There’s more than one kind of bird feeder

A Common Waxbill feeds on cane grass seeds
A Common Waxbill feeds on cane grass seeds
A Common Waxbill feeds on cane grass seeds

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Feed the Birds.’ (See more responses here.) We don’t put bird feeders out here so I was going to go with a selection of birds feeding out and about. But a few days ago, I was reminded that, while we don’t put out bird feeders, it doesn’t mean we don’t have them around.

Right now, the cane grass bordering the property has gone to seed and has been attracting birds. Seeing them is one thing; getting photos another. The cane grass is up to 10 feet high and the little birds that feed on them are notoriously skittish and will take off in an instant. I’ve found my bathroom window to be a good spot for photography – as long as it’s clean! The window looks out at the level of a lot of seed heads, but they’re usually in motion because of the wind and the little birds working them over. And other stalks of cane grass swish back and forth, obscuring my view of the birds and playing havoc with my focusing.

However, I was lucky enough to get photos of two recent visitors. The top trio of photos show a Common Waxbill stripping a seed head that was nicely illuminated and in an open spot right across from the window. The bottom three show a Nutmeg Mannikin. This one hopped around more, but stayed long enough that I was able to get several photos.

Both waxbills and mannikins generally travel in small flocks. This waxbill was the only one I saw clearly, but I saw others flitting about and could hear them in the vicinity. The odd thing about the mannikin was that it was the only one I saw or heard. Also, as the sun went down, I went outside to see if I could get better shots from a different angle. This bird did not seem bothered by my presence. Normally, mannikins would disappear at my appearance (I don’t take it personally!). I suspect this one was a juvenile that was, hopefully temporarily, separated from the flock and hadn’t learned about the many dangers facing it.

Also posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.


23 thoughts on “There’s more than one kind of bird feeder

  1. BeckyB

    oh wow these are wonderful photographs, and so fabulous to be able to have natural feeders for them. We have not seen any Waxbills recently, and the Nutmeg Manniken I had not even heard of let alone seen. Made me smile this post – thank you

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  2. Pingback: Sunday Stills: Are You a #Bird Feeder? – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

    1. Graham Post author

      Thanks. The nice thing about photos of them feeding is that, while they do move about, it’s on the same stalk of cane grass. It’s easier for photos than when they’re flitting about from branch to branch.

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