Our Feathered Friends - March 9

I received a letter dated March 2 from Mrs. Grace Farrar telling me about the bird that flew into the glass door. Grace doesn’t have a digital camera, so she took a photo with a film camera and sent me three pictures of the poor dead bird for identification. After close observation of all field marks, the bird is a female Purple Finch. Purple Finches were here in abundance several years ago until the House Finch took over the area.

Back in the mid seventies we had an abundance of Purple Finches around Lebanon and it was a treat to find a House Finch every now and then. It’s a shame that we had to do a trade off to gain a new species and then lose one at the same time.

Later toward the middle of March we should keep our eyes open for the return of our Purple Martins. Last year I placed out my first Martin House and was in great hopes of attracting at least one pair. I was so excited when there was a pair checking it out until a couple of Grackles ran them off.

The Grackles don’t realize that their very being could be in jeopardy for such a folly. I don’t recommend killing any of our protected species, but starlings and house sparrows are fair game when it comes to having a choice of what moves into your bird houses. I am not saying grab your guns and start shooting at just anything that moves. Inside the city limits it is against the law to discharge a firearm and even outside the city limits one should use precaution when doing so as not to cause injury or property damage.

I look forward to maybe seeing you at Garr’s on the 19th of March and maybe swap a few bird stories with each other. I could probably write a book on the things that have gone on with my life and some of the interactions I have had with birds and other animals.

I would love to hear from you as to what’s lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or call me at 547-7371 or e-mail me at ourfeatheredfriends@yahoo.com