Bloglet: Crows and Grape jelly

Male Baltimore Oriole Feeding on Grape Jelly

Male Baltimore Oriole Feeding on Grape Jelly

I’ve been feeding a lot of grape jelly to crows lately. (Sounds like some kind of metaphor doesn’t it?)

I’ve actually been feeding grape jelly to oriels since mid-April. It has just been in the last few weeks that the crows discovered the jelly wasn’t just for orioles anymore.

Crows like to eat other things at this time of year. The jelly, it turns out, was just dessert. This results in a lot of starlings attacking the crows when they perch on top of my patio chiminea to consume the jelly. Crows are intelligent creatures and they soon decided that grape jelly take-out was preferable to getting knocked in the head repeatedly by a gang of starlings.

I feed jelly in the red plastic lids of peanut butter jars. The orioles are attracted to the color of the lids, and they have high enough sides to hold a good supply of food. I looked out one afternoon and found the top of the chiminea bare. The jelly was completely absent–lid and all! I soon discovered that my wily, nest raiding murder of crows were flying off with the lid of jelly and dropping it some distance away.

I retrieved the lid and tried to foil their attempts at robbery by laying a large stone over one edge of the lid to weigh it down. Crows are powerful birds–they had no problem tugging that dish out from under the rock and flying off with their ill-gotten gains–again!

IMG_6497Finally, I got this great idea. From my junk drawer (every home should have one), I dug out a plate hanger. A plate hanger has a couple of long springs that end in hooks. I attached one of the hooked ends to one side of my feeding lid, stretched the springs under and around the center of a brick, and attached the second set of hooks to the other side of the lid.

Foiled again!

Foiled again!

I have had no problem with crows absconding with the jelly since. However, the dish is always licked clean every morning–I’m guessing by either a raccoon or an opossum! Begonia

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