I was absolutely thrilled when I finally got some titmice to feed from my hand. The best part about it is that it was completely unexpected. They are supposed to be way too busy with mating and child rearing to have time for such “foolishness” as buddying up to a human because he brings your favorite food. I just sensed an opportunity and seized it.
Now, it seems, I may have created a monster.
Hey Bud, You Comin’ Out Anytime Soon?
I had just finished hand feeding before putting my feeders back up the the other day when I received another unexpected surprise. I loaded up my feeders and started out for the feeder pole. I considered whether I should take anything with me and decided against it. I figured it was way too early in my hand feeding career to have anybody care about me after the feeders were up. This turned out to be a mistake.
I no sooner got the feeders up and stepped a few feet back(I’m still trying to get the chickadees acclimated to my presence)when I felt something land on my shoulder. Guess who? That’s right, my fearless titmouse hand feeder. He sat there for a few seconds, flew over to the feeder arms and did what could best be described as glared at me. He was not happy with me and he let me know it with his unflinching stare and posturing. In fact, I broke eye contact first because I feared for my life. After promising to return with peanuts, he “let” me leave and flew up in the tree waiting. Keep in mind, the feeders were now up and he had his choice of hulled and regular black oil sunflower seeds and suet. Not what he was looking for.
In a couple of minutes, I came back out and I barely got the door closed before he was flying at me and landing above me on the gutter. He got a peanut and came back two or three more times.
I Have Never Heard Of This
This little guy has obviously bonded with me. I mowed the lawn yesterday and every time I shut the mower off he was back. Landing on the mower handle, he stayed there while I walked out the door without moving. His mate has been coaxed but she is much more calculating in their approach. She takes her time sizing me up and make numerous passes before landing quickly and snatching a peanut. Often in one continuous snap motion. By contrast, my guy now lands on my hand and looks around for the perfect piece before picking one and leisurely flying off. He’ll even look right at me and tolerates my return gaze for his whole visit. None of this was anything I was prepared for.
I feel truly blessed. Hand feeding birds can be a long and drawn out mostly winter activity that a lot of people don’t have the time or patience for. My own initial attempts got mixed results.
The Kind Of Problem I Enjoy Having
I now know that as long as this pair calls my backyard home I will never be lonely for hand feeding companions. I just need to remember to take something with me whenever I go outside. Oh well, we all have our crosses to bear-LOL!
My favorite part is the hope they will pass this behavior along to their young ones and I’ll be able to enjoy this blessing for many years to come.