Search for:
  • Home/
  • /
  • Food Chain Observations

Food Chain Observations

I love living here. I get to see nature in action on a daily basis. I have eagles and deer and fox and raccoons and any number of delightful critters to watch.

I hung a hummingbird feeder outside on my deck. Amoeba and I contentedly watch the little birds flit in for a sip of supper and flit out again. Yesterday the wind picked up to such an extent that the bird feeder swayed quite tremendously, pouring nectar all over the back deck and upsetting the hummingbirds no end.

I went out, took the feeder down and refilled it, then I sat it on the deck railing instead of putting it back on the hook. Sitting stationary it doesn’t sway and spill. Since it is only a few feet away, the hummingbirds had no trouble finding it. In fact, they seem to be happier with it on the rail and can sit in leisure and sup.

This morning I mentioned to Amoeba how content the birds seemed and he said, “Just the same, you need to hang the feeder back up as soon as the wind dies down. I don’t know if the neighbor’s cats will stake out the bird feeder or not, but let’s not tempt them.”

Too late. There seems to be a feline convention in progress in my backyard. There’s an orange kitty, a black kitty and a tiger striped kitty out there. None of them have approached the back deck yet, but I am willing to bet it is on their “to do” list. Since I am not feeding the birds to make the cats fat and happy, I guess I’d best go move the feeder.


  1. Hummingbirds are wonderful, even if they’re also more like bugs than like birds. Please hang the feeder.

    1. Doug — I hung it before I finished the post. The neighbor’s cats are fat enough without munching on my birds!

  2. I have no doubt the kitties are casing the place. I’m sure the birds would appreciate being placed out of their way — even though they might be unaware of the lurking danger at the moment.

    And though I am not one to see an object lesson behind every little thing, I do see one there…

    1. Barbara — the feeder has been hung. And I am certain the birds were very aware of the cats and everything else around their feeder. They buzzed me when I went out to move it!

  3. Cat’s do like their hunting, and they are plenty smart so I have no doubt they were sitting in the backyard laughing at you, just waiting for the first humming bird to pounce on.

  4. Oh man, food chains in our yards!
    We love feeding the hummingbirds too, and the other kinds.
    We do end up with a suspicious number of cats from time to time but find that Ariella discourages them quite nicely.
    However, she gets annoyed that I don’t let her chase the rabbits.
    Ah well,
    we all have little disappointments in life, like when your neighbor cats realize the birds are feeding safely out of reach once again.

    1. Logo — the cats have returned to the food dish on their own porch. no more fresh entrees at my house.

  5. Ah, and so it goes: we feed the sparrows but the squirrels like to eat the bird seed and then the hawks swoop down and eat the squirrels!

  6. animals are such opportunists! i agree, though, that it’s better to make the birdies work a little bit harder for their sip of nectar than turning them into cat fodder

    1. Polona — I bought them a posh feeder with perch rails so they are up in the air, but can still sit to dine.

  7. “feline convention” describes the situation to a T. I love to watch and feed birds, too. The hunters we’ve tried to avoid are squirrels and tenacious raccoon. The latter are the hardest to deter. Hope you get your feeders safer. Then I’ll look for birdshots from you!

  8. Hang it gooooooooooood and HIGH — Freedom gets her share of them from my birdfeeders… she drives me nuts! Of course … I’m not entirely sure she’s not getting the birds feeding on seed on the ground… but I have seen her LUNGE for them in the air!

    1. Melli — I had a Fire-point, turquoise-eyed Himalayan who could jump straight up and catch Starlings in mid-flight. I have no doubrt he’d try for a Hummer. The neighbor’s cats are pretty plump and spoiled. They may have only been voyeurs.

  9. I understand your fears. My youngest just acquired a bunny to keep her company in college. I dread the day she brings little Tofu home to meet our kitty, Pepper. 🙁

  10. I feel sorry for mourning doves. They’re so dim-witted. I’ve seen hawks nab multitudes of them both on the ground and mid-air. Sometimes even several feet away from the screened-in porch.

    1. Karen — Luckily the same cannot be said for Hummingbirds. They are quite aggressive. In fact, one tried to chase me away today!

  11. Uh oh! I’ve seen decapitated baby bunnies in our Illinois yard that the cats got to. I’m glad you’re keeping the hummingbirds safe. I’m really envious of your having the birds where you can see them.

    1. Kay — I was just sditting out on the deck planting starter roses, and the hummingbirds were feeding and squabbling less than 5 feet away. when it gets warmer and I wish to linger, I may take a chair out and sit with my camera to see if we can’t snap a few pics.

  12. .
    Hi Quilly, please, you’d better go hang the feeder up. Fix it a little better to withstand the wind. Here in Texas you’d have a multitude of squirrels eating out of that feeder.

    People here put the hummingbird feedes on longe poles stuck in the ground. Animals can’t climb up the slim poles.

Comments are closed.