Friday, January 24, 2014

What I learned today

I'm sentimental. I worry about the little birds in the cold weather. Especially, I've been worried about the Carolina Wrens in Central Park this winter, so today I trudged out in the mid-teen temperatures to the Ramble, with a bag of blueberries.

Blueberries? Yes. Wrens are basically insectivores, but will eat fruit (they can use the glucose); nuts or seeds, not so much. Their guts are not set up to deal with extracting nutrition from plant matter (no gizzard, for one thing). In extreme need, they can eat some very oily seeds like sunflower, crunching it up to get the oils. At, least, that's what I'd been told. So, since we had some blueberries...

At Evodia, Sol told me that at least one wren had been visiting and begging food. He showed up in a few minutes.

Ed Gaillard: recent &emdash; Carolina Wren, Central Park
Hey, buddy, spare some food for a wren?

And I tossed a few berries on the ground in front of him, and Sol threw out--a handful of crushed peanuts.

The bird eyed the blueberries suspiciously, grabbed a hunk of peanut, and retreated.

The same scene repeated a little later. So now I know a Carolina Wren will choose peanuts over blueberries.

Elsewhere in the Ramble, it was pretty much the usual crew. I watched a young Red-Tailed scouting the area for prey.

Ed Gaillard: recent &emdash; Red-Tailed Hawk takes off, Central Park

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