Monday, February 27, 2012

Learning from Painted Buntings

Several years ago I purchased a very small lemon grass plant and planted it in our garden. To my surprise the little plant grew into a very large lemon grass plant. It grew so large that it took over half our garden space. We decided to dig up the plant and move it to the border of our yard and the vacant lot next door. Over the years lemon grass plants have sprung up and taken over about half the vacant lot. When the plants bloom and then go to seed the plants are over six feet tall.

Also several years ago a pair of sparrows discovered our bird-feeders and the vines on our privacy fence. They felt the vines were a perfect place to build their nest and with the abundance of food in the feeders they had found bird paradise. Now these years later there are literally dozens of sparrow living in the vines and dining on the seed.

Last year when the migrating painted buntings arrived they discovered they loved the lemon grass seeds on the many plants next door. Apparently the sparrows were watching as the buntings carefully lit on the stems of seeds and pecked all the seeds from them that they could hold.

This year when the painted buntings once again arrived they flew to the lemon grass seeds and partied down. This year the sparrows seemed to take notice of what their migrating friends were up to. Within only a few days the sparrows followed suit and now not only are there painted buntings feeding from the lemon grass seeds, so are all the sparrows. There are times when you can look out over the many large lemon grass plants and see little birds gently perched on the seed shoots and enjoying the bounty.

Nature provides some of the best entertainment life has to offer.


Blogger dguzman said...

Ooooh, no photos?????

February 27, 2012 8:36 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I was hoping for a photo too. I wonder if lemon grass will grow here in Maryland.

March 01, 2012 5:48 AM  

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