Each year it seems that the Tennessee Warblers arrive in the backyard with the flowering of the Ohio Buckeye. Of course, they may well get here earlier than that, but they show up in my yard, just as the flowers begin to open.
Tennessee Warblers seem to really enjoy a good feast of nectar which these flowers provide, and at times there are 10-12 birds flitting all over the tree. However, it isn’t just these little guys that enjoy the nectar — the tree is a veritable magnet for nectar as well as insect lovers.
But it’s the Tennessee Warblers that really spend a lot of time there, and perform a vital service for the tree — pollination of the flowers.
So it’s these birds that I have to thank for the hundreds of big meaty buckeye nuts that fall to the ground or are harvested by the squirrels and buried all over my backyard. The nuts seem like they would be a great food resource for the deer, squirrels, turkeys, etc. over the winter, but unfortunately, they are so full of tannic acids that they are bitter and poisonous to livestock and humans. Native Americans blanched the nuts, leaching the tannic acid out of them for tanning their leather.