Thursday, December 16, 2010

Birds of Winter....

View ImageNow that we've had a few rounds of earlier than expected snow, our feathered friends are visiting our backyard feeders on a regular basis.

Who have you had in your backyard this season?

Windows make a perfect blind and we have a large one at the back of our kitchen with an ornamental cherry tree right outside.  We've filled it with feeders (birds do like them spaced out several feet), as well as adding more in surrounding trees.  We try to also keep out corn for the squirrels who are beginning to inhabit our neighborhood now that our trees are more mature. 

View ImageWhen there's a lot of snow on the ground, we take the top of one of our large plastic tubs (any type tray will do) and fill it with seed, too, for those birds who like to eat from the ground, such as the Mourning Doves.

With more mature trees, we've begun to attract Blue Jays to the neighborhood and we actually had a group of 6 in our yard just days ago.  They may be rather raucous, but I love them.  They are super intelligent!  And they're not nearly so raucous and messy as Starlings....
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...which never seem to come alone....

View ImageView ImageToday, we've had an ever-present Cardinal and some Cedar Waxwings, but we've had such a large gang of Robins that most of the other birds are staying away.  I'm not sure why the Robins got caught too far north this year, but there are certainly more around than usual at this time of year.  I don't worry about the cherry tree supporting the couple that usually come 'round with snow, but with this group the food won't last long.  Robins don't eat bird seed, so they need all the berries they can get.  View Image

While I have several varieties of fruits around my yard, they seem to far and away prefer the cherries at this time of year.  Perhaps it's because they are heavily fermented now and the alcohol keeps them warmer in the cold, LOL.  It certainly makes them tipsy and we've laughed over drunken Robins falling from tree limbs, crashing into the window, etc. for years now (no harm has ever resulted - I guess the alcohol makes them more limber, too, LOL)....

While the Goldfinches are long gone, the House Finches are still here, along with the Juncos.
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These are the dark-eyed variety.

If you have a large window, you can create a feeding area for birds even if you don't have trees.  You can use the outdoor poles that are meant for hanging plants to hang birdfeeders.  You should vary heights and provide spacing.  Putting some food in a tray on the ground will appeal to a larger variety of birds, too.  And don't forget peanut butter or fruit.  Many birds like these items, too!


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