Using food as positive reinforcement to change behavior, as claimed in the previous post, is not earth-shattering news.
This is why I hope friends and family never again send me gift subscriptions to Birds & Blooms even though it is a pretty magazine. It and now FB give good people bad ideas about habituating wild birds to humans.
Licensed bird banders and rehabbers are allowed to handle wild birds for a specific purpose. Other humans can help wild native birds and watch them from a safe distance, for the birds, by planting native grasses, plants, shrubs and trees and providing water. Doing so and keeping domestic cats indoors maintains clear boundaries between wild and domesticated. If this wild goldfinch needs help, it's the work of a licensed rehabber.
Those of us who are receptive to going the extra mile to help native grassland birds such as the Henslow's Sparrow and the American Goldfinch, among many others,
can join a work day at Plum Creek Forest Preserve's Important Bird Area by lopping the Autumn Olive shrub that is invading the grassland. 36 singing Henslow's Sparrow were counted there in June!
According to a recent article by IAS executive director Jim Herkert in Illinois Audubon Magazine, the population of Henslow's Sparrow is bouncing back in Illinois, especially in Cook County. That kind of success takes big grasslands and maintaining them takes effort.
The sponsor list is growing for the Sat., Oct. 26 work day. If your organization would like to be a sponsor, encourage members to participate and add your logo to the flyer that will be shared, please contact me back-channel.
And save the 10/26 date to take a bird hike at 7:30 a.m. at this very important public land!
Work day co-leader
South Cook County
On Sat, Aug 24, 2019, at 1:13 PM, Paul Stensvaag <red.tail1960...> [ILbirds] wrote:
> This lovely creature is blind. While at the feeder, he perched upon my finger and I observed the eyes closely...blindness explains 3 things to me:
> #1 At the thistle feeder, he perches with one foot elevated to the feeder while the right foot is on the perch branch itself - creating additional balance and security.
> #2 His travels are short distances only. To the Zinnias which are heavily blooming within 12 feet of the thistle feeder, or to the White Pine or Norway Spruce also very nearby at 14 feet away from the feeder.
> #3 Travels 25 feet to the sound of the fountain that runs constantly from May => September and must operate as a sound beacon for orientation.
> I plan to keep him going safely as long as possible. Can anyone explain the blindness? = a bittersweet, story, but lovely garden resident.
> Cheers, Paul Stensvaag
> NW IL, County of Cook