Monday, October 31, 2011

Birds eat pumpkins?

This seemed like an appropriate posting for today. My family and I carved pumpkins yesterday and left them outside overnight for the big day. At around lunch time today I noticed that most of our pumpkins had been attacked! I found small triangular dents, suggestive of bird beaks on most of them. The gourds that form the eyes of one pumpkin had fairly deep holes in them; I actually liked the effect. One pumpkin lid was entirely missing.

I took a quick look around online to see if this is a widespread phenomenon and it does not seem to be the case. A host of six-legged pests is listed along with snails and slugs on several pest management sites, but I can find no mention of birds. Perhaps the birds have focused just on me......or not.

I found a couple of blogs discussing pumpkin seeds as bird food with an array of advice (cook them ; don't cook them; sprout them...). One site recommended pumpkins as a source of beta carotene for birds. I can't say I have ever tried to feed pumpkin to birds, but it seems that the birds have helped themselves to them. My kids seemed oblivious to the vandalism, so all was well for the festivities.

Has anyone else had birds feasting on their pumpkins? I see that one person has had squirrels eating his pumpkins and with rather convincing documentation

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