I noticed a goldfinch attached to one of our feeders picking out seeds and eating them. He had a chickadee friend who was hanging around too and it was really striking to notice the differences in how they feed.
While the goldfinch was almost completely still in place, the chickadee would bounce back & forth from the trees to the feeder. It would grab a bit of food and then fly off for a few seconds, then it would come back. It seemed to be constantly on the move and visiting all three feeders at different times while our goldfinch would just sit there feasting in one spot.
I watched them continue on in this way for about ten minutes. They were joined briefly by another pair of chickadees that darted around in the same way as the first.
Then as if he had had enough to eat the goldfinch gave a call and flew away.
Not ten seconds later a starling came in to scope things out. I wondered if he had been waiting in the bushes for the goldfinch to leave before making an appearance though I don't honestly know if that was the case. It could have been a coincidnce but the timing was very suspicious. I'll have to keep watching them.
The starling had a whole different pattern of feeding than the others. He would fly up to one of the feeders & grab a chunk of food. Then he would bring the food down to the ground again where it would be consumed.
He didn't stick around very long though. He only grabbed a few more mouthfuls & then flew off to a new location. During this whole time the chickadee feeding was uninterrupted.
It seems that even though the chickadees were constantly on the move, they were staying in one location a lot more than the others. It's so interesting to think about what goes into determining the different feeding rhythms of songbirds.
I'll let you know if I find out that the starlings have a grudge with the goldfinches.