Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Five Stars for Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter

Last month I had the opportunity to do a review of Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter. My friends over at Wild Bird Unlimited were nice enough to send me a jar of the Bark Butter as well as a Bark Butter Feeder to try out. I hung the feeder at my house and it has attracted quite a few chickadees and a couple of woodpeckers, at least that I have seen.
A couple of weeks back, when I had the opportunity to head up to the Sax Zim Bog to do some birding, I decided to bring the Bark Butter with. I wanted to test out a couple of things. I wanted to see how well the Bark Butter worked when it was applied directly to the tree and I wanted to see how well it would attract some of the northern specialties that are not very common in the U.S.
When I arrived at the bog I headed over to Admiral Ave to check out the feeding station located there. At the feeding station there was mainly common redpoll and black-capped chickadee. So I went up and spread some Bark Butter on several of the tree branches. Since redpoll are seed eaters they did not pay much attention to the Bark Butter but the black-capped chickadees began to go to the Bark Butter almost immediately after I left the feeding area.
I was not surprised that the black-capped chickadee were eating the Bark Butter, since they had been eating at home too, but I was hoping that one of the northern specialties would show up so I could see how well it would work on some less common birds. Soon a red-breasted nuthatch showed up and began to eat at the Bark Butter. I had white breasted nuthatch that had been on the feeder back home but we don't see red-breasted nuthatch too often in the southern portions of the state.
After watching and photographing the black-capped chickadees, red-breasted nuthatch, redpolls and the single pine grosbeak I got really excited because a pair of boreal chickadees showed up. Boreal chickadees are usually found up in the boreal forests of Canada but a few migrate south during the winter and the Admiral feeder in Sax Zim Bog is the best place in Minnesota to have a chance to see them. I was hoping that there were still a few boreals around because I wanted to see how good that the Bark Butter would be for attracting them. Just like their cousin the black-capped, the boreal chickadees went right for the Bark Butter.
The boreal chickadees only stayed for a short time, as usual, eating their fill of Bark Butter and then disappeared back into the bog. As I was waiting for them to return, the seem to return to the feeders every hour or so, gray jays began to appear and a feeding frenzy began. The jays would eat a large chunk of Bark Butter and then grab another large chunk and fly away. Gray jays, sometimes reffered to as camp robbers, are known for caching food. This helps them to survive times when food is scarce.
Despite the fact that there was several different types of suet at the feeding station, and someone had even spread some peanut butter on one of the branches the jays, chickadees and nuthatch all kept going right after the Bark Butter. When I moved to the feeding station on Arkola there was only one gray jay in the area, it was in the trees across the street from the feeders. I decided to give that lonely guy some Bark Butter and with in a minute suddenly 15 gray jays appeared. This experience has certainly sold me on Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter. I will give it a 5 stars out of 5 and definitely recommend it if you are looking to attract birds that normally eat suet or other types of protein. I know that were some happy birds up in the bog that day and a happy Ecobirder who got a lot of great pics.

1 comment:

Pearl Maple said...

great photos, looks like the birds enjoyed the tasty treat