Friday Food

I was delighted to see lots of eggplants in my garden. They’re much more versatile than an overabundance of green beans, especially since if nothing else, I could bread, fry, and freeze them for later.

I tried a new recipe last night, and we both really loved it. It’s the Eggplant Gratin recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It was simple and elegant. I had expected it to be like an Eggplant Parmesan or Eggplant Lasagne, but it really wasn’t – the cheese and egg mixture was light and fluffy, and the marinara just gave a little interest without being the main flavor. I’ll definitely be making this one again.

Sadly, I did not get a photograph. Oh well.

Instead, how about a photo of something food related in a different way – bird food, that is.

I put up bird feeders earlier this year, but unfortunately they were promptly taken over by house sparrows*, which bullied all of the other birds into hiding, and gobbled down the seed in the wink of an eye. I tried a feeder with shortened perches, and even one with no perches. But still those pesky sparrows were undefeated, and I did NOT want to be feeding them. I considered going with only nyjer (thistle) feeders, but I do enjoy the occasional chickadee and other birds that come for the sunflower seeds. I finally ended up trying this strange contraption – the Magic Halo.

Magic Halo

And it truly was magic! The sparrows were gone immediately. It took a week or two before the finches and chickadees came back, but now they’re able to enjoy the feeder in peace. And since the house finches prefer the sunflower seed, the nyger feeder is usually left alone for the goldfinches.

* Why are House Sparrows a problem? They’re a non-native, invasive species that is destroying the habitat of native birds such as bluebirds, martins, and tree sparrows. They’re noisy, messy pests that will destroy the nests, eggs, and nestlings of other species, and keep other birds from feeders. They’re such a problem that they’re one of only three bird species that is not protected by federal law in the United States (the others being the European Starling and Rock Pigeon).

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7 Responses to Friday Food

  1. Cookie says:

    How interesting and horrible. I’m glad you were able to outsmart those birds. Who knew?

  2. Cayenne says:

    Fascinating! Wonderful that someone has invented a feeder that keeps the house sparrows away. I’m so glad it works.

  3. margene says:

    Never knew such a thing. Now I understand why the noisy little things are ALWAYS around and nothing else is. The poor house finches have been moved out!

  4. Stacey says:

    You know what I hate more than those sparrows? Starlings. I hate those birds with a passion. Ever have one crack though your stucco and make a nest? Ever have one dive bomb you for no reason? They chase away other birds and are the most annoying noise wise.

  5. CaroleP (ohio) says:

    It appears I’ve only been lurking, but truly enjoying your blog for quite a while.
    My sister is the ‘bird’ person, but we do have a pic of her ‘squirrel proof’ bird feeder with a squirrel eating from it. Oops!
    I have a problem feeding humming birds. If the ants don’t find their way up the side of my house, the bees come and scare the birds away. I’m going to break a bone or the window trying to chase them away. If someone has an idea, I’ll try it.
    Keep up the great blogging!!

  6. elizabeth says:

    That’s so interesting! We saw a hummingbird for the first time yesterday, I was about to give up.

    I’ll have to check out that recipe!

  7. Carrie K says:

    Those house sparrows sound worse than our Blue Jay, who chases all the birds out of “his” birdbath.

    That eggplant recipe looks delish.

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