Wild Bird Seed - anecdotes

This is the page where we have our personal stories about wild birds. Whether you are a wildlife photographer, ornithologist or garden wild bird feeder, we want to hear your stories and reminiscences.

We have a long-time blackbird vistor pair wh have been coming to our garden for three years and have reared two litters a year with our help!

Deryn Du is what we call the male [it's Welsh for Blackbird] and his mate is Ruthin. Deryn is an individual bird who sports a pure white feather in his tail, so is easily spotted when several are competing for the food - Deryn always wins. He also has bright white tipped claws which stand out and are noticeibly different to other male blackbirds which have black claws, so he's unmistakable, and a bit of a dude. He's so used to us that he will typically arrive as soon as I pull the curtains back in the morning, and wait outside until I take the ground feeder out full of raisins and dried mealworms. He stands only inches from me, watching me place it on the ground, and then will hop over before I have gone back inside.

When there are young in the nest, he works tirelessly, coming and going frequently with beak-fulls of mealworms or raisins, depending on which he decides the family need at that moment. Sometimes it will be only mealworms, and the raisins will be left for the thrushes and starlings who also visit. Other days, only raisins will do and the mealworms are still gobbled up, this time by robins and even the extended family of sparrows who nest in the ivy arch. They all enjoy bread as well. His mate Ruthin comes less often, obviously not the breadwinner. Perhaps she stays at home with the children, cleaning and tidying!

Considering the cocky, self-assured manner of blackbirds, we have speculated that the Welsh name could be the origin of the phrase derring-do, meaning brave and heroic deeds. It is so close to Deryn Du and the character of the blackbird that it seems highly probable.

The sparrows, an extended family numbering around twenty, live in the honeysuckle and ivy arch into the lawn, which provides some of their food as these two are perfect insect attractors. From the nest they can go up to sit in the sun [see below] where they preen and gossip, or down to the peanut feeder or the ground where they might also pick up the odd mealworm or breadcrumb.


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