Watching the Birds Midsummer 2014

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Very interesting link, SSG! Sounds like all of our gardens and bird feeders do make a difference here in the temperate zone! :-) Wish there were more diversity in *my* suburban backyard, though--sounds like they were in someone else's backyard, not mine! :-)

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Interesting article on the 'subirdia'.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

That was interesting; thanks SSG!
In my neighborhood, it's not just the more plentiful food that attracts the birds. They nest in people's shrubs because there are next to no shrubs or small trees in the forest because the deer eat them. The shrubs that are in the woods, like Japanese Honeysuckle and native hollies, aren't dense enough for nests.

Birds build nests in 3 of my large front yard shrubs every year. They're nesting a lot closer to each other than I thought they would; I guess they don't have much choice. I'm trying to prune back some of my other shrubs so they are denser to expand the nesting options.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Like the Wren that built a nest in my big combo pot?

It has a anest somewhere else close-by--as I see it flitting around.
Haven't seen it yet...

I have a lot of dense shrubs in front of my house. I am sure many birds
live in there...I see them and I hear them...Then again--maybe they are
just using these for shelter...

Here's the BIG flower pot the wren hat her nest in. All gone now....

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

No birds nesting in my shrubs--the ferals keep them away. However, I'm sure they are nesting in the trees and in neighbors' shrubs.

I've been seeing goldfinches at my feeder lately. Very nice to watch.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I don't have any feeders up--maybe I should fill my Finch feeder with some
Finch seed mix and see if they will partake.

It is a year old, though--but well stored...down in my cool Shop.

G.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I hope that when we have mature shrubs, birds will nest in them! Unfortunately we don't have mature anything except for a blue spruce. All our plants are new within the last 4 years.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I think the goldfinches are most attracted by my sunflowers! :-) They flit between the feeder and the sunflowers, perching on the actual plant. Fun to watch.

Seq, I wish the ferals weren't a problem in my yard so the birds would nest in my shrubs. But I know they are nesting in the neighbors' yards--I saw Mr. Robin carrying nest material from my yard to a shrub two yards over! :-)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Muddy, very interesting point about deer eating all the shrubs.

I'm on the same boat as Seq. I'd love for my shrubs to get large enough for birds to nest in.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes, the fact that deer lack a natural predator in our backyards throws the whole ecosystem out of whack...

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Lol...deer lack a natural predator. True, but they do have to worry about Mr. hunter who feels the need to go out and shoot something for 'fun' or 'sport' and then mount their face up above the mantle or make a lamp stand out of it's feet........

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

It's way too densely populated here to allow hunting, but they do sometimes hire professional bow-and-arrow marksmen to thin out the herd. It's not nearly enough to really control their population, though.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I agree, SSG. I tried to reply by quoting your text, but the buggy DG system wouldn't allow me to. ;-)

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I was trying to lay the sarcasm on pretty thick there but I'm not sure it was as obvious as I hoped...

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Oops, sarcasm detector broken! (read with robot voice)

The deer they hunted went to a food kitchen. I think bow/arrow hunters are the next best thing to brining wolves back to DC! :)

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Fair enough. I just hate it when people, mostly men, feel the need to go out and shoot something and then mount it on their wall as some trophy. I'm a man, and I'd never feel the need to do something like that. If these archers are giving it to a food kitchen, that's awesome, my hat goes off to them and they are doing a great service.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

MAF forum on ATP is created. Click on the link below and check it out!!

http://allthingsplants.com/thread/view/27827/Welcome-to-the-Mid-Atlantic-Gardening-forum/#end_of_thread

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

I think area chefs even donated their time and dressed/prepped the meat for the food kitchens. Of course, we did have protests from die hard animal activists.

I don't get wanting to have a dead stuffed animal hanging on your wall. I guess it may look ok in a log cabin in Montana, but I don't see how it'd make you look macho or manly! You know what I can't stand, though... When rich people go to Africa and kill lions and giraffes for the fun of it and then pose with the poor dead animals they've killed. I'm not a violent person but it just makes me want to punch their smug faces.

Speaking of cats and birds, I thought you all might like this gif. ;)
http://i.imgur.com/kMEwH3T.gif

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Yeah that's a sore topic for me too SSG. Just senseless killing. I work with a woman who thinks she should kill anything that is on her property that is 'inconveniencing' her. Rabbits, foxes, groundhog, deer, hawks, etc, etc. I saw a bumble bee the other day at work caught in the door frame and I saved him. She said to me, why didn't you just step on it? I was like, heck no!!!! I explained the importance of them and it was lost on her. Some people just have no respect for nature.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm no hunter, and am pacifist in my backyard. I also don't single out hunting for sport as the only human 'pastime' whose value totally eludes me.

Thank heavens for the Subirdia article, that offsets my guilt about taking up more of Nature's property than I might really need to survive. Really cute graphics too. I look down my nose at people who buy large suburban lots and don't garden (to my standards LOL) but maybe they are helping the birds too. Leaving whatever grows, and nesting undisturbed.

I've heard certain birds don't compete well with the edge habitat that we create in suburbia. Cowbirds for example, were said to be much better edge birds than some they prey on. (nest predation)

Goldfinches go bonkers for tall sunflowers. I'm happy to have some again this year.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Lol...yeah Sally, I might include golf in that group of things who's value is lost on me..

Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

Seq, I'm with you about the golf thing.
The goldfinches have been hanging almost upside down to get to my sunflowers, fun watching them.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

NASCAR is what came to my mind as a pointless way to spend one's attention....at least golf involves retaining large tracts of partly natural land.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Muddy, I can't find where you posted it before, but it was me and not Catmint whose sedum leaves were eaten by birds (finches, likely).

I don't think the bird was eating bugs, but actually eating the sedum leaves. You can see where the leaves have been pecked almost clean. I was curious and googled and it and turns out finches do eat sedum! I know they also eat sunflower leaves.

http://www.hgtvgardens.com/ask-and-share/flowering-plants-discussions/autumn-joy-sedum-2-yrs-the-finch-have-eaten-leaves-and-effected-flower-heads-what-is-this-done-for-00000140-a697-dcde-a7ec-a7bf1f080000

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

well, what do ya know- finches eat sedum. I could USE a herd of finches to come graze down my Blue Spruce sedum, and angelina too, both spread so much.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I actually used to watch NASCAR a lot when I was younger, now I have better things to do on a Sunday..

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Ha! Sally, I've only read about them eating the fleshy-leaf sedums (like sieboldii and Autumn Joy).

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

What, you switched out NASCAR for NFL LOL??? I must confess, I love football and I spend my Sundays watching the games even though the great fall weather is beckoning me outside. I made Mike run a cable down to the dock so I could haul a TV outside and have the best of both worlds. Not much gardening gets done though...

My BIL that was here today does a lot of nature photography and was showing me some recent pictures. The coolest one was an owl in a tree - with nature's camo, you could barely tell it was there unless you looked really close.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Haha....I pretty much think all sports on TV are pointless especially football. 😄

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

No, say it isn't so LOL.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

That Seq, he's like the annoying little brother you (never) had...
;^D

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Lol...or never wanted ;)

Every time we go over to Darcy's parents, her Dad is watching some type of sports on TV. I sit there and try to understand but it gets lost on me. Usually I have no clue who's in the Superbowl until a few days before.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

same here.

Welll, we're supposed to be watching the birds on this thread........
Saw a quail/ bobwhite kind of bird today, biking on a 'rails to trails' ..no WE were biking, the bird was walking ...

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Mike's sister and her husband camped out here after a big picnic for the extended family this weekend. They are really into bird watching and can identify many by their bird song. On Sunday morning we were having breakfast out on the deck and they heard a yellow billed cuckoo. We started looking for it and eventually saw it up in one of the oak trees. Pretty neat!
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-billed_Cuckoo/lifehistory

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Sally, did you know that Bob Whites are no longer common around here?

Sidebar I could do a pretty good Bob White call as a kid. My other calls are pigeon and crow and chicken

Today I saw two blue birds on my route and then stopped at a friend's house to watch 5 or 6 hummers chase each other around and between three feeders.

And go;dfinches have found my yard after thirty years of no yellow flowers here I have about ten pots of various Rudbeckias seeing if I can find one or two that will do ok with a lot less than full sun. They really are full of antics on those long bouncy stemmed blossoms! And I think they like their seeds al dente! Barely ripe.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

That's one to put on your Life List Aspen!

So cool to hang with people who can do that ID thing with birds plants, bugs and furry or scalely things

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Very cool Terri!

My bobwhite sighting was in western Florida. Shame they have declined so much, would love to hear one.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh how neat, aspenhill!

I think I saw a hummingbird chase a bee away from beebalm. Was I imagining or do hummingbirds get territorial?

Muddy, you wrote earlier that hummers aren't shy with you, but mine are very shy. I have to literally hide when they're in my yard because they will definitely fly away if they catch a glimpse of me.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Hummers aren't shy at my place. I can be 3 feet away from the feeder and they don't care that I'm there at all. They also go to the flowers right where I'm yardening without any hesitation.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

That yellow beaked cuckoo sounds pretty sweet. From that link, it looks like it has a pretty tail.

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