Monday, March 24, 2014

thrasher buffet

Brown thrasher

When you and I think of "food," we think "kitchen." Or at least, that's what we've been taught since Mom took away the Gerber's and we became hunter/gatherers. 

Most of us are omnivores; we eat a range of things both plant and animal: fruits, nuts, chicken nuggets, gummy worms, Cheez-Doodles, whatever. We omnivores just aren't that picky when push comes to shove.

Brown thrashers are omnivores too. When they think "food," they think "straight down." They're ground foragers that use their long bills to rake leaves, flipping them over searching for fruits, nuts, chicken nuggets, gummy worms, Cheez-Doodles, whatever.

When we're hunger we generally don't look to the attic; we don't look up, we rummage through the kitchen looking for those gummy worms we bought last Halloween. Although brown thrashers are apt to visit a low-to-the-ground platform feeder, they generally don't go much higher. I said generally, there are no real absolutes in nature other than the speed of light and now we know that even that's relative to the observer. 

This is why I enjoyed the photos Tiffiny Hamlin sent me: a thrasher visiting the attic for food, i.e. her feeder loaded with a "bug, nuts, and berries cylinder." Now, that's a buffet that would attract the eye of a thrasher, and prompt a trip above ground.

Thanks, Tiffiny.

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