooping in my birdbath continually - ugh!!
Beautiful photos by the way!

The Birdlady said...

This was a wonderful post - with lovely pictures! And Yes, I really hate the HS!!

Anonymous said...

I dislike a lot of people and consider most of them God's mistakes, but I never found a bird or a bug that didn't appeal to me. LOL

Abraham Lincoln's
My Birds Blog

troutbirder said...

I am a total pacifist on this subject and try to keep them all happy providing food and shelter in many different areas. I even gave up chasing squirrels away and now provide corn for them and the deer (another so-called pest in our neighborhood) Beautiful pics, by the way!

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