We leave peanuts out for the jays and magpies, in an old pie tin screwed to the deck. One of the magpies has a curled, deformed foot, so he is identifiable. I call him Curly. He has been in our yard for 4-5 years, every year he comes back. He gets around fine. I get such a kick out of watching the magpies choose the best peanut, like an old lady choosing a melon, they pick up one, then put it down, push them around with their beaks, pick and disregard another, until they find the one that is juuust right. Sometimes they struggle to fit TWO in their beaks and off they fly to hide them somewhere around the yard. I have found peanuts in some pretty creative places. The jays just quickly grab one and they're gone.
The woodpeckers require no feeding. While I was watering the baskets the other day, I saw an adult and 4 baby woodpeckers, the little ones hiding at the base of the tree and close to the ground near the fence, while mom was in the tree.The hawk that hovers overhead sometimes takes advantage of the little birdies that congregate in the yard, but since the fields are rapidly disappearing, they have to eat too so... we've found a pile of feathers a couple of times.
It makes me sad to know that in a couple of weeks I will be back at school, missing out on the daily bird show. I'll have to make do with the afternoon performance.