Ever since we planted our first garden in our back yard 8 years ago, we've been at war. We've been at war with the squirrels and birds, natures vandals out there digging up plants, chomping the vegetables, and generally being pests. Now, I know lots of people think that squirrels are cute or that they somehow provide a vital tree planting service, or that their twitchy bushy tails don't harbor all sorts of scary and deadly parasites. But no. They're evil. We caged our garden (which is good because the chickens would be even worse than the squirrels, but at least they'll lay eggs, I'm just sayin') to keep the vermin at bay. Hah, of course Nature, always having the last laugh, sent tons of wasps to gnaw on the cage, using its wood to make their pulpy mud nests under my eaves. But that's another story.
So, now that we have our chickens out there running around, I wondered if maybe we'd have fewer squirrels or birds (particularly the scrub jays). Well:
As you can see, the scrub jays are still around. In fact, a pair of them completely dismantled the liner on one of our hanging planters (it was some kind of fiber) and probably used it to build a nest in which they'll make sweet sweet scrub jay love and then yet another generation of airborne antics will ensue.
In fact, it's quite possible that I never noticed how many birds were there before but I swear there are more in our yard now than ever.
Birds sighted in our yard:
Barred Rock Chicken :)
And those are just the ones I know. The parenthesis indicate birds that I don't know the specific type for. Example, was it a red tailed hawk? A pair of barn owls? I don't know. We only saw the owls once, at night, and they didn't stop to hang out. We also saw some larger birds (crows?) chasing away a hawk. Also, there are ton of little brown-ish generic birds back there twittering away like social media marketing consultants.
Through it all, our chickens seem fairly unfazed. Sure, they will duck or run when a large bird flies overhead, and I've seen the more aggressive of the three birds attempt to chase away one of the scrub jays, but for the most part, they're just in to hanging out.