Photo by Melody
Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.

Mid-Atlantic Gardening: Mid-Atlantic Bird Watching - Winter 2012-2013

Communities > Forums > Mid-Atlantic Gardening
bookmark
Forum: Mid-Atlantic GardeningReplies: 334, Views: 1,960
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 23, 2012
10:52 AM

Post #9340548

Hello all!

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!

The last bird watching thread, which we are coming from is here... http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1186472/

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!

Karen


Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 23, 2012
10:57 AM

Post #9340552

For identification purposes, here are a couple of good websites for finding out
"just what bird is that???"

http://www.whatbird.com/
http://enature.com/fieldguides/view_default.asp?curGroupID=1

Also, DG's very own BirdFiles is a great source!
http://davesgarden.com/guides/birdfiles/

And one more option is DG's Bird Identification forum...
If all you can do is offer a photo, someone here is always able to ID it for you!
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/birdid/all/

This message was edited Nov 23, 2012 3:35 PM
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 23, 2012
11:02 AM

Post #9340554

Here are some links to slideshows of some of the birds I have captured from our balcony in past years...
You may even see a familiar photo or two!

Fall/Winter 2011-2012
http://www.flickr.com/photos/va_wild_rose/sets/72157629042023551/show/

Summer 2011
http://www.flickr.com/photos/va_wild_rose/sets/72157626909262553/show/

Fall/Winter 2010-2011 (includes the beginning of the story of Rumpus)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/va_wild_rose/sets/72157625711395448/show/
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 23, 2012
11:05 AM

Post #9340556

I will post some from this past summer a bit later...

Thanks again for looking and joining us!

Thanks to the "little bird" that encouraged me to start this thread!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 23, 2012
11:47 AM

Post #9340588

Thank you Karen!
Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

November 23, 2012
1:27 PM

Post #9340645

Wonderful!!!!!
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 23, 2012
5:14 PM

Post #9340795

Karen, I'm thrilled that you are doing this!

I had no idea that you don't have a yard. In my mind's eye you live in an old growth forest near the river with some meadow across the lane...very nature reservy.

And, thanks for listing some ID links, too. Looking forward to checking in and participating and pics much better than my phone can capture.
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 23, 2012
5:27 PM

Post #9340800

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!
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 25, 2012
3:23 PM

Post #9342236

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.

This message was edited Nov 25, 2012 6:25 PM
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 26, 2012
6:32 PM

Post #9343377

I do have some photos of Red-shouldered Hawks Judy...
We have a pair that live and nest in the woods behind our complex.
We can always tell when they are nearby as the little birds get spooked.

This photo is from one I spotted down by the river a while back.
Hope this helps...

Red-shouldered Hawk

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
Click the image for an enlarged view.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

November 26, 2012
7:32 PM

Post #9343436

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)

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 26, 2012
7:45 PM

Post #9343444

Gorgeous hawk!
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.
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 26, 2012
9:39 PM

Post #9343513

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 27, 2012
6:10 AM

Post #9343636

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...

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 27, 2012
7:21 AM

Post #9343668

So nice to watch the birds. I used to work in an office whose cubicles had a view of woods. Loved that.

I just read that millet was the one preferred food for my beloved white throated sparrows.

I usually buy straight safflower to avoid squirrel hogging issues,.

My old thistle seed seems totally ignored, THey must know its bad.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

November 27, 2012
7:50 AM

Post #9343689

They def are picky about their thistle
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 27, 2012
9:05 AM

Post #9343751



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.

There are versions for "Greater Baltimore" and "Washington, DC" put out by localbirds.com.
http://localbirds.com/wp/guides/birds/greater-baltimore/

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!



This message was edited Nov 27, 2012 12:11 PM
Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

November 27, 2012
2:17 PM

Post #9343964

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.
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 29, 2012
7:01 PM

Post #9345821

Gita, I love your picture window!!!

This male Cardinal was sitting in the tree across from our balcony in the last light of day...

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 29, 2012
7:02 PM

Post #9345822

One of my birdwatchers... you can see a male Downy Woodpecker at the suet feeder through the window.

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 29, 2012
7:03 PM

Post #9345823

And a few visitors from today...

A Tufted Titmouse at the water dish
Mrs Cardinal
Mrs Downy

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose   Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose   Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 29, 2012
7:08 PM

Post #9345827

wonderful!
Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

November 29, 2012
7:09 PM

Post #9345828

What a joy!!!
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

November 30, 2012
4:42 AM

Post #9346030

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.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 30, 2012
5:12 AM

Post #9346044

Gracye, that sounds great. And thanks for the 'review' of the feeders!

I found ' feathers for lunch' the other day. Mark saw a hawk perched in the tree on the day of Storm Sandy. I think we lost one little grey bird- titmouse or junco from the feather colors.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

November 30, 2012
5:50 AM

Post #9346069

By the way- you can always visit the Bird Watching forum for the Bad Pictures threads, They are funny!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 1, 2012
9:06 AM

Post #9346879

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.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 1, 2012
2:22 PM

Post #9347059

Have you had luck with thistle socks? The thistle falls out of mine -- and the birds don't eat it either from the sock or the ground.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 1, 2012
2:47 PM

Post #9347069

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.

This message was edited Dec 1, 2012 6:50 PM
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 1, 2012
3:23 PM

Post #9347089

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
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 1, 2012
3:36 PM

Post #9347099

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!
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

December 1, 2012
4:03 PM

Post #9347125

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!

Go figure.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 1, 2012
4:22 PM

Post #9347133

Holly---

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.

http://www.pantrymothtrap.com/pantry-moths.html

BAD...BAD...BAD...SO! Do not keep your pet food and bird seed in the house. You will be sorry!

AHHHH! End of lecture... Gita

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 1, 2012
4:36 PM

Post #9347146

I just read the link I posted in the above post.

Absolutely NOTHING I did not live through! Everything they describe--I lived through.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 2, 2012
12:46 AM

Post #9347335

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.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 31, 2012
12:15 PM

Post #9371465

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.

This message was edited Dec 31, 2012 4:18 PM

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 31, 2012
3:17 PM

Post #9371648

Holly---

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...

WHY?????
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.
Gita

edited to correct the original publish date. It was 1906 (geez! That is when MY Mom was born!!!)
Published: 1906 Author: Selma Lagerlöf

This message was edited Dec 31, 2012 6:34 PM

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 31, 2012
3:31 PM

Post #9371661

Silly me! Of course--you can find anything on the Internet!
Kind of "blows" my fantasy...

Like--here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wonderful_Adventures_of_Nils

And also here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG_RI_Chv0s

And---Here too--besides--you can buy it on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Wonderful-Adventures-Nils-Further-Holgersson/dp/1572160365/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356996619&sr=8-1&keywords=nils holgerson
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

January 1, 2013
10:06 AM

Post #9372308

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.

Karen

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 1, 2013
4:41 PM

Post #9372641

too suburban for pileated here as well. And I have not seen Downy yet. I hear nuthatches a lot. I have a fresh suet out so it should be enjoyed well this month.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 3, 2013
7:28 AM

Post #9374010

I've got a huge pileated at the suet feeder, at 25*F he probably needs more calories. I'm trying to get a decent shot of him. Ric
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 3, 2013
8:03 AM

Post #9374053

You are reminding me I need to melt up some suet...
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 3, 2013
9:27 AM

Post #9374135

victorgardener in the Northeast forum posted this link to a new suet feeder he uses that is pileated friendly

http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Choice-2-Cake-Pileated-Feeder/dp/B001QSL1IU/ref=sr_1_3?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1355433584&sr=1-3

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?

*pic from new bird site on facebook

Thumbnail by coleup
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 4, 2013
6:23 AM

Post #9375005

I buy pure suet and my squirels don't bother it.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 4, 2013
10:40 AM

Post #9375266

would love to see a pileated

Pretty sure this is a downy...(I really need a zoom lens for my camera) I heard him before I could spot him

Visitors on my deck, white throated sparrow, just wouldn't turn around
Cardinal and Blue Jay

Thumbnail by flowAjen   Thumbnail by flowAjen   Thumbnail by flowAjen   Thumbnail by flowAjen   Thumbnail by flowAjen
Click an image for an enlarged view.

happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2013
10:44 AM

Post #9375268

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2013
10:51 AM

Post #9375279

Happy--
I had the same thought. It should be easy to build by anyone handy with lumber and tools.

Also, I wanted to ask why this was, especially, labeled as a "Pileated Suet Feeder"???
Do these woodpeckers need a special kind of a suet feeder?

HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 4, 2013
10:54 AM

Post #9375280

Pictures aren't very good, they were taken thru the sliding glass door.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS   Thumbnail by HollyAnnS         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 4, 2013
11:13 AM

Post #9375297

They need that longer surface to balance their tail

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 4, 2013
11:19 AM

Post #9375307

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.

Way cool Holly/Ric
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2013
1:12 PM

Post #9375429

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?

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2013
4:34 PM

Post #9375656

Soooo?????

Raw beef fat from the butcher is NOT known as suet? Is it OK to use? I thought you could just put that out.

I have done it in the past--but have not, really, paid attention to WHO eats it up.
I know a lot of Blackbirds love it! They can be very carnivorous with fat.

I have a package of plain fat I slabs I just took out of my freezer tonight--thought i would hang it tomorrow.

Now i am not sure.,...Please advise... gita
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2013
4:55 PM

Post #9375672

Gita: I haven't a clue. I'm just reporting what mom did. I'll noodle around.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2013
4:57 PM

Post #9375673

This site (first one I looked at) says to melt it: http://www.attractwildbirds.com/feedingbirds/how-to-make-suet.htm. Maybe it is just because you can get it into a usable shape.

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.

Cathy4 says: "You can just stick the fat out in the feeder, but it spoils easier and drops things I don't want my dog eating--and if it hits the ground, Lucy will find it." See http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/417/.

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/

I'm inspired to melt some lard this weekend...

This message was edited Jan 4, 2013 8:17 PM

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2013
5:32 PM

Post #9375701

WOW, Happy!

Thank you! You did quite a bit of research on all this!
Not sure I want to go through all this. I can buy suet cakes at Ollies for 99cents.
I think HD charges $1.99.

Good info, though! Gita
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2013
5:42 PM

Post #9375715

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.
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2013
6:30 PM

Post #9375769

flowAjen... Yes, that appears to be a Downy.

Great shots of the Pileated, Holly/Ric.

You gals are way more constrictive than I am!
I just buy the peanutbutter suet at Wal-mart.
Everyone that visits our balcony loves it.

Karen

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 6, 2013
4:26 PM

Post #9377558

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.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2013
6:54 AM

Post #9379887

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.

More later.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 9, 2013
8:57 AM

Post #9380000

wow, what a project!
ssgardener
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2013
9:15 AM

Post #9380019

I have an irrational fear of rodents, so I don't think I'll be putting up a bird feeder anytime soon... unless I find something that's 100% squirrel/rat/mouse proof.

I'm seeing a lot of birds by the compost bin, though. I'm hoping the chicken and rabbit manure in the compost bin is enough to attract the bugs/worms that the birds like.

I saw one up close the other day. I think it was a sedge wren, winter wren, or more likely a marsh wren.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2013
9:30 AM

Post #9380038

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.

happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2013
9:59 AM

Post #9380073

To stretch out the suet, I'm going to use this recipe: One cup suet, one cup crunchy peanut butter, two cups of quick cook oats, two cups of cornmeal, one cup of white flour, and 1/3 cup sugar.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 9, 2013
10:49 AM

Post #9380131

tried hot pepper in my bird seed and suet before and I must have Mexican squirrels cause they didn't mind it a bit
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2013
12:36 PM

Post #9380210

Oh no! That's terrible news! I now have a huge suet container to put out -- very heavy -- and a hungry hoard of chipmunks and squirrels.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2013
7:24 PM

Post #9380584


My suspicion/ theory has been that birds peck the seed-filled suet away getting the seeds out, it goes so much faster . The pure suet block lasts a long time, and I DO see birds eat it.

I would get a suet cake recipe from Cornell bird site, and whatever they say I trust.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2013
7:25 PM

Post #9380587

What is that site, Sally?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2013
7:46 PM

Post #9380602

OMG!
Only about the most awesome birding site ever...well, I dunno, but its pretty awesome
Here's their suet page
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1180
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2013
7:56 PM

Post #9380608

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.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2013
8:17 PM

Post #9380625

I think there is as design of a horizontal board with the suet underneath...
Gee whiz, I hang my suet on the maple tree by the deck and don't think I have ever seen a starling, Or only rarely.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2013
8:30 PM

Post #9380633

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 .."
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2013
8:42 PM

Post #9380640

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.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 10, 2013
6:22 AM

Post #9380794

here's the upside down suet feeder


http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=9089 13401 22966&pcatid=22966
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 10, 2013
6:26 AM

Post #9380796

Got it, and thanks! That wouldn't be too hard to build.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 10, 2013
6:34 AM

Post #9380802

thanks for the recipe Sally


nope, shouldn't be hard to build at all

Catbird423

Catbird423
Odenton, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 11, 2013
7:00 AM

Post #9381869

One of my housemates puts out his eggshells and I have watched Bluejays come get them. I guess maybe they need the calcium.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 11, 2013
7:04 AM

Post #9381876

I do not eat eggs very often--but i always save the shells.

My aim is to smithereen them and dig them in under my tomato plants for the calcium.

I should make a deal with Pancake Place to ask them to save me the egg shells...
Not likely--but i would have a lot more.
G.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 11, 2013
10:12 AM

Post #9382045

Finally got the white throated sparrow to turn around

This message was edited Jan 11, 2013 2:12 PM

Thumbnail by flowAjen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 11, 2013
1:52 PM

Post #9382224

Hi Mr WT Sparrow!

I sometimes do eggshells, but have read for safety they recommend baking/ boiling? them to kill pathogens.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 11, 2013
1:55 PM

Post #9382227

but they don't cook the eggs they eat in nature

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 11, 2013
4:49 PM

Post #9382316

just sayin what i read
lol
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 11, 2013
5:46 PM

Post #9382353


lol Jen and Sally as far as we know birds don't cook! (Who really knows what goes on inside those nests and houses and tree cavities and hedgerows?!!

Salmonella in raw eggs can infect birds and other animals that eat them even if the contents have dried, but heat from boiling can sanitize them.

Some birds eat the shells after babies have hatched and others dispose of shells some distance from nest to disuade predators.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 11, 2013
6:08 PM

Post #9382369

Well now---
All the egg shells I have collected are from eggs I have eaten---and i am still around...:o)
So--in that case--they would be safe to grind up and feed tot he birds--NO?

This would be true for most of us---I believe.

I have heard that any given bird or their nest is so full of harmful insects and bacteria
that you should never touch it...
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 11, 2013
7:55 PM

Post #9382440

OOps, sorry, wrong forum.

Yeah birds!

This message was edited Jan 12, 2013 12:10 AM

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 12, 2013
12:39 PM

Post #9382877

Wow- 'linthicum' has photographed #172 DIFFERENT species of birds, nearly all in MD, VA, or DE.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=9375705
So many birds out there.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 12, 2013
12:59 PM

Post #9382899

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.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 12, 2013
2:36 PM

Post #9382979

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.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 12, 2013
2:41 PM

Post #9382984

Gita , try Downy Woodpecker

yay Happy!
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 12, 2013
4:14 PM

Post #9383058

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.

This years Great Backyard Bird Count is Feb 15-18 .
http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/whycount.html

VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

January 12, 2013
6:38 PM

Post #9383155

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!

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose   Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 13, 2013
7:50 AM

Post #9383527

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.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 13, 2013
10:59 AM

Post #9383704

Our Pileateds are regular visitors now, I'll have to keep at least one suet feeder full. Ric
.
orchidfancy
College Park, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 14, 2013
3:03 AM

Post #9384208

Gorgeous woodpecker. Picture taken of a bald eagle when I was driving through the USDA week ago when we had sun...

Thumbnail by orchidfancy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 14, 2013
10:05 AM

Post #9384662

Wow - that is gorgeous. What is the USDA?

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 14, 2013
12:03 PM

Post #9384786

Hmmm...

United States Department of Agriculture??????? Yes? No??? G.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 14, 2013
1:56 PM

Post #9384911

That's what I thought, but orchidfancy said she was driving "through" it. Maybe she meant the Arboretum?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 14, 2013
7:54 PM

Post #9385365

Maybe the research farm acreage Beltsville
orchidfancy
College Park, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 15, 2013
2:23 PM

Post #9386298

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.

Thumbnail by orchidfancy   Thumbnail by orchidfancy         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 16, 2013
3:54 PM

Post #9387551

Sally was right, then! I first thought of of USDA HQ at 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250, but figured you couldn't mean that!
orchidfancy
College Park, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 17, 2013
3:41 AM

Post #9387867

Along Beaver dam rd there used to be blue bird boxes all along the fences , but they are all gone how sad.
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 17, 2013
6:42 AM

Post #9387990

I didn't know that -- that's interesting. Are there blue bird boxes anywhere in our area?
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 17, 2013
8:05 AM

Post #9388062

Got a better pic of the Pileated and a smaller friend.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 17, 2013
11:34 AM

Post #9388269

cool Holly!

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.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 17, 2013
12:30 PM

Post #9388325

We have a few of the neighborhood cats staking out the feeders on occasion not to mention the occasional Hawk.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 17, 2013
1:09 PM

Post #9388356

very cool

donnerville

donnerville
Damascus, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2013
12:56 PM

Post #9389352

Hi Rose, I LOVE that cat!!! Is he/she a Rog Doll?

We are fighting squirrels again at the bird feeder. Nothing seems to stop them from getting to the food. :-(
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 22, 2013
9:35 AM

Post #9393647

Holly/Ric: What is the shutter used for, the one in your last photo?
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2013
11:12 AM

Post #9393744

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.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2013
12:21 PM

Post #9393801

Here it is.

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.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 22, 2013
6:43 PM

Post #9394195

From way over in Michigan ...

Al

Thumbnail by tapla   Thumbnail by tapla   Thumbnail by tapla      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2013
7:15 PM

Post #9394222

LOL, That is one way to get them in for a close up shot.
How much fun to hand feed them, how cold you must have been.

donnerville

donnerville
Damascus, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 22, 2013
7:16 PM

Post #9394223

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 :-).

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 22, 2013
7:21 PM

Post #9394226

That must be fun tapla!

wow how great donner!

gosh, will I keep up with giving the birds fresh water this week? so cold out there,the bath was frozen.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2013
7:58 PM

Post #9394252

Yeah it was 5° today with the wind chill, even if I put hot water in the bath it would have frozen again real fast
Wanted to get those heater elements for the bath but there is no outlet close enough

My kids are always trying to "lure" the chickadees to hand feed them, they give up too fast, LOL

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 22, 2013
8:06 PM

Post #9394262

Hey all--

Tapla has come over to the MAF to talk soils and mixes and whatever you need to know.
I think he may stay a while--how can he not? Or--we all may just kidnap him...
We all are SO wonderful here...;o)

Please visit the new Thread and ask away. Gita

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1295008/
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 23, 2013
7:19 AM

Post #9394580

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.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 23, 2013
8:03 AM

Post #9394632

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.

Have fun.

Al

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 23, 2013
8:07 AM

Post #9394640

thanks for all the info!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 23, 2013
11:09 AM

Post #9394894

WOW! Both Pileateds are out at the feeders today, trying to get a pic of both of them is like waiting for the planets to aline, not to mention chilly. Brrrrrrr Ric

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 23, 2013
12:36 PM

Post #9394995

Great Al!

Only chance I have with water is against a south wall with the sun out. I'm putting a window box saucer along the south side of the shed.. dishes against the house.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 24, 2013
3:34 PM

Post #9396457

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

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 24, 2013
5:30 PM

Post #9396572

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.
Gita

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 24, 2013
7:00 PM

Post #9396700

PWP=Pileated Wood Pecker

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 24, 2013
8:14 PM

Post #9396809

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.

Al

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 25, 2013
5:12 AM

Post #9396934

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 25, 2013
6:56 AM

Post #9397077

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.

Stay warm! Gita

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 25, 2013
11:02 AM

Post #9397251

I bet your red sparrow is a house finch.


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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 25, 2013
12:22 PM

Post #9397338

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.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 25, 2013
12:42 PM

Post #9397369

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.

Al

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 25, 2013
1:04 PM

Post #9397403

Al--

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'.
Gita

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.

Thumbnail by Gitagal   Thumbnail by Gitagal   Thumbnail by Gitagal      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 25, 2013
1:21 PM

Post #9397442

pure suet is solid fat, no mixins..That's why it costs more. The downys are liven it.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 25, 2013
2:41 PM

Post #9397491

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.

Al
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

January 25, 2013
3:30 PM

Post #9397521

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!

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 25, 2013
3:48 PM

Post #9397541

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.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 25, 2013
5:59 PM

Post #9397674

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.
TTYL.

Al

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 25, 2013
8:00 PM

Post #9397788


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.

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

January 26, 2013
6:28 PM

Post #9398581

Hi guys, I've been lurking here on your bird post and noticed Sally was talking about pure suet. I thought I would share this link http://www.horseloverz.com/Suet-Cakes/406615-Heath-Natural-Pure-Suet-Cake---115-oz.html for it. It's the best price I could find and even with shipping it's cheaper than anywhere I've found. Great for keeping the squirrels away!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 26, 2013
6:38 PM

Post #9398598

Great! I can get ten of them for total 27.00 after shipping. That makes them 2.70 each. I just paid 3.49 yesterday for one. A dozen cakes would be close to 2.58 per cake.
Thanks Ronnie!!

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

January 26, 2013
6:57 PM

Post #9398629

Yor welcome Sally. I ordered 10 also, and shipping was fast, I ordered them on a Friday and had them by Wednesday.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 28, 2013
12:24 PM

Post #9400330

I saw the weirdest thing this morning...

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!
G.
Look!

Thumbnail by Gitagal   Thumbnail by Gitagal         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 28, 2013
1:32 PM

Post #9400413

"Robins on Aisle 2 for cleanup !!"

Robins stay in the woods more in cold weather but they are here year round.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 30, 2013
1:27 PM

Post #9402785

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 30, 2013
2:45 PM

Post #9402889

Waiting to see the upside down suet feeder Al made and is sending me!

Haven't seen too many birds picking at the suet I put out. I have the big suet holder--
holds 4 cakes at a time.

This morning, early, I saw the first Goldfinch at my Thistle feeder. YEAH! He/she was all drab. Probably-"she".

It is POURING rain here right now--after a nice day of 69*. Crazy weather!
I pruned/shaped up my WS shrub a bit. Getting it ready for its trip to terp's. Not yet--but eventually.

Gita

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 30, 2013
3:16 PM

Post #9402932

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.

Al

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 30, 2013
4:15 PM

Post #9403025

Al--

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
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 30, 2013
7:12 PM

Post #9403272

Sally -- It is easy to render suet, and many groceries will give you beef fat for free... $0 is better than $27.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 30, 2013
9:31 PM

Post #9403368

Thanks Happy . I know you have my interests at heart, but thats just one cooking item i am willing to pay the $ and let somebody else do.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 31, 2013
9:11 AM

Post #9403746

Hey bird lovers it'sFlowajens Birthday today!

A flock of good wishes for a great day and a blessed next year coming your way Jen!
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1296300/
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 1, 2013
1:49 PM

Post #9405134

Sally -- you really made me laugh!

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 1, 2013
6:32 PM

Post #9405421

Tried to post a link--but it did not work...

deleted my post.

This message was edited Feb 1, 2013 9:36 PM
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 2, 2013
7:13 AM

Post #9405820

Playing some catchup here.

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.

HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 2, 2013
9:55 AM

Post #9405949

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.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 2, 2013
2:07 PM

Post #9406201

vultures circling the bank...Too funny

Heard an alarmed bird call yesterday, followed by a glimpse of a hawk leaving the yard.

aspenhill

aspenhill
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 2, 2013
3:01 PM

Post #9406267

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.

This message was edited Feb 2, 2013 6:25 PM

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 2, 2013
3:15 PM

Post #9406278

Teri--that is so sad. I have never seen an eagle close up. From a distance--yes! as I have
been to visit my sister in AK three times. Bald eagles are common there...

Holly--I cannot refuse to make this joke-----

Eagles circling the Bank? Must be looking for all the people who have not paid their mortgage...

=)...
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 2, 2013
5:04 PM

Post #9406371

LOL Gita, Not Eagles, Vultures, you may be right about looking for the poor homeowners.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 2, 2013
5:22 PM

Post #9406396

My first thought was Vulture Capitalists...catching the thermals from all the rising hot air...

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 2, 2013
5:25 PM

Post #9406400

Thats REALLY clever!

THey might be over DC as well

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

February 2, 2013
7:02 PM

Post #9406449

Glad you could use the link Judy! Things are good here, cold just like everyone else! Harper is great and has a new playmate named Winston.

We have a few Bald Eagles at the park a few miles from me, was lucky enough to see them a few weeks ago. Such magnificent birds!

Thumbnail by luvsgrtdanes
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

February 2, 2013
7:44 PM

Post #9406482

Vulture capitalists!!!! Cracking up

aspenhill

aspenhill
Lucketts, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 2, 2013
7:45 PM

Post #9406484

Wow, great photo Ronnie.

Holly, I was trying to think of some joke about the vultures at the bank but couldn't come up with anything on the fly. Coleup, you have such a quick wit - good one LOL.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 2, 2013
8:29 PM

Post #9406520

Evidently what kind of omen vultures circling could be, depends on two things; whether they were going clockwise or counterclock wise and sunspot activity.

Yes, Ronnie great shot! My cell phone camera can't even get a blur of the eagles I see.
Hugs to Harper and welcome to Winston. Are they bird watchers at all?

This message was edited Feb 3, 2013 11:11 AM
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 3, 2013
5:18 AM

Post #9406667

ROFLOL,
Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

February 3, 2013
12:55 PM

Post #9407147

Me, too, Holly!!!

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

February 3, 2013
4:42 PM

Post #9407365

Judy Harper isn't but it's funny Winston will stand at the door and watch them. He probably would like to catch them if he could!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 4, 2013
3:57 AM

Post #9407677

Ronnie, That is a great shot. What an experience. We are lucky to have a few in our area as well and always a treat to see them.

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

February 4, 2013
5:06 AM

Post #9407736

Thanks guys, we were lucky to see three together that day. Wasn't lucky enough to get them all in a decent shot.

Sos07

Sos07
IJAMSVILLE, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 4, 2013
9:27 AM

Post #9408084

Coleup,
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!
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 5, 2013
10:17 AM

Post #9409251

A few birds...

Carolina Wren
Dark-eyed Junco
Fluffed up female Cardinal

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose   Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose   Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 5, 2013
10:22 AM

Post #9409257

You get the most amazing shots!

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

February 5, 2013
11:20 AM

Post #9409284

Love them Karen!!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 5, 2013
1:02 PM

Post #9409403

Thanks for posting them Karen, great photos!
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 5, 2013
4:45 PM

Post #9409652

Thank you all...

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 6, 2013
8:04 AM

Post #9410133

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. ☺
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 6, 2013
9:19 AM

Post #9410200

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!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 6, 2013
11:29 AM

Post #9410302

I haven't figured it out either Happy, We have had a sock for years that the birds just flocked too. Now they won't go near it even with different feed. You know maybe I need to relocate it.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 7, 2013
1:17 PM

Post #9411320

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.
G.

Thumbnail by Gitagal   Thumbnail by Gitagal         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 7, 2013
1:18 PM

Post #9411323

COngratulations! Great to see them pigging out.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 7, 2013
1:45 PM

Post #9411358

I think we haven't seen the usual birds because it's been unusually cold here this year, I think they all migrated farther south
Did see a whole flock of Robins yesterday

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 8, 2013
6:26 AM

Post #9411896

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.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 8, 2013
7:28 AM

Post #9411966

I moved my feeder this morning. Maybe those finches will like this spot better.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

February 8, 2013
3:24 PM

Post #9412407

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 8, 2013
5:28 PM

Post #9412509

May be a Slate Colored Junko. Some call it a Black-eyed Junko"

I have loads and loads of them...Gita

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 10, 2013
12:19 PM

Post #9414319

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
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 10, 2013
10:03 PM

Post #9414907

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.

Reminder to all that The Great American Backyard Bird Count is here. Great way to find out what birds others in your neighborhood/area are seeing even if they aren't at your feeders!
Feb 15 - 18 http://birds.audubon.org/great-backyard-bird-count
Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2013
6:05 AM

Post #9415102

That is a pretty bird! I'd never heard of it.

Love seeing flickers

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?
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2013
6:25 AM

Post #9415134

Boy they sure are pretty. I went and looked them up.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2013
6:31 AM

Post #9415140

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.
Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2013
6:50 AM

Post #9415157

Will keep my eyes open for decals.

Maybe the Mbird claimed it as his territory. Funny how the jays teamed up to cause him some distress.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2013
6:57 AM

Post #9415170

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.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2013
7:40 AM

Post #9415236

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.


HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2013
7:49 AM

Post #9415260

JB I know exactly what you are talking about. Sun catchers that hang from suction cups.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2013
7:50 AM

Post #9415262

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...

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2013
8:14 AM

Post #9415311

Yes, sun catchers. I was struggling to think of the name that's why I asked for help. LOL

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2013
9:11 AM

Post #9415382

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.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2013
9:21 AM

Post #9415391

I was thinking the same thing JB some kind of pigeon.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2013
10:33 AM

Post #9415468

Some kind of pigeon . Rock Dove is another name for common pigeons.

I have seen some kind of pigeon here. Rarely..then i read that they also like barnyards for spilled grain.
A resting racing or homing pigeon sounds exciting though.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2013
11:18 AM

Post #9415536

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.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2013
11:36 AM

Post #9415567

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? ☺

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2013
11:52 AM

Post #9415590

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...
G.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2013
1:03 PM

Post #9415689

Honestly, that does not look like any dove I have seen. I will look in my book. JB

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2013
6:34 PM

Post #9416079

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...

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 12, 2013
6:57 AM

Post #9416470

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

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 12, 2013
7:42 AM

Post #9416517

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.

Do 'regular" pigeons walk that way too???

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 12, 2013
10:39 AM

Post #9416702

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

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 12, 2013
12:32 PM

Post #9416782

Aww, JB
Not fun to feel that lousy! Take a rest--think flowers and spring and lots of sunshine.
We have the sunshine gloriously today, yet they are calling for, possible, snow flurries tomorrow.

I want so bad to go outside and do something--but there isn't much to do.
Hmmmmm...maybe I could cut back my Roses! Yes! I will try to do that,
if my laziness does not get the best of me.

Take care---cheer up! "Today is the first day of the rest of your life!"
Set an example of what you want all the other days to be like...

Hugs and love, Gita
Pic. Longwood gardens...

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Click the image for an enlarged view.

happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 13, 2013
9:47 AM

Post #9417752

JB: What nyger feeder do you use? The seed pours out of mine (it's a Droll Yankee).

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 13, 2013
9:56 AM

Post #9417765

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

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 13, 2013
10:08 AM

Post #9417778

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.

Gita

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2013
10:15 AM

Post #9417786

the finches are super picky about their Nyger seed, has to be fresh...I loved the sock ones, until a squirrel stole it!
they do like the the wood one

Thumbnail by flowAjen   Thumbnail by flowAjen         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 13, 2013
12:08 PM

Post #9417877

thanks for the discussion, and for the pictures Jen. I'll go for that one. Might find sales on feeders soon.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 13, 2013
12:19 PM

Post #9417898

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?

Thumbnail by JBerger   Thumbnail by JBerger         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2013
12:53 PM

Post #9417915

very similar

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 14, 2013
6:05 AM

Post #9418652

Then pray tell, why do they not eat from mine? :0
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 14, 2013
7:19 AM

Post #9418762

lol JB maybe you need some finch decoys!

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!

Like I said, just a theory.

Great Backyard Bird Count starts tomorrow!

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 14, 2013
9:17 AM

Post #9418908

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.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 14, 2013
10:15 AM

Post #9418963

ROTFL, I really didn't take them! that pic isn't from this year... I have seen them but not like I have in years past, we did lose a tree and we took down 3 arborvitaes

Did anything change in your yard from the hurricane? Any trees knocked down, etc?

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 14, 2013
11:51 AM

Post #9419023

No, nothing different.

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

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 14, 2013
12:03 PM

Post #9419027

That stinks JB

i like coleups theory so much that when i get a new feeder i am only going to buy a little thistle and see if ts eaten. I too have spent good money on thistle that ws ignored for months.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 14, 2013
12:08 PM

Post #9419031

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
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 14, 2013
4:16 PM

Post #9419244

here I go again!

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!

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 14, 2013
5:53 PM

Post #9419313

Birds sure are smart--aren't they?

Given that a pair of birds may produce two hutches (??) of young ones during summer--
HOW do they know the trick of finding worms under leaf litter in the winter?????

The Mamas can't teach then THAT during the summer...well--I guess there is litter and they do pick through it--
but looking under a whole row of leaves??????

Nature IS amazing...G.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 15, 2013
6:25 AM

Post #9419707

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.

Thumbnail by JBerger
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 15, 2013
8:51 AM

Post #9419852

Babies are a lot of work, but so cute.
marvinemo
Fairfax, VA

February 16, 2013
9:38 AM

Post #9420896

Spring fever is endemic here. Cleaned and sterilized the hummingbird feeders. It is a warm day; great self control was used in not filling and hanging them.

His Royal Majesty Hawk the Second caught himself a chickadee. So fast! We are having a small, very private ceremony for poor little chickadee. Nature is sad and amazing, all at once.

This message was edited Feb 16, 2013 1:39 PM
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 17, 2013
10:37 PM

Post #9422569

Oh, marvinemo, it must have been awfully sad -- were you a witness to the chickadee debacle?

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 18, 2013
11:33 AM

Post #9423221

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
marvinemo
Fairfax, VA

February 20, 2013
7:45 AM

Post #9425317

I was witness to the chickadee armageddon. I love the little guys. It is shocking at times to see the power of a predator, yet I must admit HRM H2 is still welcome here for his own unique beauty.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 20, 2013
8:21 AM

Post #9425356

Your welcome JBerger :-) LOL

Peregrine Falcon with his eye on the feeders
Very cool since this is my son's favorite bird and they were out of school so he was able to see it

Thumbnail by flowAjen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 20, 2013
8:40 AM

Post #9425385

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?

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 20, 2013
8:49 AM

Post #9425399

Yes it's the males that are that bright yellow

First time seeing a Peregrine in my yard but saw 1 fly past my car about 2 blocks away over some fields where they are building new homes
They usually live in cities actually

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 20, 2013
10:00 AM

Post #9425543

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.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2013
6:07 AM

Post #9426448

super puffy trying to keep himself warm

Thumbnail by flowAjen
Click the image for an enlarged view.

happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 21, 2013
6:14 AM

Post #9426462

He does not look happy about the weather!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 21, 2013
7:33 AM

Post #9426574

haha. that picture is ripe for a funny caption/ speech bubble. Jen have you looked at the funny caption thread in Birdwatching?

I used a website (SuperLame?) last night to add a speech bubble to my own picture.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 21, 2013
8:01 AM

Post #9426618

He looks like he could use some Gas-X. ☺
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 21, 2013
8:34 AM

Post #9426665

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"!

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 21, 2013
8:39 AM

Post #9426675

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.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2013
1:55 PM

Post #9426968

This wind is crazy but I did see a lot of people taking walks today

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 21, 2013
2:45 PM

Post #9427014

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

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 22, 2013
5:18 AM

Post #9427579

I do not like that wind, very chiling, but the sun does seem to be cheering people up.
marvinemo
Fairfax, VA

February 26, 2013
7:26 AM

Post #9432172

Here is a photo of His Royal Majesty Hawk the second, ruler of the West Deck.

Thumbnail by marvinemo
Click the image for an enlarged view.

happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2013
7:45 AM

Post #9432217

I am so jealous -- I wish His Royal Majesty Hawk would come visit me!

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2013
8:08 AM

Post #9432259

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.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 26, 2013
8:23 AM

Post #9432286

so cool!!!!

Birds very busy today
Sparrow cleaning out wren birdhouse so she could use it

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 26, 2013
1:08 PM

Post #9432651

fantastic hawk sighting!

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 26, 2013
1:53 PM

Post #9432686

House sparrow and female finch

Thumbnail by flowAjen   Thumbnail by flowAjen         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

orchidfancy
College Park, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2013
1:57 PM

Post #9432699

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... .

Thumbnail by orchidfancy   Thumbnail by orchidfancy   Thumbnail by orchidfancy   Thumbnail by orchidfancy   
Click an image for an enlarged view.

orchidfancy
College Park, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2013
1:59 PM

Post #9432701

I love birds. This year we have so many cardinal couples...
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2013
3:22 PM

Post #9432785

We do too! It seems to me that Cardinals used to be more rare - we have tons of them now.
ssgardener
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2013
4:10 PM

Post #9432862

Wow, I'm so impressed with all of your bird pics. I can't even take a non-blurry pic of a flower bloom...

donnerville

donnerville
Damascus, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2013
6:06 PM

Post #9432977

Hmmmm..., is that the hawk who ate my pet chipmunk?

Thumbnail by donnerville   Thumbnail by donnerville   Thumbnail by donnerville      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2013
7:02 PM

Post #9433056

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.

donnerville

donnerville
Damascus, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2013
7:36 PM

Post #9433100

Happy, please send them over :-). They can eat seeds and walnuts in a hawk-proof feeder :-)

My husband also gives apples and carrots to a resident groundhog, which is completely annoying because the groundhog treats my garden as an all you can eat salad bar.

By the way, we do feed birds :-)

Thumbnail by donnerville   Thumbnail by donnerville         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

orchidfancy
College Park, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2013
3:47 AM

Post #9433285

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2013
5:13 AM

Post #9433322

My Goldfinches are pigging out.
Filled the tube feeder with thistle seed--all the way to the top.
In two days--3" of it was gone.

I can also see the males are starting to turn more gold--slowly but surely.

Rain, rain, go away---come again another day!

Gita
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2013
6:14 AM

Post #9433389

Marvinemo and orchidfancy... Great hawk pics!

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 27, 2013
7:06 AM

Post #9433437

so donnerville since you feed the chippies do they stay out of your gardens?

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2013
7:27 AM

Post #9433458

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

This message was edited Feb 27, 2013 10:30 AM

Thumbnail by JBerger   Thumbnail by JBerger   Thumbnail by JBerger   Thumbnail by JBerger   
Click an image for an enlarged view.

donnerville

donnerville
Damascus, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2013
7:43 AM

Post #9433475

Jen, chipmunks live in my garden. Hmmmm..., they don't eat plants, do they?

JB, thank you for sharing the photos. I have never seen a turkey outside Thanksgiving dinners ;-o. It is interesting how they spread the tail feathers like fans, just like what we see in pictures :-).
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2013
7:58 AM

Post #9433490

Donner-- I think chipmunks do damage plants, because they burrow in the soil.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 27, 2013
8:41 AM

Post #9433546

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

donnerville

donnerville
Damascus, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2013
8:47 AM

Post #9433552

Must stop feeding them. They are sooooo cute :-)

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 27, 2013
8:57 AM

Post #9433559

orchidfancy, love that shot where he's looking right at you


We had wild turkeys in our yard, dog chased them away. Always see them crossing the road around the corner from me, only once did I see the male showing off, he was HUGE!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 27, 2013
2:33 PM

Post #9433922

What great pics of those Turkeys. Yeah I know you don't really want them in the yard but how much fun that must have been.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 27, 2013
2:37 PM

Post #9433928

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.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 27, 2013
3:01 PM

Post #9433955

Our pair of Pilated Woodpeckers have been here so much I should check the nest box Jamie built and hung for us in the tree line. Maybe they have taken up residence. That would be so cool. Ric
Jan23
Salem Cnty, NJ
(Zone 7b)

February 27, 2013
4:51 PM

Post #9434033

That would be cool!!!

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 27, 2013
5:07 PM

Post #9434042

JB--

You can always delete A picture you added to a post. That's what that big, red "X" is on the picture for.

Now you gonna hate yourself--because it is SO obvious. Gita
marvinemo
Fairfax, VA

February 27, 2013
6:23 PM

Post #9434100

We spotted a juvenile hawk near our deck yesterday, no pics yet. We have not identified either hawk get.

A bald eagle passed over today. Magnificent. I cannot find the nest, which should be easy as they can weigh 2 tons!
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 27, 2013
7:56 PM

Post #9434161

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!!

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2013
8:09 AM

Post #9434466

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

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2013
8:41 AM

Post #9434520

You are correct--JB. Once a picture is posted--it is there.
Also--when you "preview" your post--it only shows the written part.

G.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2013
10:14 AM

Post #9434597

Thank God it is not just ME.
marvinemo
Fairfax, VA

March 1, 2013
9:43 AM

Post #9435478

Please issue a passport to all chipmunks to come to our house. We love them, and have a few. They will need antiaircraft gear to defend against HRM Hawk II. We have many mini caves and other cover!!!
happy_macomb
Chevy Chase, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 1, 2013
12:00 PM

Post #9435591

If I could I'd pack them up myself and drive them over.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

March 2, 2013
6:09 AM

Post #9436301

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...
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 2, 2013
6:20 AM

Post #9436313

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.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 2, 2013
7:15 AM

Post #9436345

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.
marvinemo
Fairfax, VA

March 2, 2013
7:24 AM

Post #9436354

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.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 2, 2013
9:50 AM

Post #9436459

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.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 2, 2013
1:22 PM

Post #9436687

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

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 2, 2013
4:22 PM

Post #9436841

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.

Thumbnail by Gitagal   Thumbnail by Gitagal   Thumbnail by Gitagal   Thumbnail by Gitagal   Thumbnail by Gitagal
Click an image for an enlarged view.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 3, 2013
8:27 AM

Post #9437413

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
orchidfancy
College Park, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 3, 2013
1:25 PM

Post #9437642

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...
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

March 3, 2013
1:44 PM

Post #9437660

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.
marvinemo
Fairfax, VA

March 4, 2013
6:02 AM

Post #9438179

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.

LOVE THE PICTURES!!!
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 4, 2013
9:18 AM

Post #9438380

I know this isn't about birds, but I'm wondering if any of you have ever encountered a snake that looks like a giant night-crawler worm (10 inches long) ? I have seen three over the years. http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/eastern__worm_snake.htm

Still fascinates me that black snakes can climb trees!!!

Still scares me that black snakes do not climbdown from trees, but just drop down from above.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 4, 2013
9:38 AM

Post #9438403

Can all snakes climb trees? but YES that would freak me out, seeing one drop down from above!!!!

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 4, 2013
12:18 PM

Post #9438573

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...
Gita

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 4, 2013
1:29 PM

Post #9438659

Lesson learned? Let Nature be! Do not interfere...(Read more: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1288659/#ixzz2Mbo4tItk)

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 4, 2013
5:19 PM

Post #9438910

Please check your latest weather forecasts!

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!!!!
*********************************************


Dear Neighbors:

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
Fresh batteries
Battery-operated clock radio
Corded telephone
Fully charged cell phone
Non-perishable foods
Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
First aid kit
Local maps
Blankets

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.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 5, 2013
4:28 AM

Post #9439243

I am heading out to make sure that the bird feeders are well filled. Only calling for 4-6 inches in our area. I think you guys are going to get more than us.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 5, 2013
6:58 AM

Post #9439366

I am just on the edge so I am going to get a big fan and stand outside and start to fan like crazy to keep it from crossing over into my area. :)

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 5, 2013
10:35 AM

Post #9439601

I will fill my big one as well when I get home. Also--throw a bunch of seed on the patio floor,
so the doves and other ground feeders have something to eat.

The finches are already making their way through the third re-fill of the tube feeder.

Hope we don't het more snow than a few inches. I DO NOT feel likeshoveling it...G.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 5, 2013
11:17 AM

Post #9439634

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.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

March 6, 2013
4:07 AM

Post #9440352

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!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2013
4:55 AM

Post #9440396

I'm with you Grace, I know a snow storm can be both a danger and a hardship for some but I truly love the beauty of it. There is only an inch or so out there this morning but it is coming down fast.
coleup
annapolis, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2013
5:12 AM

Post #9440409

Gracye and Holly, I'm with you on snow. It just brings the kid out in me. I started a snow chat thread just so we could play a bit!

It's over here

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1301301/
VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2013
9:12 AM

Post #9440694

I had to make my little friends a food and water station with makeshift cover...

Thumbnail by VA_Wild_Rose
Click the image for an enlarged view.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2013
9:26 AM

Post #9440722

I love Tufted Titmouse, they are so cute!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2013
11:06 AM

Post #9440810

Somebody on Northeast called them Disney birds, for their unusually big dark eyes. They are sweet looking!

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2013
1:13 PM

Post #9440968

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

The cardinals are hiding.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2013
1:22 PM

Post #9440980

Junco Carolina Chickadee

Thumbnail by flowAjen   Thumbnail by flowAjen         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2013
1:54 PM

Post #9441014

Yes, Flow, I found pictures but I wondered if chickadees are here in NJ. I am sure I have something here with a black cap. In fact lots of them.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2013
1:55 PM

Post #9441018

We have the Carolina Chickadee here, north Jersey is Black Capped Chickadee

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2013
2:19 PM

Post #9441040

Thanks.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2013
4:51 PM

Post #9441169

great pics Jen!

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2013
5:27 PM

Post #9441223

thanks Sally, they are borrowed pics from Bing

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2013
8:23 AM

Post #9443717

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2013
11:04 AM

Post #9443848

JB---

There is NO secret to all these links I have posted below-
All i did was Google "Shrubs that attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds"
And also--- "Shrubs that attract Birds. " Then all this comes up!

ALL the blow is there for your reading and looking at.
************************************************************

Links to Hummingbirds and Butterflies.

http://www.njaudubon.org/sectionbackyardhabitat/createagarden.aspx

http://www.birds-n-garden.com/birdgarden.html

http://www.glasshouseworks.com/hummingbirdbutterfly.html

http://www.finegardening.com/PlantGuide/PlantFinder.aspx?274=8192&272=12

Links to shrubs and trees for Birds:

http://www.waysidegardens.com/category.aspx?c=WG_G_1001_64&gclid=CJ_nxuGo8LUCFRCf4AodQUMAqw

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/birds/text/bird_shrubs.html

http://www.provenwinners.com/learn/shrubs-attract-birds

http://www.finegardening.com/PlantGuide/PlantFinder.aspx?274=8192&272=2

http://www.desertusa.com/mag08/jun08/how-to-attract-hummingbirds.html

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/habitat/landscaping-for-the-birds.asp


Butterfly Bushes are for Butterflies...they do not cost an arm and a leg either.
HD will have them.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2013
11:35 AM

Post #9443883

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
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 9, 2013
1:17 PM

Post #9443977

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2013
1:51 PM

Post #9444023

JB--

It was NO trouble at all--just a lot of copy/pasting the links.

You know--when you Google--up come a lot of sites that suit what you are looking for.
I just opened them, copied the URL, and pasted it in my Post...

Anything for you, dear lady!!! XOX Gita

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2013
2:30 PM

Post #9444068

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

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2013
5:15 PM

Post #9444247

JB,

I do not want these for myself. I would NEVER have room for a shrub of that size.
So, don't put yourself out! Don't do anything special--they are not for me.

I wanted to give the black Pussy Willows to a couple people at work.
They have BIG properties--and one lives in VA (on weekends) near water.

Thanks, Gita

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 10, 2013
7:04 AM

Post #9444588

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.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 10, 2013
2:05 PM

Post #9444984

JB--

I was talking about tha Pussy Willows! I would NEVER give away a CC you wanted to send me.
Sorry about the misunderstanding...

I would be honored to get some special CC's from you--like i already have...

Hugs, Gita

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 10, 2013
3:24 PM

Post #9445031

I thought so...hmmmmmm...did you get my dmail about the AV saga?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 10, 2013
4:35 PM

Post #9445101

Birds were singing like mad. One cardinal sang so long, I kept waiting for him to stop and take a breath! Or pass out and fall from the tree.. They must be able to in and out while they sing.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 10, 2013
6:14 PM

Post #9445171

JB--
I have just replied to your AV saga! Go see...

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 11, 2013
7:43 AM

Post #9445649

Moved the one feeder yesterday and we will see what happens. Still no robins are back. I think I saw one black bird... I did see a cat bird yesterday.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 11, 2013
12:24 PM

Post #9445974

Ric saw some Robins yesterday. Not at our house but near by.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 11, 2013
3:45 PM

Post #9446210

I heard Robins singing all thru the trees over the weekend.
bluepoppy
Landisburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 13, 2013
2:17 PM

Post #9448238

My feeders are overrun with blackbirds now..Stopped putting much feed out.
Don't know how to deter them. Any ideas??

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 13, 2013
4:00 PM

Post #9448339

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.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 13, 2013
8:40 PM

Post #9448584

we've had blackbirds on the lawn but not on the feeders. I only use safflower and millet.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 13, 2013
8:49 PM

Post #9448595

I had to surround the feeder with chicken wire so only the smaller birds could get thru

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2013
6:34 AM

Post #9448854

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!
G.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 14, 2013
7:10 AM

Post #9448906

about the only good thing about the starlings and grackles , they do eat grubs and bugs

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2013
7:45 AM

Post #9448940

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.

Have a birdy good day. JB

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2013
7:59 AM

Post #9448955

The goldfinches are continuing to chow down at my tube feeder.
Gonna re-fill it soon again--for the 4th time...

Seeing a lot more "gold" now on the males...pretty! G.

JBerger

JBerger
Wrightstown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2013
8:21 AM

Post #9448972

No goldfnches just purple...send some up here...they are the State Bird of NJ. Flow has them all at her house. GRRRRR

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 14, 2013
8:23 AM

Post #9448974

LOL, sorry


new thread this one is getting slow to load
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1302351/
sparklinBarb
Burnt Chimney, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2013
9:01 AM

Post #9449017

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!

This message was edited Mar 14, 2013 12:11 PM

You cannot post until you register, login and subscribe.


Other Mid-Atlantic Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Welcome to the Mid-Atlantic Gardening forum Terry 51 Jan 6, 2009 12:54 AM
Happy Hollow trip in MD who's in??? magoobu 48 Apr 26, 2007 12:41 PM
rocks??? nikki_conway 68 Jan 18, 2011 6:26 PM
Liriope - evergreen here? pennefeather 18 Aug 2, 2010 6:18 AM
Pineapple sage recipe to share. ladygardener1 18 Nov 5, 2010 4:03 AM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America