At least FIVE different Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks had visited my window sill
feeder over the past three days. Two females were feeding together on
Friday, occasionally interrupted by a pugnacious male, and the same pattern
played out yesterday. Only this afternoon (Sunday), watching the feeder
from the outside, did I realise there were three different males! Unlike
the females, the males didn't seem willing to share the feeder, and each
waited for his turn as though there was a pecking order.

What a last hurrah for my humble little feeder, right before I finally move
out of my apartment! I doubt I'll be allowed one at my new place. While
only three years old, this window sill feeder has brought me so much
memories and stirred so much emotions:
- The excitement of having my very first visitor, a blue jay.
- The sense of "achievement" at having more and more visiting species.
- Being amused by juncos scolding anyone remotely nearby, and by nuthatches
clinging upside down on the window mesh.
- Annoyance at seeing poop; I like my feeder fastidiously clean so that
meant immediate chores.
- The sinking feeling when witnessing the all-too-often mourning dove
fights; I thought doves were peaceful.
- The horror of seeing dried blood on the feeder one winter morning,
probably from a particularly vicious fight.
- Sense of poetic justice when a mourning dove finally fended off the
perpetual feeder bully, a female red-bellied woodpecker.
- Guilt at shooing off the squirming mass of mourning doves (you'll be
surprised how many of them can pack on a window sill) on harsh winter
mornings, so that the small ones can grab a few much-needed seeds before
the doves return.
- The surprise at seeing a stray redpoll, just days after I saw my
first-ever redpolls at Mount Pleasant.
- The joy of watching courtship feeding, and later parents feeding
juveniles, right on my window sill!

I'll miss you, my neighbourhood feathered ones.

Wee Hao,
Cornell North Campus, Ithaca

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