The finches and sparrows aren't the only birds that have been more aggressive lately, however. The western scrub jays have been particularly vehement about caching their peanuts and not sharing with others. They have violently defended the small dish where I place the peanuts, even to the point of snapping at intruders and flying after them to see them out of the vicinity. Undoubtedly these birds are siblings or at least familiar with one another, but as the weather cools their self-preservation instincts come to the fore.
It is fascinating to see how the birds react to the turning weather, both for gradual changes (less light each day and gradually lower temperatures) as well as abrupt shifts. They have definitely been eating more than they were a week or two ago, and several of the finches and sparrows have put on enough weight to draw amazed stares from this birder -- the term "butterball" comes to mind. But whether they're rifling through the seed to find their favorite tidbits, perching on a frozen bird bath as they munch, or peering through the patio doors in hopes of more seed, they're welcome and I will oblige.
Be sure to vote in the October poll and share the types of feeders you use!