A "little bird" asked if I would start a new thread in the Mid-Atlantic forum... just for bird watching for the upcoming winter season!
I am happy to start such a thread, and share with you some of the little birds that visit our family...
but I do hope you will participate and share your photos and stories as well!
Some of you know me, and some don't... I see so many new names in the forums that I am unfamiliar with.
I enjoy gardening and photography, and like to combine the two to share with others.
What many do not understand, is that I don't even have a yard! (As much as I dream of having one again!)
My husband and I live in a third floor apartment, with a 6x12 blacony that faces the woods!
We feed and water the birds year-round and get a phenomenal number of visitors every day!
While I do go to other places to shoot birds and wildlife, so many of the photos you see of mine are shot through the sliding door of our humble home!
We have special birds that I can tell stories about...
like Rumpus, the Carolina Wren without tail feathers (still a visitor)...
and Grace, the female Cardinal with a deformed beak.
And sometimes we get other visitors too!
I hope you will follow along, enjoy our visitors as much as we do...
and I do hope you will add your stories and birds too!
Please feel free to ask questions, and to offer suggestions...
on feeding, ID, anything at all!
Thanks for looking...
I hope each and every one has a blessed day...
and finds some peace and contentment in watching God's little creatures, just as I do!
Ha ha Judy! You described exactly what I WOULD want and have if we could buy our own place!
I am very thankful though that we face nothing but woods, and don't have to see roads, other houses, or into someone else's living room!
Glorious orange red sunrise sky as I was finishing my paper route this morning. Driving slowly along the two lane wooded part of my route a large hawk swooped to the pavement and then quickly took of again to a low tree branch as I was nearing. The hawk was beautiful against the sky and black bare branches. Such a rounded head and body and the curved hawk beak!
As I passed by the light was enough to see the black and white pattern on its wing feathers from shoulder to tips and the entire tail. Quite a stunning bird. I believe I have seen my first red shouldered hawk!
Karen, do you have a picture of one? Do hawks hunt at night or at dawn? What was it going for on the road?
Lol, seems I am better at bird sightings than bird watching.
I need a place in my yard where I can watch and my three feral cats won't be tempted to pounce if I feed this winter. This has been such a hard summer on birds with the drought that I'm quite aware that there are fewer birds around than previous years. I'd like to do what I can to support the survival of those that have made it thus far.
Got 2 of my feeders back up, birds are happy
variety is the spice of life...this morning had a male cardinal, chickadee, purple finch and a dark eyed junco all feeding at the same time(of course didn't have my camera handy)
We don't see bluejays real often but one was coming down to the ground the other day. Downy WP, juncos, hearing chickadees, nuthatches, and white throated sparrows. I've got to get some bird food aside from the one suet.
I worked from home on Sunday, so I spent about 8 and a half hours in front of the computer...
which is next to our sliding door where I can arch the goings on outside.
It was our coldest day so far, and the birds were busy!
Hubby and I saw numerous birds throughout the day...
Cardinals, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadees, the first of the Dark-eyed Juncos,
American Tree Sparrow, Carolina Wren (including my beloved Rumpus), House Finch,
White-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpeckers, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers!
Just in one day! Pretty normal for us now... we've been here for a few years
and feeding the birds for quite a while, so they are used to our set-up.
In summer, they feed and raise their young from our feeders, then bring the fledglings
to the balcony to teach them to eat on their own. We are honored!
We feed a mix without shells to reduce mess, and keep peanutbutter suet available too.
We also keep a pan with water available, and change and clean it regularly.
I see the birds drink from it every day, so I know it's a good thing to have.
I need to know more birds when I see them...I have 2 bird guide books--but by the time I get one out,
and find the bird--they are gone.
My feeder is the big, 3-tube one with the baffle on top. it hangs high from the ceiling of my covered
patio roof, out of reach of squirrels. It stays dry from all rain and snow--a real bonus.
Pretty regulars here are Doves, sparrows (maybe different kinds?), Black-capped Chicadees,
now and then a white bellied Nuthatch, Cardinals (mostly the females), a rare Blue Jay, and lately a bunch of
dark colored birds about the size of a sparrow--I think they are Junkos?
I am sure I have finches too---as they have fat beaks. haven't seen Gold Finches yet...
Need to buy that el-cheapo ($4 + or -) tube feeder that has the Goldfinch slits attachments at the feeder stations.
My Thistle seed is a bit old--but the bag has not been opened. Will that be OK? I know they are finicky.
Talking about seed--Costco has this huge, 40lb. bag of Audubon bird seed for only $19.99.
It is mostly Black Sunflower seeds (Striped ones also), a decent amount of Millet (could use more...), some safflower seeds,
BUT--NO MILO! Yeah! I have 2 bags--doubt if i will even go through one this winter...Lots of seed!
I do pour a cup-full of seed on the floor for the doves and--of course, the squirrels. They hog everything up!
You can see the feeder outside my window. This particular picture is from 2008.
But--this is what my house looks like every winter--a Jungle...
I keep copies of "Local Birds of the Chesapeake" in my glove box and at my backdoor along with binoculars. These are simple and laminated so are more indestructible than my bird reference books that live near my computer.
I was 'lucky' in that the hawk I spied had black and white feathers, and that in the several seconds of observation I saw that so did the tail ( which distinguishes it from 'red-tailed' hawk) Hawk not 'barred owl' because of head shape and beak. Kinda like ID ing plants! a process of elimination!
Heard 'something' hit a window the other day. Jeff was outside and heard it too. We both were looking around. In the tree was a small hawk sitting for a few minutes til it regained it's composure. Glad it was able to fly away. Mom loved to watch the birds outside her window.
THANK YOU so much for this information and photos! I have disciplined myself to not having any household pets, due to various legitimate reasons, and so, I splurge on the outdoor birds. I have a HUGE maple tree that must be close to 75 feet and as big around, and boy does it hold alot of feeders and a big set of wind chimes...
Anyhoo, I make regular trips to my favorite local nursery to buy the econo-size bags of seed. It's another way to stick my head into gardening supplies and that smell of chemicals...ah! Nothing like it! LOL!
I got frustrated with the small feeders (I think the birds did, too), so have three 5-lb capacity feeders, Droll Yankees. Now, as for that CLAIM that you RARELY have to refill them, well, let me tell you, the birdees have another take on this! The best type for me is the Whipper. The Flipper keeps coming unscrewed at the bottom and is annoying.
Of all the birds, I keep coming back to the Cardinals. I guess it's because I lived in another part of the USA for 20 years, and this bird just epitomizes Virginia. Now, we have a couple of hawks who especially like when the doves gather below the Feeders...
Squirrel-proof is the only way to go, and MADE IN AMERICA. Worth every penny. I actually find myself getting a bit sloppy when I fill my feeders and don't mind the squirrels having a bite on the ground, where they are well-behaved. And then again, I REALLY DON'T MIND when the hawks have a bite...that's Nature in action.
We stopped feeding the birds this spring, other than the Hummers. Plenty for them to eat in the area. Just getting ready to start back again. Have to clean out the totes that I use for bird seed and then pick up some wild bird feed and sunflower seeds. Used up all the suet bars I had so I need more of them as well as a thistle sock. Think Monday will be an expensive day, but the birds will be pretty happy.
I have used them and several different type of thistle feeders over the years. I had very good luck with the socks but the last one I had the birds didn't touch. I have been wondering if they don't like old seed. I had a bag that I didn't use for quite a long time and when I started using it the birds never did touch any of it.
My Dad hung his under a baffle. A big circular dish that is used to keep squirrel off feeders. He says it keeps the rain off the sock.
From my reading, thistle seed goes bad the fastest. After 6mos even if pkg unopened, replace it. Buy in smaller quantities or keep unused portion tightly sealed in the freezer. Supposedly, you can pinch seed between two fingernails and if no oil exudes, it is useless as bird food. Since this seed is 'expensive' buy from a source who can verify freshness. May take 2 - 3 weeks for finches to find your seed or sock and use as a food source. If birds take only one or two seeds rather than stay and eat, probably the seed is gone bad. This is from various sites on nyger seed. http://birding.about.com/od/birdfeeders/a/How-To-Offer-Nyjer-To-Backyard-Birds.htm
I've heard that too. I most recently bought it directly from the Audubon headquarters store a few months ago, and I would have thought it would have been really fresh, but you never know. I'll go do the squeeze test!
Same thing happened to me regarding the thistle seed. First, I bought a filled sock. Years later, it's still filled, and decaying under an old tree...
Next, I bought a thistle feeder and seed. No touchee birdee.
About a month later, out went the seed, feeder was put away in the shed. We figured the birds just didn't like or know about thistle.
Broke down in the fall, and bought some more thistle. Cleaned up that feeder. The birds swarmed over it. Now, I have another thistle feeder. Same thing - it disappears faster than anything else out there!
I have the same dilemma...my Nyger seed is old. I had 2 bags I got from Myer Seed a few years ago.
Even back then--seems everything they were selling was old anyway. That store really went downhill fast.
Anyway--the one bag that I opened--also is rejected by any birds. The unopened one is just as bad--i am sure.
Sop--here is what i will do with this seed. I just mix it into my regular seed and someone eats it--I am sure.
It has been long known that finches like only fresh seed.
But--how do you know how long the seed has been in the store you are buying it from??
Do they have "expiration" dates????
I was in Lowes a few weeks ago--looking to buy some oilers. You could see through the clear part
of the bag all the webs and the "meal-dust" left over when the Moths get done with the seeds. YUK!!!!
Pantry Moths always can be found in seed and pet foods. Look for them when you walk around the pet food aisle
in the stores. DO NOT store any of these in your house!!!!
If you have never had to fight for years to rid your home of these moths (i had to--for 3 years!) you do not
want to ever, ever have to. They invaded all my pantry goods and boxes--my framed pictures, all my
Geographic Magazines that had a map in them--saved stuffed toys---and everything you can imagine.
They were on my ceiling and walls every day--and I would walk around with a fly swatter to kill them.
Same here with old thistle. They'll just refuse if they don't like it, and will adore you if they do. I'm amazed at how birds can find those seeds, in this whole wide world...
Finches adore my sunflowers in summer too. I can't grow enough to have any to save for winter.
Today sure has been a great day for Bird Watching at our house. This morning Ric said he saw what he thought was a young eagle flying down the road. We do see them on occasion. So later this afternoon I went out front and could hear some kind of large bird screech. Looking around I saw some kind of large bird not sure an Eagle maybe some kind of Hawk in the top of the tree across the road. Now I am sitting here watching a Pileated Woodpecker out at the suet cake. Sorry no pictures, That picture shy Woodpecker would scoot away every time I quietly slide open the door and the Big bird was way to far for my camera. Had to get the Binoculars just to get a look at it.
The geese are sure all heading South.
I saw so many groups flying in formation as i drove to NJ last weekend. All over the Turnpike area.
I always feel very nostalgic watching the geese fly overhead. Almost tearing up...
This feeling comes from some books I once read as a child. They were in 3 parts--all about a 14 yr. old boy, who was
magically converted to an elf-sized person and who then traveled with the geese in all their journeys,
sitting on the back of one. I believe it was one of the boy's domestic geese that got 'called" away to follow the wild geese
on their migration. It was full of adventure and mishaps and struggles... I still have these 3 books.
You will not find these books...They were translated into Latvian from either Swedish or Norwegian.
and were published in 1948 and 1049. All faded --printed on very poor paper--all yellowed...
But I LOVED them so! Right up my alley--filled with fantasy...
When i was recovering from my second knee replacement surgery--2007--and had to spend a lot of time on my couch--
I got these books out and started reading them again. I think I finished two of them...
Such a trip down Memory Lane!
Wish you all a Very happy New Year--also full of great memories of this old year ending today.
edited to correct the original publish date. It was 1906 (geez! That is when MY Mom was born!!!)
Published: 1906 Author: Selma Lagerlöf
Holly I am sure your birds were a sight to see! I love Pileated Woodpeckers... we see them at my Mom's and in the woods... but I would have a fit to see one on our balcony! We get Downy, Red-bellied, and Hairy regularly at our balcony feeders, and even a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker one time... never a Pileated.
I am happy to see and hear the pileated and red bellied around even though I am not feeding this year because of new feral cat colony in residence. Wonder if I mounted this 40-50 feet up in tall oaks if ground feeding birds would stay away and squirrels wouldn't get at?
If squirrels do bother it, can you just mix some cayenne into the suet? (Sally, when you say you buy "pure suet", do you melt it first and let it congeal? That is what my mom used to do, but we never added pepper. But with my huge squirrel population, I'd have to consider that.)
That feeder coleup linked to on Amazon is pricey. I bet it would be fairly easy to figure out a do-it-yourself version.
Jen I love the white throated sparrrow, I was whistling with them yesterday. (I'm sure they whistled back and love me too.)
happy- some suet displays include a block of pure suet. But with add inns are much more common. I buy pure suet if I can find it. It will not be the 97 cent special because it is not full of cheap carbs.
My mom would just buy raw beef fat at the meat counter (it cost about nothing), melt it and strain it into a mold (usually an old soup can), with a string dangling in it. (More precisely, she'd take another can the same size, cut out the lid, poke a hole in it, and tie the string to that. Then she'd drop that lid into the first can, letting the string hang out of the top). Then she'd let it solidify and remove the suet from the can (along with the lid that had the string attached to it), and hang it from a tree limb by the string. I have the same kind of suet holder that you use (the one in your photo) - I just need a mold to get it to be the right shape for that holder. I can add hot pepper flakes to deter the squirrels. Wouldn't that work? Or do I need to build an extension for the woodpeckers to balance on?
This site says that "Before offering the suet to the birds, however, it should be rendered to help it maintain its shape more easily, though this step should already be complete if you purchase the suet from a bird supply store." http://birding.about.com/od/birdfeeders/a/simplesuet.htm
It goes on to say:
To render suet:
1.Chop the fat into small pieces or run it through a meat grinder. If you are getting the fat from a butcher, they may be willing to do this for you. Be sure all traces of meat are removed.
2.Heat the chopped fat on low until it is liquefied. Do not use higher temperatures to melt the suet more quickly, as this could lead to fires or scorching.
3.Strain the liquid fat through cheesecloth or a fine mesh to remove any particles or contaminants. The suet should be strained several times so it is as pure as possible.
4.Pour the fat into molds or containers and allow it to cool. The cakes can be chopped or cut to be fed to the birds, or you may choose to use containers that are the appropriate size to fit your suet feeders.
I don't recall my mom doing any of that. She just melted the fat, and poured the liquids into a can, leaving the solids behind.
Dotsy1 wrote: "Just put the fat and meat in a deep microwave-proof glass container with a lid. I have a deep Corning Ware ceramic 3 quart bowl with a glass lid that is perfect. They're available at WalMart and you'll find a million other uses for it. Set the power on HIGH and in minutes you'll have clear hot fat with bits of crispy leftovers. You can throw those away or chop them up and mix in once they cool. Birds love peanut butter and the really cheap stuff in big plastic jars (keep the empty for nuts, candy, etc.) is great to mix in. I also buy bulk oats, corn meal, and flour to mix in as well as crushed breakfast cereal. The mix-ins can be anything in the back of the pantry that can be crushed or broken up in a blender or food processor." http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/808099/
Gita: It is really really easy to do, if all you do is plop the fat into a saucepan and let it liquefy, then pour it into an old soup can. I wouldn't worry about the posts that try to ramp up the process.
THis lovely afternoon, I watched four robins at the birdbath. One in the big concrete bath, splashing merrily, a second in a large dish on the ground, and two more waiting in line, polite as can be. (Till the dog ran up!)
Yesterday I heard a woodpecker. I finally spotted him way out on a long dead branch, on the thin part I would not have thought he'd like. A woodie or sapsucker has started visiting the maple near the back door.
I watched a titmouse taking safflower seeds, placing them between his toes, then hammering away. I didn't think it was such hard work getting into safflower.
Re suet: I got inspired to make suet, and I made a number of mistakes, so I thought I'd best report. The butcher gave me a large piece of beef fat for free. I thought it might be easiest and neatest to render it by boiling it, so I put it whole in a pot of water and let it boil a long time. That was a total failure -- the hear required to render must be higher than the boiling point of water. Then I read instructions which recommended grinding it or chopping it first. So I chopped the fat that had been boiling, and put it on the burner attached to our grill (because the melting fat is a bit smelly and I didn't want the grease all over the kitchen). We had never used that burner and it turns out that even on low it is very very hot (now I know I need to buy a diffuser). Anyway, it liquefied really fast -- in 10 minutes or so (I didn't time it) -- and I had to stir it constantly and keep taking it off the heat to keep it from burning. The fat made a lot of huge dangerous explosions. Next time I will chop the fat up much much smaller -- I hope that will cut down on the explosions. Grinding would be even better, but that seems like a lot of work. Maybe a food processor?
I have now strained the rendered fat through a metal strainer. I have read that it should be strained twice through cheese cloth, but I can't see why that is necessary. I also read that it will congeal better if it is heated up a second time, so I will do that only because that is easy, and because there still might be water in the mix from my first attempt at rendering it by boiling it.
flowAjen -- It actually has been a no-big-deal project, especially if I don't do the boiling approach the next time. And we put a "tail" on the wire basket suet feeder I have to mimic the expensive one on Amazon. The only problem is that my suet feeder is huge, and I didn't make enough suet to fill it so I think it is going to rattle around in the feeder -- I hope it doesn't break into bits and fall out. Maybe I'll add birdseed or peanut butter to the mix to make it go further.
ssgardener -- I understand you can get birdseed with cayenne added to deter squirrels (we haven't done this yet). And I'm going to add cayenne to the suet for the same reason -- apparently it doesn't bother the birds. I had forgotten to do this -- I'm glad you reminded me -- I just went and added it.
Well, I think my "recipe" is within their parameters (I didn't see any recipes per se on the Cornell site). One comment on their site caught my attention: "Starlings are very fond of suet. To dissuade them, offer suet in a feeder that requires birds to feed hanging upside down. Woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches will access it easily, but starlings cannot." What kind of suet feeder would force a bird to hang upside down? I just concocted a cheap version of the Amazon one linked above that had a place for a woodpecker's tail to rest -- but that is for a right-side up bird.
THis recipe (basically same as yours) was in an article linked at Cornell- so I'd hope that means it meets their approval.:
"In addition to using some store bought suet, Fran makes her own suet based on the “Martha Sargent Super Suet” recipe:
1 Cup of Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 Cup of Lard (not shortening)
2 Cups of Quick Cook Oats
1 Cup of regular White Flour
2 Cups of Cornmeal
crushed eggshells (cleaned and dried)
Melt lard and peanut butter in the microwave or over low heat. Stir in remaining ingredients and pour (or spoon) into freezer containers that fit into your suet basket. Store in freezer or refrigerator .."
That's what I did, but fresh suet instead of lard, no eggshells, and I added a bit of sugar. And I used whole wheat flour because I had some that had been around too long to use in bread. Seems cannibalistic to add eggshells, but I suppose it adds calcium.
Saw a little flicker??--wood pecker?? at my suet cake this AM. It was all black and white stripes on the wings
--no red cap or anything. Maybe 4"-5" long.
I have to dig out my NE region Bird ID book. The big one I have has EVERYTHING in it--
and that does not make it easy to find something to ID.
There is another pile of feathers near my Bird Bath--all over the place.
Would a Hawk stand there and eat it? I have seen them grab a bird and fly away.
Or could it be an animal? Just making an early breakfast. I bet you it was a Dove...
I need to spend the $10 and buy one of those tube feeders for finches.
Have you seen the newer version of the feeder ports? The little covers now rotate to either open or slit.
No screwing to remove and switch needed.
I put out a "sock" feeder of Nyger several months ago, and all of a sudden the finches have found it interesting. I was pretty sure the seed must have gone rancid, but apparently not. The next bag of Nyger I get, I'll store in the freezer...
I have to remember to put out the birdbath when (if?) it gets cold.
Well Sally, compared to Linthicum I'm quite a slacker! Maybe we should go over to Blackwater Wildlife Refuge and catch some glimpses of water birds. Oh yeah, we are in the Eastern flyway...
Did see my eagle circling overhead and calling so perhaps there is a nesting female afterall. Hope the rest of the winter is kind to them. Would be nice to see some fledglings again. I have fun looking at the Great BackYard Bird count sight and seeing what birds others near me are seeing.
We have a male Downy that visits us regularly... and the red spot on the back of his head is shaped like a heart!
I have been trying to catch him and get a picture of it.
This is Joey and Joey's heart!
The female Downy is at my suet now. She is all black and white with no red mark on her head. And she cheeps a lot (single notes, spaced out) when coming and going to the suet. I don't even have to get up, to look, to know she's there.
USDA: Unites States Department of Agriculture located in Beltsville Maryland. It is not far from my house in College park. Powder Mill rd goes through the USDA from US# l all the way to 197 in Laurel. Usually I use Beaver dam rd instead to go to Bowie. Slow but relaxed ride. Here is another picture taken the same morning but earlier.
there are bluebird boxes in Kinder park in Severna park, happy, and bluebirds can be seen.
Volunteers often check the boxes as there is potential for other birds nesting in or raiding them. It may be that with no volunteers some bluebird boxes fell apart or were removed.
Something did some midatlantic bird EATING in my yard- big fluffs of feathers, dove I think.
Happy I have a Clematis Virginiana growing on it. One I got from Critter at Aspenhills Swap. Think that was 2 years ago. I should have taken the shutter inside for the winter but didn't bother this year. There are 2 of those suet feeders on the pole and the shutter partially blocks the view of one of them. I am slowly working thru the new Photo program Ric gave me so when/if I find a pic of it in bloom I will post it for you. Lovely thing.
The Pileated Woodpecker is out there now and we have a good sized flock of Starlings hanging around. They just drop out of the sky practicality cover the yard and then they are gone in a flash. I know a lot of people don't like them and they can be a serious nuisance but they are so lively and quite a bit of fun to watch.
Lovely pics, tapla. How come birds in my backyard never get near me?! :-)
Beautiful Clematis, Holly. Everybody will want some cuttings coming spring :-). Today my hubby saw a pileated woodpecker for the first time and was extremely excited about it :-D. It sounds like the woodpecker is building a home in our tree now. Welcome to the neighborhood :-).
Just saw a hawk sweep around the end of the Holly Hedge in fast pursuit of some small bird. Not a bird in sight right now they all sure did scatter only one small squirrel hunkered down on the sunflower feeder. My water features are all frozen right now. Even the one with the pond heater. This newer efficient pond heater doesn't really do the job when the temps get really low. Getting out the heated bird bath. I hadn't bothered because the birdbath/pond was not completely frozen but now I will need to get that set up.
It takes less than 5 minutes to get them to eat from my hand in the near vicinity of a bird feeder (take your feeder down when you're trying to tame the birds - or they'll just fly to the feeder), but I can do the same thing with some species of birds almost anywhere, as long as they are accustomed to returning to the same spot for a hand-out. Part of the key is learning how to adopt a non-threatening posture at first. Lean against a tree by the bird feeder so your body won't sway (the movement frightens them at first) & put the seeds on your hat. Don't look directly at the birds. Raise your shoulders a little & tuck your chin toward your chest/neck so you're looking toward the ground in front of you. Keep your hands in your pockets & your arms close to your body - look like a tree trunk - they're not THAT smart. ;-) Leaning your head against the tree encourages nuthatches (if you have them) to hop down the tree onto your hat. Unlike chickadees, nuthatches are very reluctant to land directly on you, but don't seem to mind hopping from the tree to your hat or hopping down an arm to your hand after they're used to you.
(In northern climes), you'll have much better success if you have access to a wooded spot where there are no nearby feeders. Go there and hang a suet block near a spot that will be comfortable for you to stand or sit, but don't hang it low enough that mammals can get at it; or drive a nail into a tree and hang a soup can full of sunflowers seeds on the nail. If you come back the next day & follow the procedure I outlined, you'll soon have birds eating from your hand. This only works well in the winter, when the only insects available are those wintering in their hidey holes.
For a really cool picture, in addition to all the birds on your hat/hands/shoulders, put a sunflower between your lips & put your hand against your chin to provide a perch for the chickadees/nuthatches. They'll hop on your hand & take the seed from your lips, giving you a 'kiss' in the process. You need a partner that has some familiarity with a camera to get the best shots. My problem is my partner won't venture out into the cold to take 'bird pictures'. ;o) The chickadees and nuthatches are easy, but if I'm willing to work at it, I can also get, tits, siskins, jays, and redpolls to eat from my hand. I even had an insect-eating brown creeper taking sunflower meats from my hand at my place up in the woods a few years back. I just find convincing the birds to trust you immensely rewarding.
I was spending some quiet time in the winter woods, glued to a tree watching a PWP, when I saw a goshawk approaching. It was interesting to note that the hawk was attacking with the large ash tree the WP was dismantling between it and the WP, so the WP had no chance of noting the hawk's approach. When the hawk was about 10' from the tree, it flared to its left until it could see the WP, then cut back right, toward the WP. They are AMAZINGLY maneuverable. With a full head of steam, the WP had barely unfolded a wing when it was hit and rode to the ground by the hawk. All this took place just a few yards from where I stood. The hawk ate almost the entire bird over a period of about 10-15 minutes, but I was so cold I had to shift my position, which startled the hawk. It was a hard thing to see, and sadly, a stark reminder that Mother Nature can be a cruel mistress.
We also have a resident goshawk that often sits atop the neighbor's tennis court backstop, about 200 yards from my backyard feeder. It can see the feeder from there, but it's far enough away that the birds aren't concerned, or may not even notice it. When it hunts, it leaves it's perch flying away from the birds until the bird's view is blocked by our home. It then makes a turn, flying toward the feeder, which it can't see, and of course the birds can't see the hawk. By the time it reaches the eave on the side of the house opposite the feeder, it has a full head of steam. It follows the slope of the roof until it crests the peak, at which time it's about 30 ft from the feeder, flying very fast. Generally, the smaller birds are nimble enough to flee unharmed, but it has a high rate of success catching starlings, mourning doves, and jays - the heavier birds ... or maybe it just prefers larger meals. I've also seen a goshawk employ the same strategy catching pigeons that, on cold days, sun themselves on the dark roof of a house that faces east across from my business. The hawk flies in from the west, crests the roof, and is immediately among the pigeons. I've seen this probably a half dozen times with the hawk not having missed catching a meal.
Al--what bird is a PWP?
You have a lot of patience to be out there freezing to see a bird being caught and eaten.
Your business---What is it you do for a living?
Do you live in the country? like--NOT in a City or a development?
Don't mind--just trying to get to know you a bit ... I like seeing pictures of people on DG.
Could you oblige? You can see me by clicking on my name--even if that one is about 5 years old.
But--when you get to be an old geezer like me-your looks don't change a lot.
I have a glazing contracting business, a glass company, that I've owned since 1978. Married 34 years, 3 productive & well adjusted adult kids with families, and a cat that's not as well adjusted. I live on the outskirts of a small city with an abandoned strip mine, now reverting to woodland for a backyard - sounds ugly, but it's not, and it really rocks. Most of the time I've spent playing with and watching the birds was on some acreage some distance north of me on Lake Huron, but the pictures were taken in the back yard. I've practically lived outdoors since I was a little kid, so I'm really at home there, and I've seen a lot of things that others might not get to see, or might not notice. I've caught 3 pheasants, a mallard drake, and a Canada goose with my hands, all wild & healthy animals, and I've touched 3 completely wild and healthy adult whitetail deer that will probably never be able to look another deer in the eye for the shame of having let that happen. ;-) I really enjoy bonsai (20+ years) and gardening, but I have a couple of other hobbies, too. That's me.
Sometimes you have to know to LOOK for something before you can see it, right? As I learn a new tree in the woods, I am shcked at how many of that tree I find, and how many others I don't know.
I'm scared about the deer though. THey can be deadly.
Do you know about the author Gary Paulsen?He' writes mostly juvenile fiction, and about time spent in the woods in Michigan, I think it was where he grew up. Really interesting.
Back to birds. Squirrels are pigging out on my feeder now that I bought mixed seed. THey eat up all the sunflower and peanuts, grr. Saw my White throated sparrow this morning. I bought pure millet specifically for him/ her.
Downy woodpeckers are just gorging on the pure suet block.
Thanks AL! Now know where all your grit comes from...
Watching my bird feeder this morning--seems the same birds visit all the time.
Nothing really new: I need to put out real suet cakes--right now I have just raw beef fat from the butcher.
The birds i see on a regular basis are:
Cardinals-both--Chikadees--Tufted Titmouse--Slate colored Juncos--an occasional white bellied Nuthatch--
all kinds of sparrows--and a red-breasted ??? like a bigger sparrow???.Tried to take a picture from my LR--
NOT a good one! I think it may be a Finch od some kind...see fuzzy picture attached...
Of course--there are blackbirds (not too many yet!) I think each year, they have to re-discover my feeder.
I hope they never do! They can trash it in an hour. Clouds of them!!!
I have put out a NEW Finch feeder--and filled it with NEW Thistle seed--but have not seen any Goldfinches yet.
If any of you have an "Ollies" near you (Sally--I know you do)--they sell suet cakes for 89 cents.
My plan for today--hunker down and finish working on my seeds--so i can make a list of "haves" and post it.
Then--I need to refresh my Trade List and add pictures.
Yup I know lots of place ssell the cheap suet cake s. I only buy PURE suet cakes. They last much longer for me. I guess the $ works out the same cuz the pure ones are $ 3.29 or something. But only use one or two per winter.
How do the "pure" differ from the regular ones?
Is it that it has ONLY rendered fat in them?
I have 2 of the suet feeders that hold 4 cakes. Put one up today.
I don't think it has been discovered yet...and I hope the right birds discoverer it--
NOT blackbirds...I hung it, sort of, almost under the overhang of the patio roof.
If rain comes straight down--it will stay dry. If it is windblown--it will get wet.
It is fat--so no harm anyways. Gita
****OHHHH! It is snowing...I just looked out the window! Pretty heavy looking flakes.
Glad i am snuggled inside--till tomorrow morning--when I have to leave for the HD around 8:30AM.
Dig...dig...shovel...shovel...clean car off--and then I can go.
You can keep the starlings off your suit feeder by securing the feeder under a flat piece of board or plastic that's about 12x12 - 15x15 so what would normally be the side of the feeder is attached to the underside of the board/plastic. Attach a fastener to the board or plastic and hang the whole shebang. That way, only the birds that can hang upside down while they feed will have access to it - WPs, tits, chickadees, nuthatches, siskins, and a few others. It will discourage sparrows and starlings.
Snowing today - about 3-4" so far. Feeders are getting mobbed here at work. We have about 2 acres of woods behind our shop, and a big picture window behind the (glass) cutting table, with the feeders right in front of the window - a pretty cool set-up.
I am not all that handy...or am afraid to try things that involve tools.
Just a matter of self-confidence...If I screw up--so what?
Someone posted a picture, not too long ago, of a web site that showed the upside down feeders.
I live in a pretty tight development, so I do not see too many unusual birds that would prefer
the woodlands, even though we have 'some" woods near us--as I live almost next to a High School.
I have seen Downy WP's--but never a PW. Never seen an Baltimore Oriole--nor a Blue Bird.
Lots and lots of other birds as well. Seen a Hawk in 2010, when we had 3' of snow, leisurely
devouring a bird on the high snow pile near my shed.
I took some pictures through my LR window--used a zoom--but they are not too clear...
Your shop view sound wonderful! I would love living on a bit bigger property than just 65'x100'.
1--my 3-tube bird feeder which hangs under my patio roof--safe from rain and snow--and out of sight for hawks.
2--The hawk having dinner---don't know what kind it is...
3--My patio -pic taken from my 2nd floor BR window.
I used to be able to get real suet from around beef kidneys from the butcher, but alas, he's outa business - so I either get the rendered cakes now, or buy the ground fat balls with seed mixed in that the new butcher shop sells. Want me to make/send you a suet feeder? It would only take a few minutes time. We have lots of cut-offs of plastic at the shop. By only investment would be a couple of bucks for the wire feeder, and I'm more than willing to spend that if it helps another bird watcher keep the starlings (& sparrows?) at bay.
OK, I have to say something about the red pepper. I bought an econo-size container of it, proudly carried it home, then, and I am very glad that this happened, got online before I used it.
There is a big worry about the red pepper getting into the bird's eyes. Makes sense to me, so I threw it out. I am resorting to trappin' the furry varmints, and Hubby is taking them down the road...
Not to mention the beautiful Hawk that seems to have claimed our yard!
Al--if you are serious--I would love to have one you made--with directions for attaching suet.
The 12"x12" will be good.
I have NEVER seen a PW here--and have lived here 43 years. It must not be the environment
these birds prefer. Too many houses side by side. But--I am willing to try one and see who comes to dinner.
I will reimburse you for whatever expenses you have--definitely for postage. Deal?
Thank you, Gita
In a couple weeks I should update my Trade list. Please take a look at it now if you like--
I have close to 50 different seeds at this time. All have pictures attached.
I can also send you starts of some unusual plants. Will take this further to a D-mail.
I don't think I can help you attract a PW if they don't frequent the area, and actually, they'll likely be too big to use the feeder I'll send. PWs like large sections of fast-growing forest with old trees and lots of large snags (dead trees), and are seldom found far from a water source.
Sure I'm serious about building a feeder & sending it - no directions for filling it are required - it'll be monkey easy.
I see you sent a D-mail. Have company over watching hockey, but I'll be sure to answer tomo.
Gracye, I've done that too, bought on a vague idea then re researched after- ugh!
No I don't think a pileated would go to Gitas. Not to my house either. We are suburbanites.
Here's me and my dead horse I am beating. If you have squirrel problems, try switching to ONLY SAFFLOWER, and maybe millet. They don't like safflower. Now I hope you have a place to get it. I go to a southern states store which sells by the pound. My usual suspects are Cardinals, juncos, wrens, house finches, doves, white throated sparrows, titmice, chickadees, blackbirds. They all come with safflower and millet. I read that millet was the only seed chosen by White throated sparrow..I don't get many starlings but if I start putting out bread scraps it seems to bring them. So bread goes in the compost.
Blue jays were hanging out so I do put out some Lyric mix to keep the bluejays, or Squirrel mix, just so DS and Dog have something to chase.
You know how along the front of a bed-- blown leaves will collect?
Well--this morning, there were 4 Robins picking every leaf out of the "gutter" and tossing them aside.
I am sure, they were looking for some good bugs to eat. In frozen earth? Not likely.
All the leaves are now out of the strip by my bed and tossed about 6" away.
I did not think Robins were around yet?????
I even got my binoculars out to see if they really were Robins. Yup!
I have a suet feeder that was designed to be squirrel resistant. The typical suet cage is wired and suspended inside a cylinder of larger wire, about eight inches in diameter and high. The birds are supposed to go inside the cylinder to dine in peace. So far they do NOT seem tow want to do that. WHen my other suet runs out any day now, I guess we'll see if they will go to this one when forced.
Lol - I was off work today (first time in years). Have some sort of bug that kept me up all night, but feeling better now. The feeder is done - I just need to find a box & get it in the mail.
Saw an eagle yesterday driving along the Saginaw River in the fog. It was perched only about 20' up on a snag and flew across thje road toward the river right in front of me.
Saw a fox sparrow over the weekend, too. A rarity for me - only about the 5th or 6th I've seen, and all were at feeders. Usually they're only here later in the year when they're in transit. It's VERY early for them to be moving toward their summer haunts, but maybe it's not so surprising, seeing how it reached the mid-60s here in MI yesterday.
An interesting story: My brother and I were standing on his deck in the fall. We heard "plunk", but thought nothing of it until we turned to go in. There was a part albino red breasted nuthatch lying on the deck, having flown into the patio door glass. I picked it up and held it for a few minutes, stroking the back of it's head. It wasn't long before it woke up. It sat on my hand for a minute or so & then flew up onto a nearby spruce branch to continue its recovery. I'd guess it was about half white & half brown & rufous streaks.
Over the years, several Doves have killed themselves trying to fly away--but heading for
my 4 (now only 2) patio roof lights. They panic so when something disturbs them and fly like crazy.
Picking one up to dispose of it--they have a bit of weight to them!
I know they feed there--as my feeder sits under the roof and they always come to eat whatever seed
falls down from all the picky eaters higher up.
At least they are safe from hawks--as they cannot see them under my roof.
I sent you some pictures of my Patio on some other Post--D-mail?
We had 60 * today here. Nature just teasing us all...Gita
Ronnie thank you for that suet link! I passed it on to the ladies who fill the eight large bird feeders at the condo nearest to the eagle nest on my paper route. I know they have placed at least one order already. (How's Harper and things up your way?)
These ladies keep me updated on the eagles too. Yep, may have some hatchlings soon if all goes well, Seems the new nest location is not able to be photographed from any condo windows like the last one that came down tree and all in heavy snow wind two years ago. When Sallyg and I went looking for the downed nest (can't spell the correct name, nest easier) there was little left. I figure mom and dad eagle salvaged what they could for new abode, Rough estimate is that new is about a third the size of old. Of course, they add on every year!.
Last week's warm(70++ degrees and sunny) afternoon, I saw both adults soaring above the nest, one returning to nest, the other flying out over the water. Must have been warm enough for both parents to have a little egg hatching break together.
Do you think I have anything to be worried about??????
I did some errand running yesterday. So while I was sitting in the parking lot at one of our Bank's branch offices I noticed a good size flock of Vultures (7) circling over the bank. There is a near by car dealer and church (I am sure it wasn't the church) and a stand of good size trees. Really they were pretty centered over the bank. LOL
Local Hawk just put on a pretty good show in the yard. Not too big mostly grey with a buff colored chest. First he was hanging out in the tree across the drive then on top of one of the bird feeders and now he has moved to another tree. I don't think he has had much luck hunting this morning but I was pretty surprised to see him craw into the Holly Hedge. Not sure if he went in after a smaller bird or just though he could hide in there. Little birds are back so he must a moved on or is well hidden.
For me, an eagle sighting is the most fascinating of all bird sightings. I guess because they are so majestic and were so endangered at one point. Even with a comeback, I think they are usually only spotted around rivers and out west - definitely rare in my neck of the woods. Since we put the pond in 10 years ago, I have been lucky enough to see an eagle fly over on three occasions (I think they were scoping out the fish).
On a sadder note, a few years ago one of the nearby immigrant farm workers that Mike is friends with called very concerned and not knowing what to do about an "american bird" that was in the field and not flying away, even when he got real close to it. We went over to the farm, and sure enough it was an eagle. I called our vet to find out if there was a wildlife rescue that we could call, got the info, and a rescuer was there within 30 minutes. She said the eagle was showing all the signs of lead poisoning which was becoming more and more common with birds of prey that feed on animal carcasses that have been shot with lead bullets. She was hoping that we may have gotten to this eagle in time to save it, but it was iffy. Within 24 hours, the eagle would either show signs of recovery or not. Unfortunately, this eagle did not recover. What an experience to be within 3 feet of an eagle in the wild for about an hour, but to this day it makes me sad to know that even though we tried, it did not make it.
How many threads are you on?I tried to find you on the soil thread to no avail.I am a avid bird watcher,feeder,ect.I just found a swirled mess in the middle of my 'Karl Forster ' grass.I read that it is from a bird that looks so much like finches.I thought I saw a strange yellow bird at the finch sock!
Good Morning, With the weather the way it has been, I came here to see how you and all your feathered friends were doing and if you found any of your regulars missing.
As a retired breeder of parrots, conures, parrotlets, lovebirds, mostly hookbills, I am always watching anything that flies. I have found that this year some of our regular birds are missing and I can not help but think the weather has to do with it. I would like your thoughts when You have time. I do have hawks and crows (thought they did not like each other but these two flocks live here at the farm).
Last year the number of barn swallows was much less than the year before.
Couple of years ago, can not remember because I am older than dirt, we had that awful blizzard. Prior to that I had a variety of finches that returned every year. Especially our State bird, the goldfinch. Most of them are gone. I have a few purple finches but not in the numbers I had before. I have several cardinals who weathered the storm and this year with the Sandy storm I am seeing they are still here. They have made their home in an old row of arborvitae that is next to my feed barn and the greenhouse. My feeders are between those two buildings and all of my indoor flock old seeds go out on the ground for the birds who prefer to forage rather than use the feeders. Of course, squirrels, groundhogs and other little critters use that method also. The bluejays and starlings and tiny little sparrows are still here. I do so want to take pictures but by the time I get the camera, the bird has vanished. We have some woodpeckers also. I do so want my finches back and you are so correct. THEY WILL NOT EAT OLD NIGER OR THISTLE SEED. They do not even like it if it is damp. I wonder how hungry they are? Water is my problem. I have a difficult time keeping the water from freezing. It is so important they have water. They do eat the snow, which helps.
I bought a great feeder, at least I thought it was great especially for the finches so they would not get wet, the seed stayed dry, paid a small fortune for it and they do not eat out of it. I moved it several times...they do not like it. They prefer the tubes, but they get so wet and miserable after a rain or snow I spend more time cleaning them out than it is worth.
Also throw away alot of seed which they do not eat off the ground. It just lays there.
I was wondering what you all do to help your finch population grow. I am at a loss now.
Gita, be careful with warming up that fat, you may start a fire. ☺
I got a new niger feeder (a Droll Yankee) and the finches went to it fairly promptly. But we had a thistle sock out for ages they wouldn't touch -- but now they do, even with the old seed in it. Doesn't make any sense!
Well--I am happy to report that "my" gold finches have found my thistle feeder.
They are all still a drab gray--with just a touch of yellow on the breasts.
Had 4 of them chowing down this morning...
I have it hanging just under my patio roof overhang so it would stay as dry as possible--
but still would be visible.
You can see my big, 3-tube feeder on the left--this one hangs completely under my P. roof.
Safe and totally out of the weather--no matter what it is. Also--out of sight of predatory birds.
Took this through my LR window at full zoom...surprised it came out as good as it did.
OMG no. Had I seen robins I may have not been so annoyed with the storm that is coming. I hope NJ is on the rainy side most of this one. That would help me, but not the shore. Oh well, for those people, I will be happy to suffer. I can not imagine what they are going through. JB
So, Gita has my gold finches. Not very nice of you girlfriend. Send them home.
In my yard, I have a HUGE native Maple, must be 75' or so. I have 3 giant Droll Yankee feeders, 1 of them a "Flipper," and two "Whippers." There is a thistle feeder, and an finch feeder. Two suet feeders, one is set on an angle so it is diamond-shaped. The other is a biggun' that fits those enormous and $$$ suet cakes.
I have so much enjoyment from my feathered friends. There are Cardinals galore, tons of finches, and some doves which the Hawk (my husband says there is a pair now) loves, and bluebirds. I also have a couple of bluejays but they come and go. I just saw a steroidal Robin, and the Chickadees have entertained all Winter, with the bonus of such a pretty song!
I have squirrel-proofed my feeders, and have to empty our traps regularly that we set below the feeders - they have squirrels in them all the time. My favorite latest saga is to spray Pam on an above-feeder squirrel baffle, then heavily dust thoroughly with Cayenne pepper. Oh I am an enemy of the squirrels these days...
And I will not spend time rendering suet, sorry. I find that my time needs to go in other directions. Now, I am seeing a sooty-colored finch-like bird that I swear I've never seen before. There are many. Has a whiteish beak.
Ah! There's nothing like a yard full of birds! I LOVE all of your posts.
Just got a call this morning from another bird watcher and she said she and her husband were waiting to see the Northern Lapwings (3) that have been coming to the field in the back of her house. Birdwatchers from all over are coming to New Egypt, NJ to see these birds. You can google it if you want to see what it looks like. They are very big. We have bald eagles here now, more each year and once in awhile they go over the farm. It is a thrill seeing them. Have a great day. Just wanted to share this with you all. JB
JB< That Northern Lap Wing is a beautiful bird! Well worth seeing and if that field was a bit closer to me I'd try watching for it too! Nice that there are three. Very rare bird. Didn't know that there are rare bird sightings alert networks. Cool.
My rare to me sighting was a pair of flickers last week. Haven't seen a flicker since I was a kid in Illinois. It's the first bird I ID ed by using a bird book (The Birds of North America). I remember they drilled squarish hols in the bark of our little pine tree and then would return each day to feed on the bugs attracted to the gouey sap.
I need advice, please. We have triple windows that overlook the yard and sometimes birds fly into them. I am looking for something to put in the windows to let them k ow it is glass. Suggestions please. A decorative something to hang there?
Jan, since my smaller windows don't seem to cause this, I think a few decals placed here and there might do it. Some people I have read go to more effort- maybe their location and window size make it necessary. I notice it on my front and back, certain times of year. Just the large panes of picture window an bay window.
I try to put the bilnds down when I think of it.
One day we noticed one mockingbird and 3 - 4 bluejays in the dogwood tree in front . The jays spent five or ten minutes 'baiting ' the mockingbird as he tried to keep them out of the tree. Can't figure why the tree was so vital to the mockingbird. He'd chase one jay, then that one would retreat to a twig, then another would hop in to be chased out...on and on.
I have the same trouble with my big sliding doors. The other day when the Hawk few in I had two of them hit the doors. I went outside and stood over them till they could fly away. Even stunned one of the birds crawled into a hiding spot till it could fly away. Besides the decals you can hang something flashy from the overhang.
I use the little glass things that you can hang on with one of those sticky round things that have little hooks, you spit on the round thing and it stays on the window. You then hand the little glass object. I love the one I use on the kitchen door, It is a little frog. If you can not figure out what I am talking about, I will take a picture for you. Are they sun reflectors? Darn I can not figure out what they are called. Senior moment. Let me know so I can take pics for you.
Flickers were always at our home in PA, but since I am in NJ I seldom see them. I remember them and how they bore holes in the ground to get grubs. Just now there is nothing but starlings and sparrows eating. The snow and rain seems to deter the others. Even the cardinals are hiding.
I was surprised at those bird alert sights. I think i will sign up for one of them just for fun.
I have had the same problems with my 4'x4' patio roof skylights.
Aver the years--I have come upon several Doves laying dead on my Patio floor.
I KNOW that something must have startled them and they, blindly, headed for daylight--
ans broke their necks when hitting the glass.
Now--I have an odd bird to show you. Just saw this one about 2 days ago.
Feeding on the patio floo0r were 2 doves--except one of them was white and gray/black speckled.
Never seen that before. I know some genes from a Pigeon were at work here...
Sorry about the blurred picture. I tried and tried--but it never stopped moving.
Besides--I was shooting through my LR window in full zoom. Another issue...
That looks like a racing or homing pigeon. They stop over and eat and rest at my feeders sometimes. They hang around for an hour or two and then go away. One time one stayed for two days. I thought maybe he decided to live here but he did eventually leave. They are the size of doves and usually are slim in build compared to the regular pigeons. At lease that is what I am told.
I worked with a guy that raised homing pigeons. He lived pretty far from work came down in a car pool of guys a good hours drive each way. Every so often he would bring his pigeons down and turn them loose. Especially when he was training them for a race. We use to have pigeons. A friend that raised them gave Jamie a few of them that weren't good enough to show. They were fun.
You can tell if they are racing or homing pigeons in most cases they will have bands on their legs. If not, they are just regular farm pigeons. They hang out around horse, cattle, etc to eat the grains, or they love to live in barns where farmers grow hay or other grains. When we grew grains we had a whole flock who lived in our barn. Now that we are not growing grains or feeding any kind of stock, they left. We do have our regular barn swallows that arrive late March or early April. They are beautiful birds and their babies are so adorable, but they make a complete mess of the vehicles in the barn during their breeding season. We have come to the point where when they move in, we just move the vehicles so they can have their babies. LOL Pretty bad when you like birds that much. We just do not like to destroy their nests. They use them over and over. Some are too high in the barn to even consider knocking them down anyhow. Which reminds me, did you know that birds poop every 15 minutes? I never timed it myself, but when I was breeding birds one of my friends sent me a sign to post in my breeding room. I always wondered if it was true. Maybe we could google it? ☺
The odd Dove I saw was in the company of a "regular" looking dove.
It was the same exact size as the 'regular" Dove.
They were both feeding on my bird seed on the floor under my big feeder and walked off together...
Maybe the male just had an eye on the "fancy lady"???? Have NO idea which one was what gender...
Well--Doves are Pigeons too. Just a different breed than the ones people feed in parks.
And there are black and white Pigeons.
Like generations of people--you never know when a different trait shows up.
Like only your Great-Great Grandmother had red hair--and now so you you...
You are absolutely correct, Gita, in fact the tan ones are Mourning Doves and the regular pigeons are Rock Doves. But in my old age, I call the Rock Doves Pigeons. Sorry if I confused you. I have a small one track mind when it comes to doves and pigeons. ☺
I never had red hair girl...my aunt did. I was coal black. My Grandmother was Spanish. LOL
My grandmother's sister's eyes were dark brown.
No one else in our extended family has brown eyes--just shades of blue.
Just a case in point.
I WAS going to add, since you questioned the white/black Dove being a dove,
that it defintely was a Mourning Dove--as it was walking just like the regular one--
jerking its head back and forth with each step.
OK OK It is a dove! I really don't give a darn what it is today. I am having a really lousy day and I am staying off the threads.
I did manage to get my feed delivery today and put the niger seed in the feeder they will not eat out of since it is fresh. Thought maybe the fresh seed will bring the finches back. I love the feeder because the seed can not blow out, but the holes are so tiny I can not believe the birds can get the seeds out.
See you when I am fit to be around people. Hugs. JB
It is a wooden one, with glass front and back and on the wooden sides are the metal openings where the tiny holes are located. I think I bought it either from the Audubon Society or Agway. I have had it for two years and when I put it up yesterday I thought for sure I would have a finch or two , only the purple ones are here if any. NONE. NOT ONE DARN FINCH.
All the other birds are here at the other feeder but not the finches. I also have those stupid tubes and the wind blows and the seeds blow out. They are a mess. I stopped using them because the wind is always blowing here it seems. They love those, but you waste so much when the wind blows. Also, they get soaked in the rain and then the seed cakes in them and gets sour. JB
On the latest models of the tube feeders ( $10 at the HD) the openings have little pivoting
covers. You can either turn them to "open" and then all birds can eat out of there,
or turn them to the little slit openings--which the finches feed from. Just big enough for Nyger seeds.
I cannot imagine how seeds would spill out from those little slits in high winds???
Be patient--the Finches will come to your feeder once they find it.
if you just put it out, I don't think they would have found it by the next day.
I was in ACE hardware just now. They have the biggest selection of bird feeders
I have ever seen--but--OUCH! the prices!!!!! They are so high!
Their tube feeders were, like, $16.
Flow, you have my finiches. I am upset. Please send them back to me...maybe at least one??
Here are pictures of my feeder. It is an Audubon Soc. feeder, so it must be ok. The one is to show you how small the holes are but I do not know if you can see them.
Is this like yours Flow?
As my 6yo grandson said to me last night, "I don't have a clue, but I do have a theory"
My theory is that the finches that used to come to your feeder are dining somewhere else and they might not need to find other sources of seeds if where they are feeding has an abundant fresh supply. good shelter and a water source. Birds are pretty good at conserving their energy for eating and surviving and not scouting out the reopened restaurants in town unless their current favorite runs out of their favs. I'm thinking here of how once echinacea seeds are ripe they will be eaten by the birds in a couple of days rather than multiple visits over several months.
Seems you'd have to do a side-by-side comparison of feeders to see which ones your finches prefer, but that would have to wait for the return of the finches, or someone with active feeding finch population to hang your feeder next to theirs!
Flow took my finches. I know it now. She even sent pictures. Some friend.
I think I will put up a tube again, of course the wind will blow the seed away but I will try it again and see if they return. I am going to put bands on mine from now on like I did my parrots I bred. That way I will know when Flow takes pictures. Mine will be banded. So there. Only in NJ.
I just cleaned up two of the old tubes and filled them with fresh thistle seed and we will see. I purchase my niger seed from my distributor that I purchase all my parrot food from. I thought I could save some money. I used to get 50 lb for $45.50 I re-bag it and put it in cold storage, but this year I only got 25lb and it was $30.47. If I would have had more birds I would have gotten 50 lb and I am sure the price would be almost double now but of course the price of all seed has gone up considerably. That is one of the reasons many of the stores have cut back in their exotic bird seeds. Around the holidays I ran out of large parrot seed and went to Pet Smart and bought two pounds. I did not want to get my big order until after the first of the year. (I only have one large parrot now)...not two weeks later, the moths were flying around my house from that darn old seed.
They do not keep it in a cool place and the seed moths hatch when you open it and put it in another container. I thought for sure Pet Smart would have fresh seed but I was wrong. Now I have moth traps all over the house. blankity blank...JB
OMG...HEY ...GUESS WHAT...THREE ROBINS ARE IN MY YARD HERE IN NEW JERSEY...TODAY...WHAT A GREAT VALENTINE SURPRISE THIS IS.
They are hungry and cold. Two males and one female...I wonder where the other female is?
These are no doubt the ones who come every year and live beside my back deck in the pink dog wood tree. They are standing quiet, not moving a muscle. I think they are listening for grubs or worms. The ground is still frozen but they are near the plowed field where it is softer. Oh I hope this is a good sign.
The daffodils are also up about 3 inches, some more. I have a field of them because I cut and sell them and there are thousands out there. Everything is confused with this weather. JB
Interesting factoid concerning worms and therefore robins: As the weather cools towards winter, worms produce their egg cases and many are left in the top inch or so of soil/debris. Some worms tunnel down below the frost line and rest til spring thaw. Others stay near surface and remain active on warmer days. Of course, there are those that freeze to death, too. They takes their chances.
All of these worms are food for robins and the likes except the ones too deep to get to. So, on warmer winter days, Robins can forage for tiny wee newly hatched baby worms usually found on the underside of leaf litter (Could be why Gita's flowerbeds were being emptied systematically, leaf by leaf...)They can also find those worms who chanced staying at the surface and are pretty sluggish. Or perhaps a newly thawing TV dinner worm.
And, here is a mourning dove/pigeon family factoid. Their feet are specifically adapted for ground feeding. They can walk (called a shuffle) along the ground eating without having to use their wings to propel them forward like other birds who must hop, hop, hop, or bob, bob, bob along!
Gita Honey, a hutch is what you keep rabbits in. A clutch is when birds lay eggs and hatch them. Some double clutch , in fact I am not sure but I do believe most of our wild/backyard birds double clutch. I used to hate that when I had exotics that double clutched. We try and get just one clutch because of hand feeding them all. A bird has just so many eggs in her to lay in her lifetime. Same with chickens. The hens I had (parrots) still lay eggs even without a mate. Of course they are not fertile but they still want to sit them and cluck over them like a chicken. I had one just the other day. I allow her to sit her egg for a few days then I take it from her. Sometimes they will sit and not eat and if the egg is not fertile, that is not good for them. One time I had two little parrotlets that both double clutched on me and I was hand feeding 12 of those little guys from early on until they were weaned. I called them the dirty dozen.
To be sure I fed them all I would keep them in a basket and as I fed them move them to the other basket until all 12 were fed. This goes on every two or three hours round the clock.
The little tiny one in the center was named Rover.
Gita, please do not be angry with me for telling you about the clutch not a hutch. I actually got a good laugh at it because I used to call my flock of birds a herd of birds. (of course being a horse person, a herd just seemed logical. LOL). I thought of my own funny names I give things and had to giggle. You are so funny at times and I bet you do not even try to be.
Flow...thanks for sending me a few red finches. They are eating out of the tubes but not from the wooden feeder. It is so cold and windy I would be surprised to see any birds just now.
How awful to watch those hawks do that. I saw a morning dove just disappear one time the same way and I cried out and screamed at the hawk. All that was left was a few feathers. It takes a lot to upset me but I can not even watch the discovery channel and when the lions jump on those fast running animals that look like deer, I just can't watch. To think I used to help butcher. Oh Gosh, I have really gotten wimpy.
Goodness gracious, I need warm weather very soon. I am slowly crumbling. JB
How exciting Flow.. I would love to see one of those. Do you have them visit frequently?
Do they live there ? I have never seen one here. Of course, we have nothing exciting here at all and it is so depressing when all those beautiful birds are out there and we feed and feed and all we get are the starlings, cow birds, sparrows, you know, the regulars. I did see three yellow finch this morning. They were either females or the males beginning to turn. Am i correct that the males turn yellow in the Spring?
Those are beautiful falcons. I keep watching the sky because the eagles are nesting and there are several nests within miles of here but they fly over when they hunt. So far I have not seen them. I do think it may be a bit early and they may be sitting tight on eggs or laying them.
But, the male and female both should be hunting food during the incubation period. They will take turns to sit the eggs if they have any.
I don't know about you all, but birds give me such peace of mind. They are so relaxing to watch and enjoy. What would this world be without them. My little house flock is so quiet today I looked at them several times to see what was going on. They must just be content.
Of course, the sun conure just laid two eggs the past few weeks and she was noisy then, but we took them from her yesterday so she must be pouting. I do know she is eating. So. all is well and life is good.
Thank god and birds for fluffed up down! My sleeping bag is rated to 30 below and my comfortersare cosy year round. Couldn't imagine doing my outside delivery work in a heavy jacket, but my down vest and jacket are perfect for warmth and free movement. My bubble would say "Down, it's a good thing"!
I wear down vests most of the time to work outside and even in the GH then I do not have to bother with a heavy jacket to take off and on. Yes, thank you God and Birds.
This wind is brutal again today. I was out feeding the barn cats and the cat food froze before they could eat it. That is cold. It does not seem to be that cold but the wind chill makes me crazy. I can not stand firmly on my feet when the wind blows because I have vertigo and it makes me more off balance than usual on some days. Really difficult to work when it is like that.
I need Spring really soon. I had better get to cutting and cleaning christmas cactus. Too cold to be outside.
I was out in the wind this morning and I just could not stay out very long. I just turned up the heat in the GH again. The sun was so warm the heat went off and the temp in there went up to 90 deg. Just sunshine. The birds were not as busy today as they were yesterday. Maybe it is because all the seed has blown out of the feeders. I must replace it tomorrow but it seemed useless today the way it was blowing again. I am still watching for those eagles. See you tomorrow. JB
Marv, doesn't the hawk keep the other birds from eating ? When our hawks are around the birds all seem to disappear. I think ours must be starting to nest, they have been very quiet the past few days. Wind is picking up again and it is to be warmer here today, but , it feels cold to me. No birds either. My indoor flock is extremely quiet also. Hmmm. Better check on what is going on.
I forgot all about the bird tread. Here is a picture of a hawk who spent four hours in my front yard a week ago He had caught a sick squirrel and was enjoying his meal about 8 feet from my front door .He was so happy and busy with his dinner that I was able to take pictures as close as four to five feet without disturbing him . what a gorgeous bird. Eventually when he ate enough or when his catch was light enough to air lift he went away. We had a little sun for few minutes and the color on the bird changed completely. He was again in my holly tree several days later and blended perfectly... .
We must have 40 chipmunks who frequent our patio if we have one. I don't exactly wish a hawk would eat them -- really I don't -- but I wish they'd move to your house, Donner, since you seem to love them! We just have waaay too many.
I do not think that my hawk travel's too far out of College Park . I took some picture of the same hawk several years ago. We used to have chipmunks and rabbits and I think that the hawks have cleaned the area out. They do not go after squirrels unless they are raiding the squirrel's nest . We have a neighbor who feed the squirrels so they are heavy little critters and the hawk would have a hard time lifting them up. I watch one once who dropped his squirrel because he could barely get off the ground. One of my friend told me that they had a wild turkey in the front yard... probably coming from USDA. So long as we do not have any deers I am fine . The deers would have a smogasborg in my yard with all the hosta's . One of the cat tried to get a closer look at the hawk and the hawk started to stretch his wings out the cat almost did a back flip he got scared , comical to see. Enough about the hawk. yesterday we had some house finch in the yard and some of the red wing black birds..
Spring is near.
Donnerville : at the price of salad you should start charging the ground hog.
When I had my bird farm in Cream Ridge, NJ I had a flock of wild turkeys that would come visit twice a day. One day one came over the dog fence and got in the yard. Here are some shots, not sure how good they are, but it shows some of them feeding. They had a schedule for their visits and you could almost set the clock by them. It was really funny how the male and females would interact during feeding. Enjoy.
The first picture is not at all good. Sorry. You can not see them and I can not delete the picture. At least you can see it snowed that year. LOL
Chipmunks cause damage in gardens and lawns by digging for seeds and acorns, digging up bulbs, destroying flowers, burrowing small tunnels into your lawn or undermining the structure of sidewalks, walls, patios, steps and foundations
Okay Marvinemo and Orchid Fancy do you know what kind of hawks are in the photos you have posted? I'm going to guess that Ruler of the West Deck is a Redtailed and Orchid, yours looks like a Redshouldered? How big are they?
Three hawks circling low just before yesterday's rains.
Have any of you seen the PBS special "My Life As A Turkey"? IMHO really worth a view.
Driving with the grandies and DIL last Monday to my niece's house we saw 2 hawks flying. The 8yr old was very excited. We also saw a herd of deer in said niece's yard and the grandies were thrilled, while the kids who lived there were not even aware. Guess they see them all the time so get acclimated to their presence. LOL. All a matter of perspective.
Best to look for that nest now before the trees leaf out,,,on second thought, if there is a breeding pair, one of them will be in the nest with newly or about to hatch chicks so this is not a good time to traipse through their home turf. And sallyg can verify that the nest is not easy to spot even if you are standing right under it!!
Gita, When I noticed it was the wrong picture, it was already printed on the post and then I went to edit it and there is no place to remove a picture and the red x is gone. That was when I realized you can not edit pictures once it is already posted. At least my red x's were gone and I tried to just delete it and nothing would happen. Then the only thing at the bottom was preview. Try it and see if it works. I am not dreaming here. I hope. LOL JB
Marvinemo - I must have your hawk's brother at my house. After all, I live in New Baltimore, and work in Fairfax...anyhoo, I went into the kitchen last Wednesday morning (I was OFF and spent the whole day pruning and spraying and buying trees on the special from Meadows Farms), and thought that I had a doggone OWL sittin' on a corner fence post. Turns out, it was "our hawk." We have found that there is a mated pair, and they don't mess with lil ole Chickadees...they watch for the doves and squirrels. Fine with us.
My species crocus are blooming away, big fat red buds are coming out of my roses and trees, and along with my emerging tulips are the tell tale deer tracks. Sprayed the tulips with my Neem Oil mixture and I'm going to look at the tulips today to see if the deer think Neem Oil is as nasty as I do! LOL!
Oh, to have a Bald Eagle nearby...wow. What a dream. I'm waiting to see "Fred and Ethel" emerge from their hole to start slithering over my garden on patrol for varmints...they are black snakes. I am wanting that warm weather so badly...
A couple of years ago Jamie made me a Woodpecker nest box. It is high up in a tree at the edge of the pasture. The two Pileateds that have been at our feeders daily have made us wonder if they might be using the box. We will have to watch it and see.
Birds prefer fresh suet: Last year at end of winter, I took a partial suet block out of the holder and stuck it in a crotch of the crabapple tree. I found it recently. It had some fresh peck marks, so I hung it next to a fresh suet block, about the same size and shape. THey look the same to me but for two weeks I have only seen birds on the fresh one and not seen any on the old one.
Fred and Ethel my be related "the Lone Ranger" who has made a home under our front porch! Our neighbor gets uo at dawn and sees him everyday...apparently he is very looonnnnngggggg. I have not seen him, only a six foot long, newly shed skin.
egads marvinemo! Good thing you have a heads up. My mom would just croak to see such a snake.
I'm taking apart a couple old outdated brass chandeliers that nobody on Craigslist wanted, and making a big bird feeder with glass roof. I'll hopefully have some spare parts to make another small feeder too. I like the one I made by taking the guts out of a front overhead hanging light.
There is no way on this God's earth I would live with a snake under my porch or anywhere for that matter. I am totally absolutely so afraid of them it is not funny. Just the thought of them as I am writing this makes me get goose bumps. I do not care if they are two inches long, I am gone until they are. You are so brave. That is why I like it here on the farm. I have never seen a snake here at all. At my other farm I saw one and killed it after my Jack Russell had it half dead. Then, I threw it over the fence in the yard and it landed on a bush. Next day it was gone and I was frantic that it was still alive and came back into the yard. Oh well, some of us just are old softies. ME!
My birds are still not eating...what is wrong with my feeders? Or are the hawks here when I do not see them? I don't know but I am so frustrated trying to keep them fed and watered and then they do not come eat. You all sound like you have so many I could cry. Well, not really, but almost. Must go feed the indoor flock. Have a good evening. JB
JB--Could you move the feeders closer tot he house?
If the Hawks are around--they probably won't come around the house.
As far as snakes go--I have only ever seen one--on only one day.
I was in my back yard and saw a black "thing" on the grass. Thinking it was a branch
off of my Maple--I just walked over and was going to pick it up--and saw it was a Black Snake.
I freaked out for about 5 minutes--then grabbed my camera and followed it for about
an Hour. He/she was headed for the front Juniper shrubs--slithering along the back
of the long flower bed--taking its sweet time. Not too comfortable with me tracking it.
At one point--I leaned too close and it coiled up at me. THAT i did not like!!!!...
However--it crawled into my old Juniper Bush--and I was now hunkering doen between the house and the bush
trying to see it--when, all of a sudden, I saw TWO heads! They had a date!!!! Those hussies...
I waited and waited--and then they slowly crawled out and headed for a hole under my
concrete front steps...still curled around each other.
Now I had visions of it getting into my house somehow--from the foundation. That scared me a bit.
I never saw them again. I understand snakes can come and go..
Kind of wish I had at least ONE snake back to take care of the critters...but it would frighten me a bit too.
Brace your self JB!!!! I will post pictures of my escapade...G.
Oh my God , Gita...shivers and shakes for this old broad. Oh. My! I would have that sucker in half with a shovel before I would take pictures.
I was thinking the feeders were too close to the house. They are just outside my kitchen window and my decks. The hawks sit on the fence of the dog yard, they are not afraid of anything. I just do not like them very much because I love my other birds and my bunnies and squirrels. My cats are not bird hunters either, so I am not sure what the problem it.
Today is not a day of rest again. The volunteers for the Horse Park got together up there today to remove the wood of 23 trees that went down on the grounds from Sandy. The other trees that were damaged need to have a professional take care of them, but these are already down and all they need is to be cut up and moved. They started this morning early when the sun was out. It is now cloudy and getting colder and I am here at the farm holding down the fort. Which means I have some chores to do, so off I go. Hugs to all. Have a great day watching those birds. Jb
JBerger Why do you want to kill the black snake? or snakes? Few years ago I would have sold my soul, to find couple of them and release them in my back yard. They were doing more construction around where I live and we had rat galore. The only organic way to kill rats are snakes , they kill them, eat them and when the supply run's out they leave what more do you want. No poison, no traps, no guilt. and it does not cost a penny...on the other side they like birds too but they still prefer rats and mice and rodents as a whole...I had to get poison and was not pleased at all , I do not like to pick up dead things specially not rats...
Totally agree with orchidfancy about the Freds and Ethels of our worlds...
The big thing is, a good old black snake is territorial, and will kill those horrible copperheads...so Fred and Ethel are just fine, in my book. Also, jeese Gita, just THINK if you had something humongous looming over YOU...I am sure that this was not fine in your own Fred and Ethel's book...LOL!
I have a huge maple tree that seasonally has a big long newly-shed snakeskin hanging from it. I really do NOT like snakes, but I like their prey even less. Guess that sums it up.
When I've run into either Fred or Ethel, we just eyeball each other and go in separate directions. My husband found one of them lying in wait underneath one of our squash plants last summer, and as the garden and squash plant is so near our shed (where I have found mice), I just had a talk with myself about being careful about reaching down without looking...and we are near some natural springs and streams and that is where copperheads live.
Last summer, my co-worker was doing some weeding in her suburban townhouse yard and a newly-hatched baby copperhead bit her (they are the most dangerous as they don't know how to control their venom) and it was a little while before she knew what had happened. Long story short, boy she wishes she had her very own Fred and Ethel!
orchidfancy-I'm with you - I cannot STAND rats an even less picking up dead varmints.
On a camping trip, I was told to watch out for the "pet" black snake. Well, I found him, and I must say those pictures reminded me me of how gigantic they can get. One friend of mine is a herpetologist. He PICKED UP this monster and played with him! I touched him, but that was all. Black snakes are huge, harmless to us, and kill rats.
Our snake likes to sun himself on the porch in the very early morning hours. We almost never see him. Our neighbor sees him when he leaves for work at some ungodly hour. I weed with some trepidation in that area, but otherwise the snake and I peacefully share the front porch.
My first encounter with a baby snake (black snake--i am sure--eben though it was brown)
was one summer, as I was sitting on my porch swing under one of my Maples, and I heard
a "thunk"...as if something fell down from the tree.
I looked at the ground and there was a brown "ball" with a bird half swallowed.
Stupid me! I wanted to save the bird and scared the little snake away. It was no more than, maybe,
14" long. It let go the bird and scooted off. Of course--the bird was already dead--
and I never saw the snake again.
Lesson learned? Let Nature be! Do not interfere...
and always have a roof/ awning/ umbrella over your head!?!
Only seen a worm snake once, the ranger spotted it on the trail during a birding walk. RIngneck snakes are darn cute little harmless things, that eat worms. I put on in a terrarium once when I was a kid, and it shed it's skin for me. I kept that perfect shed skin for a long time.
I just got an e-mail sent out by "patch" about a nasty storm coming later this week.
They said the one we are expecting this Tue. and Wed. is going to be "mild" in comparison.
Here is a c/p of this report: Enough, already!!!!
The following is a message from BGE regarding a significant winter storm in the forecast for later this week:
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Prepares for Significant Winter Storm; Encourages Customers to Prepare Families and Homes In Advance
Customers reminded they may now report power outages from mobile phones and devices through company's new mobile website at bge.com or by calling 877.778.2222
BGE is initially requesting up to 500 out-of-state utility workers through the mutual assistance networks
BALTIMORE, March 4, 2013 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that it is closely monitoring an approaching weather front that will likely bring heavy, wet snow and wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour across the majority of its central Maryland service area on Wednesday. Snow accumulations are forecasted to reach between six to 15 inches. Coupled with high wind gusts, heavy, wet snow can cover tree limbs, electric delivery equipment and power lines, and cause power outages. BGE is making an initial request for up to 500 out-of-state utility workers through the mutual assistance networks. Just as the company is preparing field crews and employees to respond to potential power outages resulting from the forecasted weather, the company reminds its customers to take the time now to make preparations.
It is important to note that customers may now report power outages from mobile phones and devices through the company's new mobile website at bge.com or by calling 877.778.2222. An enhanced power outage map is also available through the mobile and full websites, and provides the general location and status of current electric power outages in BGE's service area. Customers can view affected area(s), the number of customers affected by an outage, estimated time of restoration if available, and the status of the field crew assigned to repair the issue.
"While the forecast for Monday and Tuesday remains mild, we expect conditions to drastically change with the approaching winter storm that will likely impact BGE's service area on Wednesday and Thursday," said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. "Heavy, wet snow combined with high wind and wind gusts can weaken trees, bringing whole trees and tree limbs down onto power lines and other electric delivery equipment, and cause outages. The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority, and in periods of sustained high wind, it may be unsafe to operate bucket trucks. Customers should prepare for the possibility of extended power outages in the event that the snowfall causes treacherous road conditions, which may delay crew travel and restoration times. We appreciate our customers' efforts to prepare in advance for adverse weather and to assist BGE in identifying and reporting outages and downed wires through our recently introduced mobile website at bge.com or our automated phone system at 877.778.2222."
As a reminder, BGE customers who may be elderly, disabled or dependent on electricity for medical or life-sustaining equipment (Customers with Special Needs), should always have alternate arrangements in place should they experience an extended power outage.
BGE encourages its customers and employees to proactively prepare for severe weather and the possibility of power outages and to take steps to ensure the safety of their families and property during service interruptions by taking the following steps:
Stay informed – Be aware of changing weather conditions and plan ahead. Have a battery-powered radio with a weather band so you can hear emergency information when the power is out.
Make a plan – Discuss and document an emergency plan with those in your care. Develop a family emergency plan that includes alternative arrangements should the need arise to leave your home. Make provisions for special needs of any family member such as the elderly, disabled, medically affected or infants. If you are dependent on electric-powered medical equipment, you are encouraged to seek alternate arrangements in the event that your electric service is interrupted.
Make a list of emergency phone numbers (including 877.778.2222 to report an outage or a downed wire to BGE) and keep a personal telephone book and one corded phone or a cell phone on hand.
Build an emergency kit – Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care. Remember supplies for children, those with special needs and pets.
Keep the following items readily available:
Flashlights – not candles
Battery-operated clock radio
Fully charged cell phone
Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
First aid kit
Customers also should consider filling the fuel tanks of their vehicles in the event a power outage affects service to neighborhood gas stations. For customers who rely on well water, filling a bathtub with water in advance of severe weather is strongly encouraged.
In addition to monitoring current and approaching weather conditions that could result in service interruptions, BGE regularly conducts emergency training drills during which all aspects of storm-related service restoration are tested. BGE's most recent drill occurred last October, and involved a detailed review of BGE's Electric Delivery Emergency Response Plan to ensure that storm response procedures are up-to-date and in line with industry standards.
Customers can find information on preparing for natural disasters and other emergency events at bge.com, as well as storm preparation information and restoration progress via BGE's social media sites on Twitter and Facebook.
The big old hawk is just hovering around my house for the past several days. Just circling and there is not a bird in sight. Robins have gone someplace. I did see a female cardinal early this morning before he began his circling. I was praying he would not see her. There were two little sparrows over by the barn in a bush where he could not get them. That is it. No squirrels, no birds, no nothing but a big on red tail hawk. GRRRRRRR. Hope he gets snowed on.
Well, I'm in Warrenton, VA. IT I BEAUTIFUL! OH! I am staying home from work today! And my dear husband filled our feeders yesterday and there are a bunch of those little sooty-colored birds on the ground...I think someone called them Juncoes. I got my Christmas gift from my best friend, a pile of fireplace ash, and it is sandwiched between the deep snow (we have around 6" so far) and the newly-dug soil.
So now it is time to sit back and admire God's glory. Ah March! My favorite month! What spirit!
The wind is just too strong for these little darlings and they are trying so hard to find something on the ground. Hawk is gone for now. I think the wind blew him away. I hope. My little birds are here, no finches, just the junco, sparrows and could I have chickadees? I get them confused with the juncos but I think I have both. They have a black cap and the junco is darker I thought with no cap. Am I correct? JB
Need your help please. We have a large area we used to farm but due to the weather, different work schedules, etc we have decided to make it into a place to attract birds. We are only going to do bushes so if we change our minds in the future we can move them without too much trouble. It is full sun and good drainage and we would like to attract birds and butterflies if possible. I have no hummers and would love to have some but we have nothing here but fir and spruce (since we are a Christmas Tree Farm). I am looking for flowering shrubs, fast growers and bird friendly. Any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
Oh Gita, I am sorry you went to all that trouble. Sweetie, I really wanted to hear from individuals which bushes are attracting the song birds and hummers. I am sorry I misled you.
My SIL was the VP of Princeton Nurseries for years and we have some ideas but we are limited to Full Sun and I wanted to hear what some of the others are using to attract them. Am I forgiven? I will keep the list and check them out so you can be sure your work was not in vain. Love you. JB
JB, Look to the Native Plants. I have very few native plants. Most of mine were chosen before I was at several lectures on Native Plants. I was at one today on Caterpillars and I have gotten some lists of Native plants that would probably good for your area as well as mine. Several things I have learned is that purple plants are not good for Caterpillars, you need to encourage them as part of a bird diet. Anything Japanese is probably not right either. Kousa Dogwoods have a larger berry than native. Most birds can't eat them. So the Kousa can seem prettier because it keeps its berries longer and they are bigger. Not to mention that they don't get some of the native Dogwoods do. But they won't feed your birds. The big native Elderberry in my pasture is a good thing the new and much desired Elderberry Sambucu nigra may not be more than ornamental.
ahhhhhhh I am going to be getting some cuttings from my friend at the Botanical Garden next week and if they grow you will be the first one I share them with. A little bird must have told you that and that is why you are being so nice to me. HUH!!!!! I know better sweet lady. You are the bestest of the best. Next to my friend in the botanical garden. LOL JB
Gita, I am not talking about black pussy willows, my friend has some very hard to find CC and I thought you had a collection. I did not realize you raise them to give away. No problem, I have a few other people who actually have collections and are always looking for a new hard to find one to add to it.
As far as the black PW goes, they are so easy to start, when and if you ever want any just yell.
They arrived in NJ today, at least in my part of NJ. I also still have Mr. Hawk circling and I felt a bit intimidated today when I drove into town and there he was 3 miles up the road still circling me. Hmmmmm I wonder who is following whom or is it who or Hoo? Whatever.
Those blackbirds and crows were eating most of the day. I was surprised that the hawk was here at almost the same times the crows were. I think they drove him to go to town with me.
They do not really like each other.
Off to bed. I am still trying to get used to daylight time.
I get blackbirds in masses. They trash everything...
I stand there and bang on my window with something--and they all fly away
and sit in surrounding trees to re-group. Then they start dribbling back to my patio feeder
and my lawn. And--I bang again. Sometimes they really DO fly away.
The suet I had out--when they found it--they devoured all 4 cakes in a matter of days.
I have read that if you scatter cracked corn that really attracts them. I have not done that--but then,
they will eat anything...anyway. UGH!
So much activity just now with all sorts of birds I am excited. Robins are back too. Hard to keep the feeders full when they are this active but I love them so I will not complain. The blackbirds found the sour/moldy feed we dug out of the Iris bed over the weekend and threw in the field where we plow it under. We did not plow it under yet and they found it and there must be hundreds of birds in that field. At least it keeps some of them away from the feeders.
Karen, I have to thank you for your pictures of your downy woodpeckers. I have been trying for weeks to determine if all my pairs of woodpeckers are hairy or downy. The ones in your pictures are our guys for sure. Mystery solved!