Date: 7/31/20 12:42 pm From: DONALD GRUSSING Owner via Mnbird <mnbird...> Subject: Re: [Mnbird] Somebody always wants your lunch
In college in Minnetonka I worked part time in a gas station where a colony of black wasps founded a breeding site beneath the concrete walls and floor of this building. They would fly off and return with katydids stung and paralyzed and a food source for an egg they would lay on each. Soon a pair of local Eastern Kingbirds figured this out and would harass the returning wasps until they dropped their treasure. The birds retrieved it and other birds were watching. Soon the utility line that ran past the station looked like Hitchcock's movie. Birds being great mimics, many House Sparrows joined the Kingbird interceptors in a scramble after each returning wasp. Even at that, some made it into the next crevice.
Don Grussing Minnetonka
From: "John Schladweiler" <joschlad...> To: "Linda Whyte" <linda...> Cc: "cdrussin" <cdrussin...>, "mnbird" <mnbird...> Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 12:15:35 PM Subject: Re: [Mnbird] Somebody always wants your lunch
About 40 years ago I lived in a small town in Western MN. We had a pair of Western Kingbirds that nested on a transformer platform in the alley. Every time I mowed the lawn one of the pair would come and perch on the clothesline and pick off the bugs that the mower was kicking up. Both the birds and I considered it a mobile food plot.
On Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 11:15 AM Linda Whyte via Mnbird < [ mailto:<mnbird...> | <mnbird...> ] > wrote:
Maybe it has always been this way, but let's hope it doesn't indicate a new dearth of insects. Linda Whyte
On Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 10:01 AM DONALD GRUSSING Owner via Mnbird < [ mailto:<mnbird...> | <mnbird...> ] > wrote:
Interesting behavior in my neighborhood. The Bluebirds are working hard to catch bugs for their second hatch. But a male Phoebe has made it harder. He follows the Bluebirds, and when they drop from their perch to retrieve a bug, he beats them to it, or sometimes tries to snatch it from them in the air. Luckily his nest appears to be off a ways, so they have enough moments of free hunting to keep going.
The Phoebe is most active in the morning, but the Bluebirds hunt all day long.