Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuesday September 16th 2008, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

little birdI did not know a bird would be willing to do that.  It hopped over to about a foot away from me through the glass as if to say thank you, munching away happily.

I’d swept out some cobwebs, and being on rather unfriendly terms with spiders, had put the long-handled duster outside to shake it off (okay–picture it more like, I ran with it and dumped it fast after I’d cleaned some of the outside webs and slammed the door), and I’d left it out there; maybe the buggies would scurry away from it for me.  Well, turns out, one did, a good-sized one.imgp6421

I’ve been googling, trying to find the right combination of words to conjure up a picture and a name for the very small brown bird with the surprisingly long, sharp needle of a beak that this one had. No such luck.  The fuzziness of this shot doesn’t convey it well at all.  It did not have the short wide beak of, say, a chickadee, although the bird was about that small.  It saw that spider and whisked in to our back porch to snatch it up.

The spider was having none of it, and did the spidery thing of running into the dark, underneath a wooden box we have up on top of a few 2x4s.  And the bird followed it!  Spearing away at it and dragging it back to the light.  One leg crunched, and the spider scuttled off with the other seven.  Nuh, uh, dude, and the bird was right under there after it again and dragged it back out.  Totally harpooned the thing, and then ate one potato chip leg at a time, savoring dessert first, and then the main course of the body of the thing.imgp6419

I watched, fascinated; the beak was about as wide as the spider’s legs to begin with, how was it going to get that big thorax down?  But it did.  Then it looked at me like, Got seconds?  No?  And flew around the patio, looking for more.

I needed motivation to clean off that duster and sweep the rest of the cobwebs. I think I just got it.

9 Comments so far
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I know it’s nature at work, but I just can’t watch those things. I do love to feed the birds but they can find their own spiders on their own..lol.

Comment by Joansie 09.16.08 @ 12:32 pm

Oh ick! You are far braver than I…my husband would have to take care of the duster after that. Nice of the bird to take it though so you don’t have to wonder where it escaped to and is lurking… I really hate spiders…and I’m so thankful God gave me a different appetite…I prefer cookies. 🙂

Comment by Abby 09.16.08 @ 2:00 pm

I’d feel sorry for the spider but I’ve seen spiders doing much the same to flies.

Comment by Marlene 09.16.08 @ 2:52 pm

Sally emailed me and I checked it out: it’s a dusky warbler. They live mostly in Asia, but some spend part of the fall in this part of California. I’d never seen anything quite exactly like it before.

Comment by AlisonH 09.16.08 @ 2:54 pm

What a neat experience! You’d be stuck in the house if the spider had succeeded in homesteading under the porch. Thanks, bird!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 09.16.08 @ 4:16 pm

I’m fascinated by that bird! It reminds me of a house wren which are definitely in your area. They do love buggy things. How long was the beak?

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 09.16.08 @ 5:38 pm

Tell that bird to fly over here to TX. There’s a six-legged beastie the size of OK that I met up with in my hall at dark-thirty this morning. Tell the birdie I’m talking the insect equivalent of an extra-large supreme pizza.

Comment by Lynn 09.16.08 @ 8:07 pm

The balance of nature. I’m glad I have a lot of birds to keep the spiders I’m sure are in the woods under control!

Comment by Channon 09.17.08 @ 6:51 am

By boyfriend is constantly amazed that bugs, bats and various wildlife doesn’t bother me. Nope, just get it up and out, no need to kill it, let nature take it’s course. I grew up west, you took care of it because nobody was going to. However, let us not discuss SLUGS. I do not like them in a boat, I do not like them on a goat (wait a minute that’s Seuss). First thing my children learned was how to pick up slugs and get rid of them before Mother gags to death. Of course that involved eyerolling on the part of the twin, but hey, it was out of there.

Comment by Afton 09.17.08 @ 10:42 am

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