Friday, May 20, 2011

Millet Mania

It has always interested me how certain birds have very precise feeding preferences; they will only visit a certain type of feeder, will sort through a mixed seed to find their favorites, and may even eat in a very particular way. This is never so apparent at my backyard feeders than when the lazuli buntings come to visit.

These beautiful spring birds are mad for millet - they will swarm over my platform feeder frantically feeding, and they quickly discover other feeders offering millet or mixed seed they can pillage. They staunchly ignore other feeders, however, even with the choicy hulled sunflower seeds or more expensive Nyjer.

I'm thrilled that the lazulis have returned this spring; I've had a dozen or more males feeding at once, with a smaller but no less voracious number of females. Fortunately, my platform feeder is still housed beneath the patio table for shelter from the spring rains, but even chilly, unseasonable weather hasn't deterred their appetites - I'm adding another heap of millet to the feeder every couple of days. I know they won't stay around for long and will probably leave for more elevated nesting areas in another couple of weeks, but while they're here I'm happy to host a millet-heavy buffet.


Elizabeth said...

That's amazing! I was happy to get a single male and a single female last year. How lucky to get a dozen.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, they are beautiful birds.