Feed me, Seymour!

Starling feeding

The title of this post is inspired by my boyfriend’s recent purchase of the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack. He bloody loves that film, bless him. The subject of the post has a more Springwatch-y feel, with the balcony recently playing host to lots of young birds, noisy and hungry, begging for food from their parents.

We’ve had a family of blackbirds, lots of families of starlings (see picture above) and greenfinches and a few juvenile goldfinches too. I genuinely never get bored of watching the parent birds feeding their young, even when they make a right old racket outside the window.

I was watching a young blackbird the other day, copying the movements and posturing of the adult male and echoing his calls. I might be anthropomorphizing (shhh – don’t tell Chris Packham), but it was almost as though the adult was teaching the youngster how to be a blackbird. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to watch their behaviour in such close proximity and, as usual, I’ve taken about a bazillion photos of them:

Male blackbird feeding a youngster.

Male blackbird feeding a youngster.

A greenfinch feeding its chick - this photo is a bit rubbish as the sun was shining through the window...

A greenfinch feeding its chick – this photo is a bit rubbish as the sun was shining through the window…

(Left): A very cute greenfinch chick (Right): A young blackbird

(Left): A very cute greenfinch chick (Right): A young blackbird

A pair of young blackbirds - the light's not very good but I just liked the way they're posed!

A pair of young blackbirds – the light’s not very good on this one but I just liked the way they’re posed!

Blue tit fury

I realised yesterday that I didn’t post anything at all in April, which made me feel very neglectful and tardy. While I get on with writing some more food related content, I thought I’d post this in celebration of spring, which has finally sprung in time for the May Bank Holidays. I think a spot of beer gardening may be in order if the weather stays nice.

Spring’s arrival has been marked by a noticeable increase in avian activity everywhere, including the balcony garden. Nesting material is being gathered, the feeders are emptying faster than ever, and territories are being defended. The blue tit in the video below has been visiting several times a day for the last couple of weeks, tapping at the windows. A quick bit of Googling suggested that this behaviour is quite common at this time of year, with male blue tits attacking their reflections in windows and car mirrors, thinking it’s another male trying to move in on their nesting site.

Crazy little bird.

(Oh, and while I’m here – Happy Star Wars Day! May the fourth be with you. Always.)