Bouncing on the wire delivering electricity to my house, five European Goldfinches preen while the sixth stands lookout. Earlier this morning there were twice this number happily using the wire as a vantage point and a spot for congregation. Then a small wattle bird (you know the one without the wattles) squawked down from a nearby power pole. The finches were gone in a flash.
But now, after checking their feathers and scanning for predators or those who would claim this as their territory, all except one (the lookout) swooped down onto a clump of seeding Cosmos plants. Breakfast. They didn’t stay down long. Soon they are back swinging on the wire. Checking the landscape before darting down for more. I watched this process repeat itself and was glad nothing appeared in the neighbourhood to frighten them.
Since that morning I have noted dozens swooping to eat the seeds from the dying flowers of Cosmos plants self-sown around my garden. My own harvesting of the seeds has been minimal; they beat me to it.
I don’t have many visits from small birds. The wattle birds and blackbirds are simply too large and territorial and are normally quick to shoo them away. Once in a blue moon I have watched silver eyed birds flitting in the apple tree seeking nectar from the spring flowers.
Recently a friend showed me a box made for small birds to nest within. Perhaps I should make a couple then screw them to my balcony posts. This might give the small birds a safe home securely through a hole that the larger birds haven’t a chance of entering and which is above the spring of the local meandering cats.
To that end I will be consult the Birds in Backyard website and the River Cottage website. I note both these sites are creating boxes for larger birds than those I was thinking of. The Giving Nature a Home site might be more useful as will reading the material and instructions here.
Perhaps my box will look like the one I noticed here.