As many of you do, I provide multiple feeding stations and premium bird seed for the winged critters around here. It's delightful to sit on the deck after a long day and just watch the activity at the feeders. This past year we've had a population explosion of Northern Cardinals. They're always a treat to watch although I worry sometimes that their attractive color may be a little too attractive to the neighborhood cats. (But maybe the fact that we've rid the neighborhood of some of the unneutered male cats accounts for that population explosion.)
So about a week ago as I was enjoying the bird scene, I started noticing how the cardinals would fly down to my bench and then hop over to the table in front of it. There was some type of activity there but the tomato plant was blocking my view of what it was. So I grabbed my binoculars and moved over a bit and what did I see? A bit of a feeding orgy on my little potted sedum. Each bird would pull off one of the leaves and eat it right there or on the bench. You can see in this picture how the leaves have been stripped off. I took this pic a week ago and you should see the plant now - it's almost completely stripped!
Which has got me to thinking about a couple of things. First, what do they like about that plant? Is it like a fruit to them? And secondly, why do I let them do that? If it were the squirrels doing that you can bet I would scold the squirrels and move the plant out of harm's way. But I'm a sucker for the birds.