[TN-Bird] Wild grape bonanza for wild birds!

  • From: Dthomp2669@xxxxxxx
  • To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 18:39:21 EDT


For about a month or so, the 90+ feet of wild grape vine that spread itself 
around the rails of my deck has been abundantly filled with wild grapes of 
every ripeness from green-green to deep purple.  It has also been abundantly 
filled with birds.  More mockingbirds and cardinals than I could ever imagine 
rummaging around in the vine all day.  When I walk out on the deck, birds fly 
out from every couple of feet or so, then sneakily return when they realize it 
is just me putting out collateral food.  Since the grapes have been in, the 
birds have eaten very little peanut butter or jelly although the seed eaters 
still come for the mix and the cardinals still alternate sunflower seeds with 
the grapes they eat.  Also, the field sparrow couple that started coming 
about six weeks ago have started bringing their little family of babies plus a 
couple of extra adults, so I have seven field sparrows on a reasonably regular 
basis.  Mama & Papa Carolina Wren graced me by bringing a brand new brood of 
young last weekend from a nest right under my nose sort of under the corner of 
deck.  Of course, everything else is here to eat as usual except for robins.  
I have noticed a real shortage of robins in my neighborhood over the last 
three years.  I had one pair that nested in my maple tree, raised one little 
and disappeared for the most part.  One flies through the yard once in a 
while.  I used to have scores of them.  Other neighbors of the non-birding 
have even commented about the "lack of robins" over the years. 

By the way, does anyone know if those wild grapes are safe for human 
consumption?  If so, I could have made several gallons of great wine if I'd 
beat my 
birds to the grape bonanza!  My mother used to make several gallons of wine 
every year from the Concord grapes we raised on our farm down in Florida.  We 
the rest of the grapes at my little fruit/veggie stand that I ran beside the 
highway from the time I was about four years old.  Those home grown veggies & 
fruits pretty much put me through Rollins College & a graduate program at FSU. 
 Oh well, wine or no wine, I just couldn't deprive my lovely birds of their 
grapes.  I keep hoping the bounty will attract some uncommon-to-my-yard berry 
eaters on their way south.  I watch as much as I can.  

Another great joy has been MALE hummingbirds coming through since 2 PM 
yesterday.    I'd only had ONE male this season (third week in July), and I was 
really sad not to have had more.  How I do love those little precious things.  
I've had LOADS of females and immatures since July 21.

Happy birdwatching,

Dee Thompson
Nashville, TN   (Charlotte Park area--West Nashville)
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