Sunday, 19 February 2017

Reaching for sunflower seeds

A Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans picks seeds from a sunflower outside a window

Sunflower seeds are a rich food and the garden birds love them. This sunflower grew wild in the garden, just outside a window. The seed had been in compost that was spread into the flower bed and then germinated. So we left it and it grew into a whopper. The plant is over two metres tall and the flower is about 40 cm wide.

The rosellas can pick the seeds out easily

The only birds that can gain the precious seeds are the Crimson Rosellas. The Sulphur-crested Cockatoos Cacatua galerita tried, but the plant could not bare their weight, nor the Australian Magpies Cracticus tibicen. So, the rosellas have them all to themselves. But now they have reached their limit, they cannot reach the seeds in the centre of the flowerhead. They can balance on the flower stem or the edge of the flowerhead and pull out the outer seeds, but they can't grab onto the tissue paper-thin seed cases in the flower to reach those in the middle.

It's just that they can't reach the seeds in the centre of the flower-head
They have clambered all around the flower and now look forlornly at the rich seeds still in the head. So, yes, I had to help them as I like them.

They have been stretching from all sides, gripping onto the edge of the flower
I have cut the flower head off and laid it out for them on a garden table. My good deed for the day done.

No comments:

Post a Comment