I've been having birds that look like these gobbling up mealworms. I couldn't decide if it was a goldfinch that hasn't "golded" up much or a warbler or a sisken. I can't imagine that finches eat mealworms but I didn't think a cardinal would until I saw if with my own eyes this past weekend.
We've been watching the chickadees make a feast of our mealworms. The American Goldfinches don't go near them. Saw several chickadees fly to the black sunflower seed, check it out, and then fly over to the mealworms and take them instead. Man, this is going to get expensive! We thought the brown-headed nuthatches were taking them...
I got tired of paying $11 for 1,000 mealworms from a bird seed store and ordered bulk from an online source... Sunshine Mealworms... they give a 10 percent discount if you're feeding bluebirds... which I am, among other things... I got 5,000 ($16) and with priority shipping, etc., it was $26... I didn't see a dead one in the bunch, either. Very happy with them.. Tranferring them from the newspaper/bag packaging into a plastic box was a bit of a chore but I got the hang of it and it wasn't too gros. s
I know I wasn't really getting 1,000 worms from where I had been buying them, and I know there are way more than 5,000 that I got from Sunshine.
The chickadees, titmice, bluebirds, wrens, nuithatches and the aforementioned cardinals are loving the mealworms... as are whatever the yellow ones are... I think from the beak they're warblers. The cold weather this weekend made them even more grateful for the offering, I'm sure.
As a plus... I don't have to chase the squirrels away from thee mealworm dish!
I have the blue saucer thing that attaches to a shephard hook... I'll post a pic when I can find one. I still put a few mealies in that... But now that I've realized the birds don't really care WHAT I put the mealworms in as long as I put mealworms OUT! And since I'd been getting so much interest in the mealworms in my yard and since it's been so cold, I started putting several mealies in a heavy dog dish and setting the dish on the patio table on my deck... it's a lot closer to my patio door so I can watch the birds up close... Any bowl with about a three inch side will work ... just high enough so the worms can't crawl out... My friend here at work uses a butter container but she weighs it down with a rock so it doesn't blow away.
I've always bought my mealies from Grubco, but I've been buying them for my pet sugar gliders so I get the really big "Mighty Mealies". They are about twice as big as what they normally call "large" mealies (but they are not the "superworms"! Those are nasty, and they bite!). I'd have to check to see how they compare price-wise to what you got, but that does sound like a good deal for 6000.
I actually counted my mealies this time. I know it's silly, but I was curious and I was splitting them up into separate containers for the gliders and the birds so I figured, "why not?". Anyway, I had already fed probably 20 of them to the gliders before I counted, but I counted something like 1150 when I had ordered 1000. Better than 10% overage and that's not counting the 3 or 4 dead ones.
Grubco has always been good to the glider community, so I like to support them. When Katrina happened, they supplied free mealies for hundreds of rescued gliders.
Oops - spoke too soon. Brown-headed nuthatch taking a mealworm.
Thanks, Judy!! That was timely. DH was just checking out order sites on the Internet, I gave him your info, and the mealworms should be on their way momentarily. Now we can put a few more mealworm feeders out. I like the dog bowl close up and personal idea.
This hawk came diving in for a bird ,and crashed in my patio door. Unfortunately, the poor bird didn't make it. I felt really bad, I tried to help him . I wanted to put him in a box, but when I approched it, it jump down the patio, and went too far underneath for me to reach him. I found him dead that night. I tried to ID him with the books I have here. They have 2 that looks like him for this area. Red-Shoulder Hawk and Broad-Winged Hawk. Is it one of them?
Boys, was I way off. I thought grouse were more wood birds like partridge. And didn't think they'd come to feeders. I was in denial when I read your post,but upon looking up and zooming in for the face. Your right, the beak isn't that of a hawk at all. Thank for setting thing strait.
Here's a cute little guy (or gal) I saw at the garden center the other day. I had run for my camera when there was a "Dairy" woodpecker in this same tree (the one with white spots along the outer tail feathers?), but he was gone by the time I got back from the car.
Later I saw this one. I didn't realize how cute his face was until I looked at the pic on my computer screen zoomed in. A warbler?
Okay, thanks ON. I knew "Dairy" meant not sure between Hairy and Downy. I couldn't remember which had the dots, but I remembered that was the relevant factor so made a mental note of whether s/he had them but hadn't looked up which one it was yet when I made the post.
I'm always confusing you bird experts, sorry. Thanks RESIN!!! I made the mistake once of forgetting what direction a bird was flying and it looked like a duck, actually was a Hawk...these were flying to the right.
[quote]Is the bill on that Yellowlegs two toned, or is that just an illusion?[/quote]
Yes, it is two-toned; that's one of the features which shows it is Greater Y'legs, not Lesser. Lesser has an all-black bill.
[quote]I am also wondering about the red patch on some of them. Some have it and some don't. Is it a male/female thing?[/quote]
Yes, red = male, no red = female
[quote]Which one would this one be?[/quote]
Downy. Another useful point, visible here:
Outermost white feather on tail with black spot(s) = Downy
Outermost white feather on tail pure white with NO black spots = Hairy
Missouri has both, though generally, Downy is commoner than Hairy.
As Resin and others have said on this Forum, bird size is often very difficult to assess in the field...especially without a good point of reference...seeing another bird or object of known size nearby etc..
If you don't get a look at the outer tail feathers and/or if the Woodpecker has no close reference point, try comparing length of bill to head size (not just trying to decide if it has a short or a long bill.)
Hi everyone, got a bit sick so have not been following events. Everytime we have a cold spell coming we seem to have thousands of swifts, they come to a vacant site behind my house, and there are so many that there are not enough trees to take them, then they move over the road to another double vacant lot, the sky looks so full of them there must be thousands,just flying around then landing flying around some more before they move on. I only see them when we are expecting a cold spell -so it's not very often. Resin I never saw this kind of thing in UK (London area), it's only since I have lived in Florida (3 1/2 Years) we used to get them in the evenings over there, but not to this extent.
I'm hoping one of you can help me, even without a picture.
I've had a woodpecker on my suet feeder often this past week and weekend... It's about 6 inches long, dark bill... same coloring as a downy or hairy BUT it has red on its head and under its chin. It also has a white stripe all around its skull. It's NOT a red-bellied woodpecker. It has black and white on its back and it looks kind of dirty for lack of better word.. in other words, not just solid B&W.
It almost looks like a sapsucker... but it's eating suet.
Could it be a baby pileated?
Hmmmmmm. Well, then maybe that's what it is because that's the closest to matching what I have as I can get. I'll go with that. Won't lie... had my heart set on it being a pileated back in my yard.. but I'll stay on that task.
Thanks to all of you folks for the information on the Downy vs. Hairy Woodpeckers. This morning there was a woodpecker at the suet that is different from any I have seen before. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to get a really good picture. But, better days are coming.
Glad to help gw. In nanny's pic of the Downy, its head is squinched down which exaggerates the bill/head thing but it would still be obvious even in an unsquinched head. The squinching in the photo is probably obvious to everybody but I just wanted to say squinch lots of times in a posting.
Winter is the only time we're likely to see hoary redpolls in Minnesota. The birds sometimes drift down from breeding grounds that stretch from Alaska into Canada's high Arctic country.
Their cousins, common redpolls, are more likely to visit feeders. (Thistle seed is a good lure.) Commons are expected to be more numerous this winter. They're among the finch species predicted to move south of their usual range because of thin seed crops in northern birches and conifers.
[quote]I'm looking for siskens in these pictures, they're from PEI, my sister thinks she see one, near the Goldfinch. I only see Redpolls and Gold finches.[/quote]
Yep, there's a Pine Siskin in the pics; half way up the far right edge in pic 1, lower far right in pic 2, and the centre bird in pic 3. Note the yellow base to the tail, just visible, and hint of greenish-yellow in the face, which Redpolls don't have.
Pics 1 and 2 also have a very probable Arctic Redpoll, the second from the left, tho' not 100% certain. And yep, that's one in pic 4 too.
Thank Pelle and Resin. The Sisken, is harder for me, If I look in the book I see this yellow, but on the pic I have a hard time to see it. Really need a good trained Eye for this. I'll come back tomorrow to look again and study it.
Jo11, what I've learn about the Hoary here, They are bigger, whiter underneath, and wider rump, less pronounce streaks on the side of the bird, and if I'm wrong, Resin will fine tune it, for us I hope.
[quote]The Sisken, is harder for me, If I look in the book I see this yellow, but on the pic I have a hard time to see it[/quote]
Not too easy with these pics, I'll agree. Doesn't help that each time the bird had its head turned slightly away from the camera; with a clearer side shot, the longer, greyer (not yellowish) bill, and lack of a black chin patch, would be more obvious.
JulieQ - It's not listed with the other sparrows, because the native sparrows are in a different family. The House (or English) Sparrow is an import and is in the Weaver Finch family (Passeridae) and the native sparrows are not. The House Sparrow and the Eurasian Tree Sparrow are the only two weaver finches we have in the US, both imported.
(The National Audubon Society's) The Sibley's Guide to Birds lists American Sparrows and their allies - the Emberizine Buntings, Emberizine Sparrows, Towhees, Juncos, Longspurs - in the family Emberizidae, and the Old World Sparrows, (including the House Sparrow) are classified as Passeridae.
The House Sparrows are referred to as Weaver Finches in Audubon's' Field Guide to N Amercian Birds (yes, Ploceidae there), while the American Sparrows are placed in the Fringillidae family, along with Grosbeaks, Buntings, Finches. The Warblers are in Parulidae.
If that isn't bad enough, National Geographic Society's Field Guide to the Birds of N America puts our Sparrows in Emberizidae and throws Warblers and some others, including Cardinals, into the mix. Here the House Sparrow is put in the Passeridae family and is referred to as a Weaver.
I'd say that is quite confusing!!! And I am indeed confused.
Going to be working at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden Conservatory as a volunteer in March. While there yesterday there was a bird up in the rafters... It is not a native,.. Just wanted to see what it is, so I got a couple pics, (poor pics) but between him hiding and the misters in there it wasn't easy to get them, lol..
John ,(the director) said the bird was from Africa
Is this a Superb Starling (S. superbus or L. superbus)
Last time I was at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden, there were several of those guys inside of the tropical exhibit flying freely all around. Nobody I talked to there knew why they were in the greenhouse or how they got there.
Oh...the bird is a Superb Starling from East Africa.
Thanks Ned!! I think they imported them to help with insects. They will have to be taken out once the butterflies fill the Conservatory.. Then put back after the exhibition is over to clean up. Kinda like what goes on here all winter after 20 native species have used my garden to breed. I posted more here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=4490548
My first time ever on a forum. I do not have a picture of my little bird but thought perhaps with the slight description I have you could point me in the right direction. This small bird is green colored and slightly larger than a finch. It has two definite white wing-bars on its wings and its wings seem dark brown or black. The green is on it's head and chest. Unfortunately that's about all I was able to identify. I sat down yesterday afternoon with my binoculars and a digital camera but when he/she landed, I couldn't get a good look and no picture. I'm in NC (zone 7b) and Wildbird suggested it might be a ruby crowned kinglet but it doesn't really look like the pics in my birdbook - not green enough and not the right look with the wingbars. As for other birds around my feeders, I have Juncos, house finch and purple finch, an occasional bluebird, Carolina Chickadee, etc. Oh yes, it loves the flat feeder and ate some bread crumbs I threw in it just to see what they might attract. I have black-oiled sunflower seed and the Special Feeder with nuts. If you have any ideas, I can look them up and will try again this afternoon to get a better look.