My feeder has been up since Nov. when I thought the bears would be hibernating...but a bear was hit by a car 2 days ago not too far away, so they are still foraging...I have the usual birds, but I also had a pine siskin about 4 weeks ago...they are an irruptive species, I thought this might be a good year for them, but haven't seen any since...The redbellied WP has come a few times...love him! Would love to see a crossbill in the yard, I have a lot of conifers. My birdwatching buddy, Buzz, saw some at the dam a few weeks ago...
My take on the hawks is this...they have to eat too! LOL
I get 1 just every once in awhile, they usually get the mourning doves. You have to make sure the feeders aren't out in the open, need to be close to shrubs or trees so they can fly to cover if 1 is around. The hawks don't hang around long if the birds are in hiding
This is a great year for red breasted nuthatches & purple finches...they are both irruptive species...pileated woodpeckers usually don't come to feeders...they are shy birds of the forests, although one was in the unfinished garage up at the farm...flew out right in front of me & the kids! Jen's right about the hawks...usually it's Coopers or sharp-shinned hawks that get the birds...the feeder should be located where the birds can hide quickly...
Glad to hear about Red Bresteds.I have Red Bellies WP's also and Downeys.
The White breasted Nuthatches are scrappy,one landed on my hear when I went to take the feeder down for refill.
Sorry about the typing.Bandage gets in the way.It will come off Wed.
My feeder is right next to the wellhouse...neighbor's cat was hiding in the wellhouse to get at the birds! The squirrels are awful here...need to keep the feeder where the birds can hide, but too easy for the squirrels to gain access...saw a flock of robins on my walk this morning...
this thread may have me filling the feeders - since the bear visits and over the summer a racoon was up on the feeders i stopped filling them - i think a fisher got the racoon as i spotted a dead one a few weeks back near the pond with its neck cut and over the course of a few nights was moved and eaten - squirrels are blocked by a double baffle system
I saw a Fisher once.They are fearsome looking,thought it was a Badger.
The birds seem to get enough but I might move the feeder since its warm and the ground is soft. I'll place it at my livingroom window where a garden is.There is no hiding place there.
we went to a weasel talk about fishers and otters last week by the state fish and game and they mentioned that a fisher could take down a medium sized racoon - do not know of anything else it could have been.
They look like a large cat with longer legs.The one I saw was on a beach in the dunes of an island in northern Michigan.
They look to have powerful jaws and a naturalist said they are not a large population in Mi.
They take out pet cats in some areas.My cousin lost her pet to a Fisher.
they look prehistoric and have a very identifiable flying technique, not to mention the scream as they fly as well - if you saw one you would know it - i have never had one come to a feeder they stay in the trees hammering away to get at insects - like this one.
that happened when we were in Italy up in the dolimites with my D60 - was panic'd i'd killed the thing and kicking myself for walking in the snow and rain with it covered by a plastic bag - kept it by the heater and it came back to life over night.
Our suet feeder has a long tailboard underneath to help the woodpeckers. Hoping for a piliated becasue I know there is one in our woods. Feeder in front of the house,so no luck. We have had Mr. Hairy & Mr. Red-bellied. I don't know why the name for the latter, there is more red on the back & top of its head.
We do have a baffle over the tube feeder. DH cut a small nub of a branch off the tree as squirrels used to jump from there. Now they hit the baffle at the wrong angle so it spills them to the ground.
My chickadee -- there's only one so far -- benefits when someone walks by: the English sparrows mostly flee as a flock, but the chickadee doesn't mind people.
The white-breasted nuthatch is more jittery, but still willing to risk a swoop to the feeder and away while I'm nearby.
There are 3 Tufted Titmouse with their huge dark eyes like Disney birds. What's the plural of titmouse? "I have titmice," sounds like something you'd tell your doctor.
I've seen a few Whitethroated Sparrows, a Song Sparrow, and an American Tree Sparrow.
My 2 or 3 pair of cardinals seem shy for their size -- the English sparrows can intimidate them. The males are more cautious than the females, presumably because they're more conspicuous. As if that weren't bad enough, I've seen a mockingbird chase them. They chase each other, too.
I like the peaceful mourning doves and their slow bobbing ground-feeding like tiny dust-colored chickens.
Dawn sound like you have quite a few nice visitors...I like the mourning doves too...we had a pair that stuck around for two seasons, my GDs named them Eddie and Emily and now every one they see they think it's them.
I am happy to say that we don't seem to attract the house sparrows. There seems to be a family of titmice at the tube feeder.. Perhaps last summer's brood. We occassionly see the pair of cardinals, plus one other. they nest in our neighbors conifers.
I agree...great eagle photos, Ronnie! Dawn, sounds like a good number of species for the city...Iris, called red-bellied because there's already a red-headed woodpecker, smaller than red-bellied, head is all cherry red...saw one this spring, but they are very rare here, usually only see them during migration...I haven't been home to see wjhat's at the feeder...Victor, that looks like a nice set-up...
One of these years I may ask you for all the particulars. I'd love to be able to do that -- but right now my plate is full! We do have the perfect setup to replicate your arrangement though, right outside our kitchen window...
Nice bird pics here, and more to come for Victor. We're sitting out the birdfeeder here until the ground thaws so we can move the feeder again. After several years the squirrel IQ went up--they leave nothing after they've leaped at it enough--baffle is useless.
Last summer I watched a kingfisher divebomb a squirrel in our yard. Our neighbor had to make a setback when they built their house because it was zoned as "riverfront property." You have to see the suburban course of Vine Brook to know how odd that is. poor birds without much space.
I have a copper one, but have only seen chicks & house finches in it...of course, the river is right below my house, so they probably prefer that...nice site showing the pipet...the best way to ID it...it bobs its tail constantly, & walks rather than hops...
I saw a good bit of action at the bath our few warm days, a few at the pond for a quick drink. No actual bathing but there were quite a few birds bathing at the nature center pond. Only thing I can think of Victor is maybe they just have to get used to it.
saw a big flash of brown this morning and spotted a barn owl in the trees and interrupted the better half getting ready to get a look at it with the bino's. tried to get a picture of it and grabbed the zoom lens. just could not get the lens to focus through the window/screen/snow fall/branches. took off just as i was trying to manually focus. did get a couple shots off I am sure they are completely out of focus.
#1 Carolina wren #2 agreed on the white breasted nuthatch wren ID by DH who is much better ID person than I am. Little brown birds can be confusing. I see that you also have a wp tailboard on your suet feeder. Does attract them.
Carolina wren is correct...white eyebrow stripe...nice collection...look for the red-breasted nuthatch at your feeder, they are an irruptive species here in large numbers this year...smaller then white-breasted, chestnut breast...wish I could have seen the owl up close...
They fly to the coast where there's open water...I used to subscribe to Birder's Digest...don't know if it's still out there...I get Audubon, which is mixed...our local Audubon chapter sends out a good newsletter...a friend in my art class has a DH that takes awesome bird photos...they're on the west coast of FL right now, & she sent me a great photo of a painted bunting...Google it, they don't look real...I saw one at Corkscrew Refuge in FL a few years ago...
What wonderful photos! I can't get my point-and-shoot to focus on the bird rather than the wire fence behind the feeder. I need manual focus, but there's no immediate DSLR in my future.
I added a feeder outside my bedroom window yesterday, and I've seen greater numbers on some of the feeder birds: there were five tufted titmice at one point, two song sparrows, and six white-throats, mostly tan-stripe. The song sparrows come to the feeder, but the white-throats stick to the ground.
I keep juggling various seed blends in my feeders, trying to find an arrangement that will keep my flock of 30-40 English sparrows busy and out of the way of the less plentiful birds. The English sparrows like blends with millet, but if I provide only black oil sunflower seed, they'll settle for that. They won't usually touch niger seed, but nothing else will either, except the chickadee, once. I know there's a house finch around, and I hope to get a better look at it once it discovers the niger seed sock.
I have no grackles or English sparrows...I do have house finches, but not at the number I used to have before the blindness disease hit them...squirrels are my main problem...feeder was busy yesterday, but quiet today...my neighbor must have filled his feeder...he feeds niger & gets the goldfinches...Those are great shots, Ronnie!
At least grackles are a native bird, while starlings & house sparrows are invaders. The starling is the most counted bird in the US. House Sparrows are disappearing in Britain & I saw a note that starlings were beginning to decline. Would that they were here.
I stop the seed feeding the same time, Bill...I love our dam, but it has thousands of acres of wilderness & a river...a bear magnet...My airedale, Skippy, found the foreleg of a bear behind the dam 20 years ago, before bear sightings became common.
I wrote earlier that a friend had emailed me a photo of a painted bunting in FL...in today's paper, the nature column said one has been hanging around a feeder in New Haven all winter! Unbelievable...wish I could be that lucky...
We had Sandy damage, but are almost back to normal. Cowbirds, male and female, by the dozen, have been showing up. Squirrels too, and the everlasting House Sparrows (HOSP). Does anyone have strategies to deter, or at least distract, the hungry flocks long enough to make sure the relatively shy White Throated Sparrows (WHSP?) get what they need?
Droll Yankee feeders keep the squirrels in check, and feeding only black oil sunflower and niger seed seems to keep the total number of birds down, though HOSP will eat either one if that's all there is. I wouldn't feed millet at all, if not for the native sparrows. I've seen a Song Sparrow take seed from a feeder, but WHSP want to stay on the ground. I love the way they forage.
dawnsharon- thank you for mentioning that WHSP likes to ground feed. I bought millet just for them but have been putting it in a dish on a bench. I agree , it s oddly cute the way they sort of hop/ scratch with their whole bodies, to peck around in the leaves.
I need to find a source of seed the WHSP will eat (millet? 'milo'?). All ordinary bird seed mixes have some millet, but they also have cracked corn, which draws cowbirds. The WHSP jump-scratch with both feet is in the Burgess Bird Book for Children, which I read many years ago. I think Fox Sparrows do it too, but I haven't seen one in a while.
I'm not ready to tangle with chicken wire yet, but thanks for the advice!
Murmuration... beautiful. We have a lot to learn about birds.
Saw one cardinal when it began to snow last week...hope it survived the blizzard...not many jays around, I usually have tons...walked the dog on a dirt road yesterday, & a turkey flying from one tree to another almost gave me a heart attack!
I can't get to my feeder, so I've been throwing seed on the shelf around my wellhouse...lots of birds have found the seed including a red-bellied wp...also saw a squirrel out this morning eating the seed...I was hoping not to see any until the snow melted!
they like meal worms although i have never put them out - usually they are just checking out the bird houses for spring - this is the first time i've seen them on the suet feeders - they like open fields - lots of them here - and if they move in and have chicks they are very aggressive
We have no Bird Houses of any kind. We do have many birds including Bluebirds.
All our birds are living in natural homes. We feed Meal Worms, Orange Flavored Suit, A mix of Peanut Butter and oatmeal with a little Grape preserve, and a seed mix. Bluebirds favor the meal worms and the Peanut Butter mix. However they do feed on all the stuff at our feeders. Heated Water in the winter is also visited by all the birds.
We have a year round resident Male Bluebird who now has two girl friends. They are around all Year, the flock only comes in the winter and the last count was 12.
I am!! First time for me, I'm excited.
We may see some snow so my activity will be higher. I was watching today and saw 6 titmice, most I've ever seen at on time, hope to see the same or more over the weekend.
lots of bird activity yesterday and today
was reading a bad of Niger seed at the garden show today and it said "niger seed, imported to be used instead of our native thistle"...what the heck does that mean?
Do we not have native thistle in this country anymore? were we running out of thistle?
I've never seen an owl sitting in a tree...have seen one in the road, though...not sure if that's a peregrine...they have a streaked breast & distinctive eye marking...here's the illustration from Sibley...
I would count what I saw at the feeder, once they flew away I stopped counting that species. The only ones I knew were the same birds were the woodpeckers and wrens, usually one at a time and the wrens were always in a pair so I know they were the same. I never really have a big flocks like some do other than the house sparrows.
I've been practicing...but I don't shoot birds. Mister fox keeps coming up on my back stoop with one of the neighbors chickens, tired of seeing him so close. I'm sure the neighbors are tired of losing chickens too!
You have to count the # of the same type at the feeder. There were 4 cardinals on the ground for instance. After they flew away I didn't count any single cardinals which re turned. Chickadees are difficult as they grab a seed & instantly fly off, while finches sit & eat.
Not tangling with you, Pixie...good shooting! Have not seen many birds at the wellhouse...my neighbor must be feeding better stuff...he's also feeding the deer & turkeys, which keeps them out of my yard...
Haven't been to NYC Library in many years, probably 30 anyway. Can't wait for the hummers either, Jo. I was stuck in traffic today while trying to get to Mom's & a hawk perched on a lampost right in front of me...nice distraction...not a redtail, but close in size...may have been a juvie, but I'm thinking it was a rough-legged...
It eventually blinds the bird, then they die from malnutrition or hawk attack...was very prevalent about 5 years ago when the population of house finches soared...I used to have flocks of 20 or more at my feeders...now I see one pair...
think i saw that on a finch by the feeder in front of the kitchen window - it never moved even with my camera lens almost 6" away, noticed its eyes looked to have some kind of growth on them - still have large flocks of them here
Three first timers at the feeders the other day. American Robin, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, and White-Throated Sparrow. The Robin has been seen around this winter but never at the feeders. We thought we saw the Nuthatch before, but could never prove it. As for the Sparrow I think the 18" or so snow fall has sent it to our feeders. Same with the Robin, kind of hard to dig worms with 18" of snow in the way.
We had lunch at a restrurant near a river 7 saw an American merganzer & Buffal head duck, 2 birds which I had only seen in photos. A brown headed duck flew past & the only possible ID are ducks which supposedly are not in this area.