Fauna of the Mid-Atlantic

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I just noticed how long the previous thread was getting! We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1398862/

We ended the last thread with Sally's sighting of cardinals in her yard. This will be a prime spot to share news about our backyard birds, but feel free to post about any non-flora topic here!

Here's a photo of a flock of robins that stopped in my yard last winter for long drinks from my heated birdbath. I couldn't come up with anything they wanted to eat, although I think I tried raisins and/or grapes, but they sure were grateful for the water!

This message was edited Oct 25, 2015 9:17 AM

Thumbnail by Muddy1
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

thanks Muddy.
what a great picture!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

that's a lot of robins!

a "giggle" of goldfinches, a "murder" of crows, and "exultation" of larks... but what would you call a flock of robins?

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

A round of robins LOL

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

YES! :-D

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

That would make a great image for an article on "Round Robin" trades...

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Feel free to use the photo if you'd like to write one!

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

The Feederwatch link Sally posted on the previous thread, which shows which birds/ food/ feeders go together, is worth carrying over here: http://feederwatch.org/learn/common-feeder-birds/

After clicking on the red "view bird list" button, use the drop down menus on the left let you see which foods attract birds to feeders, which feeders to use, etc.
I would make a few changes to their safflower list: At least in my area, Grackles don't like it (thank goodness). Feederwatch doesn't include Mourning Doves among the safflower-lovers, but they gobble it up in my yard.

This message was edited Oct 25, 2015 6:31 PM

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I saw 3 Cormorants standing by a pond in South Carolina with their wings outstretched like the one in this photo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormorant
I think the ones we saw were Great Cormorants, though. We circled back around to take a photo, but someone had scared them away. We couldn't figure out what they were doing (one theory was that they were trying to scare away an alligator that was visible in the pond). It turns out that they were just drying their wings.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Hung my big feeder out yesterday. Not a bird in sight! I guess they have to find it??

Now that my patio is back to "normal" I hope to start seeing some birds...

Is it still too warm? Maybe they are finding lots of bugs and worms with
this moist weather. G.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

No activity at my feeder yet.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Not Mid-Atlantic fauna, but I found my photos of the tiny geckos I occasionally encountered at the project I was on in Dallas. Far better critters to have indoors than the scorpions I frequently found while living in the area several decades ago.

Thumbnail by greenthumb99
annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

What a little cutie! Soooo much smaller than the house geckos on Maui. And I thought everything was bigger in Texas!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I mentioned that I hung my big 3-tube feeder up as soon as the ledge was done
and I had swept and cleaned up the patio.

Today--a squirrel jumped up on it and part of it came crashing down.
I guess I had not calculated the jumping distance (4') of the squirrels.
Either my big tale was a bit too close, which made a neat take off base--
or--The bench was too close. The seed was all over the patio.

I sweat it up and will re-use it--ut--as I said last summer--"If this feeder breaks
one more time--I am NOT gluing it back together. Amen!

I will have to splurge on the newer version of thee 3-tube feeders and shell out
$50-$60 for a new one. I hope they are better made than this ancient one.

OH, well--life goes on....Gita

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Is that a baby, Greenthumb, or are they all that small?

Too bad about the feeder, Gita.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

That's as big as they get.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

That's disappointing about the feeder, Gita
The cheap single tune plastic feeders don't last long for me.
I'm considering getting a nice platform feeder.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--If you get a platform feeder--how will you keep the squirrels away?
I only have 3-4 squirrels that run around here--but they sure know where my feeder is.

The trick is to hang them high enough so they cannot jump on the feeder.
That is where i failed....I was in such a hurry to have my patio back to "nice"
after all the lumber laying around...I failed to measure how far "A" is from "B".

I do like to have the main feeder under the patio roof. The birds are so protected there.
And--I liked the 3-tue idea as I could pour different seed in each one.

Other than this type of a feeder, I have not seen any large feeders available.
May have to look on Amazon? G.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

for the umpteenth time, may I say I never put out food that squirrels here like. I guess I only feed the birds that eat safflower and millet. And pure suet. It's enough birds for me. They go to some neighbors for whole peanuts, as I ALWAYS find a whole shell-on peanut in EVERY potted plant that's been outside for a few months.

And ADDY keeps squirrels on their toes.

Ok, when it's midwinter, I may feel guilty and buy some sunflower. I put a small amount on a picnic table, or on elevated screen on the ground, hoping the birds come first.

By the way, Addy went out one night for potty and attacked two young coons that had been getting in the trash. We guess she caught the first by speed, and maybe the second went in the tree but lost its grip. Well, we only found one body in the morning, DD had seen the other laying still, but it must have gone off after we got the dog in.

Coons and squirrels don't make good neighbors in the burbs. Chipmunks are welcome but so shy.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--your "AHEM" is duly noted....I just forgot......so much talking going on here...


Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I love you, G

I might ask Mark to make a stand for a platform feeder, out of our scrap pile, which includes 4 x 4. Then, I'll have to place it where Addy won't wind her cable around it and knock it down.
She's become a naughty girl and has to be tied up, or she visits all the neighbors.

And when it snows, I put small dishes of seed on the deck railing, for good viewing. They're easy to refill in barefeet and bathrobe.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Wow, way to go Addy!

I'm afraid I don't feel even a little bit of pity for the dead raccoon(s). :/

There were quite a few rabid raccoons attacking people this summer.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I've been feeding some leftover BOS, just to get rid of it. We had a squirrel trapped in the garage once or twice, and he chewed right through the tote. The result was a lot of hulls mixed in the good stuff.
Especially with the warm weather and continued insect activity, we haven't been actively feeding. I just made a trip to Ace and took advantage of a few sales. I picked up 80#s of seed, 40#s of BOS, and 16 suet cakes from Malwart. There's some Niger left and the finches are still eating it so that can wait.
I really have to go to Agway and check on their Feeders Club discount. It's a little out of the way but it may be worthwhile.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


I year or so ago--I got one of those orange HD buckets with a lid.
Thought I could keep all my mixed bird seed in it. NOPE!!!!

The squirrels chewed right through the heavy rim of the lid. Crazy!

I have been using an old, dented , rusting metal bucket since.
Wonder where one could get a newer one? These are NOT regular
buckets--but straight-sided, deep containers with a lid.

The one I have is all white--don't know what came i it... G.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Galvanized metal trash cans come in several sizes. Southern States or the like should stock them.

Rodents teeth keep growing, so if they didn't gnaw and grind them down they would grow together and prevent critter from eating at all.

Seeing lots of little birds busy doing their fall cleanup of various seeds and bugs. Other birds scouting the neighborhood for reliable winter food sources they will later visit on their daily rounds/

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

It's getting chilly and overcast here. I may put out some feed to make it easy for the birds and possibly give us some entertainment this afternoon and in the AM. I almost said this evening, but realized that by evening it will be dark. :-{

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

In all the years we have had bird seed in these plastic totes this is the first year that they have been chewed up like this. Guess I should have kept the door closed this summer.
There were Blue Birds here this afternoon at least 2 pairs and maybe more. They were very interested in the bird bath.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I am kind of "lost" at this time. I had my big feeder filled and ready. to hang...
Now it is, once again, broken. Should I--or should I not--try to glue it back together
again--for the 4th time???? I think I may try to. Cheaper than buying new one.

I looked on Amazon and E-bay for large Bird Feeders---and did not see any.
Maybe i will have to settle for throwing seed on the patio floor.

I have some smaller feeders. need to consider where to hang them.
High enough--for sure. But--the squirrels will jump on anything about 4'-5' close.

My big, expensive, Finch feeder, that has been hanging under my patio roof edge
and is filled with Thistle, has not been touched since last summer.
I assume the seed is no longer "inviting"...will mix it into my usual seed mix.
Not all bird are that picky..

I have a few hooks, at different heights, for smaller feeders along my patio roof edge
but they would need re-filing almost every week. For that--I would have to get on my small (5') folding ladder out and then stand on my patio table so I can reach to hang it. Not so keen on doing that any more.
Hanging from any tree branches is out of the question--as that will become squirrel candy.

Will see----Will see---------G.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Gita, for the hooks on the edge of your porch, don't you think you could use some thin wire rope to hang them and left them down to fill them and then pull them back up.

If you have the upper body strength you may be able to lift a smaller feeder with a pole.and proper hook, something like #2.

Thumbnail by Ric_of_MAF Thumbnail by Ric_of_MAF
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I actually have a yard stick with a "V" notch cut into the top which I use just for that purpose.
Mostly unhooking HB of plants and putting them back up. Pretty sturdy.
This would have a weight limit, though...as would my arm. Don't think I could use it
to lift a big, just watered 10" HB .

I have a small stepping stool I use all the time. G.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

That would work for multiple smaller feeders, though, Gita.

I've dicovered that sunflower chips and peanut hearts are a good size for some thistle feeders, and they seem to stay fresh enough longer than nyger. Maybe some nyger is almost too old when it is sold... I've started asking to taste it at southers states before investing in a big bag.

I really like the "No No" line of feeders. Not squirel proof in the sense of keeping seed inaccessible, but at least they don't chew up the feeder.

Black Friday sales coming soon... get a new feeder then!

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Gita, my Home Depot has a set of three pulleys for HBs or bird feeders for $19,95. Each one holds up to eight pounds (although product description also says 22# capacity) about what my tube feeders weigh! I'm sure there are similar heavy duty versions available

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Or the KISS method..... skip all the feeders, put an old screen flat on a table under the awning with edges raised on scrap wood. Put a scoop of food out every day. Periodically toss the chaff on the lawn and clean it before refilling.

You have the awning keeping the food dry. What great advantage is putting it in the feeder? Keeping the squirrels off?

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I'm still down in SC at my mom's house dealing with seemingly endless financial #$%! while trying to help all of us deal with the loss of my dad. Can you hear my primal scream?!?

She was enjoying watching the squirrels bury nuts in her yard, so my youngest daughter and I stopped by Target to get some bird seed to attract more wildlife. Their selection of feeders was very bad, and the nyger seed stuffed in mesh hanging bags was stale, so we went for Sally's KISS method: We bought a bag of black oil sunflower seeds and poured some in an empty bird bath that she already owned. DD also sprinkled some on the ground to help the squirrels find the ones in the bird bath. Squirrels, deer, alligators, birds, whatever,,,,at this point, anything that wants to eat the seeds can have them!

This message was edited Nov 10, 2015 9:48 PM

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally---I don't get it...........
How would an old screen ( saved them all when my windows were replaced)
keep squirrels from trashing or devouring what I put on there?

Also--how would the folded up edges help? Would it still be on the table?
Would it be hanging up?
I know I am dense on this--care to explain it further? G.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

We cross posted.... G.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Gita, I think Sally is saying to put scrap wood UNDER the edges/frame of the screen to elevate it off the tabletop. Nothing would keep the squirrels off, but if you fed ONLY millet and safflower the squirrels wouldn't be interested. I suppose they might still trash it in a fit of pique.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Muddy, so sorry about all the #$%! you are going through. Hang in there. Hope the going gets easier soon. If the squirrels are a happy distraction, go for it. He he, can you imagine alligators stalking through the yard to feed on the sunflower seeds - what a sight that would be lol, or maybe not so lol LOL

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

yes, what Jill said.

Actually, since it is under roof, you don't have to elevate it.

It assumes the squirrels will eat all the sunflower unless the birds come first.
If you're intent on making sunflower available to the birds, then maybe just two feeders with sunflower only, to hang.
Maybe the alligators WILL come and stalk the squirrels!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Well--I DID save all my window screens (metal) when I gor new ones put in.

Right now--i am not even thinking of birds or feeders. Don't see too many around... G.

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