Patio Bird Feeding: The Mark of Zorro

zorro.jpgAmong the Avian Mafia that visits my feeder is an elusively swift Carolina Chickadee. I haven’t been able to capture a photo of him, but here is a stock image from Wikipedia for reference. At about half the size and weight of his neighbors, he makes even the small finches look large in comparison. Because of his markings and personality, I call this guy Zorro. What he lacks size, he makes up for in daring and speed.

Zorro never lands on the rails of the bird feeder, even if they are unoccupied. He prefers to land sideways on the wire that suspends the feeder. From here he does a quick inspection of the feeder and patio before proceeding. If the feeder is occupied, he will wait for the birds there to become distracted (working on a larger seed open, squabbling with other birds or reacting to some other event) and then dart in. Zorro will snatch a couple seeds in his beak then fly off with them, where I assume he eats them somewhere secluded. If the feeder is unoccupied, he still performs his snatch and run but even more quickly. This will happen a couple times in quick succession, before he retreats to his hideout.

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