There is quite a banquet of tasty choices for seed-eaters in the backyard these days, with all the wildflowers trying to set seed. Goldfinches have been attacking the seed heads of the cup plant, tugging forcefully to loosen the seeds that are packed into a dense head. More than a dozen male Goldfinches chirped and chittered as they tore into the plants.
Apparently it takes quite a bit of tugging force to dislodge the seeds packed tightly into cup plant seed heads.
The technique is simply to tear off the outer leafy material exposing the seeds within.
Got it out, now what?
The bird turned the seed around and around in its mouth, like it was tasting it, and then dropped it and went on to another seed head. Maybe this one wasn’t ripe enough?
Other male Goldfinches explored the seed heads of the bee balm (Monarda).
There is a good crop of these in the backyard as well, and each seed head produces a lot of seed.
And of course there is coneflower seed for dessert.