Arroyo Grande Feeder Action

William Bouton

This is not a rare bird report, but rather an interesting (to me, at least) behavior description. 

At Patricia Price's feeder array near old town Arroyo Grande, one of the feeders is a platform containing some black oil sunflower in the shell and, more recently, some shelled sunflower mixed in. Within a few hours of adding the shelled sunflower, one of the local Yellow-rumped Warblers (that usually feeds at the suet feeder) discovered the shelled seed, and began consuming it and dominating the feeder. There can be a mixed crowd in the feeder (House Finches, Lesser and American Goldfinches, White-crowned Sparrows), and, with the arrival of the warbler, most will flush in fear. Any birds that don’t flush are immediately attacked by the Yellow-rumped. He feeds in privacy, with any new bird arrival, even a normally aggressive House Sparrow) being chased away. I’ve never seen the warbler back down to any other bird, even though most are significantly larger.


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