Hardly anyone bothers to ask “What’s the deal with the bird on the sidebar?” anymore; this particular feathered friend has been here more or less continuously since 2002, and there was great outcry when I attempted to substitute a different picture, even of the same species. (There was a bird even before 2002, but it probably wasn’t the same species.)
If you’re still curious, it’s answered in the OAQ, and let me assure you, this bird was not selected for sheer brilliance:
One male goldfinch, yesterday, in particular, was amusing to watch. The tube feeder has four perches with ports: two midway down the tube, two at the bottom. But the attachment point for the hanger up at the top also looks kind of like a perch. So this bird was hanging upside down from that top bit and he kept pecking at the tube. I guess he could SEE the seed inside it, and having no experience with clear plastic, he assumed that the seed should be accessible, since he could see it. But he kept pecking … even after several minutes’ worth of lack-of-success.
I actually felt kind of bad for him, but at one point said aloud, “Bless your heart, you’re just not very BRIGHT, are you?” (I think he eventually figured it out and went down to the usual seed port).
As though I needed further justification.