Feeding The Birds

This is the view from our addition where we joined the main house to the detached garage. The whole back wall contains a twelve foot, three section patio door. The bird feeders are positioned so that optimum viewing can be done while sitting in the rocking recliner comptemplating life in general. There are binoculars at hand and the Peterson bird book to look up any newcomers not familiar to us. Having enjoyed the photos of birds on some of the blogs recently, Carol at Maydreams and Yolanda Elizabet at Bliss, I wanted to try and get some shots of our bird visitors. After the search for the owner’s manuel for my camera was successful, imagine the surprise of finding a button that zooms in. The things you can learn when you read the instructions, even after you have had the camera for four years. Out we went, it was sort of sleeting/misting but an umbrella kept the camera dry. These photos were all taken the same day last week. It is hard to not scare the birds away with an umbrella however, so it had to be put down. Also, standing very still for a very long time waiting for some feeder action in the cold and wet is not recommended. But some of the birds cooperated and allowed their portrait to be taken.

The chickadees are brazen enough to feed while a human is standing closeby.

The carolina wren is not showing her best side for the camera.

Now that’s more attractive don’t you agree?

This is the squirrel proof feeder, it really works too.

The squirrels can climb onto this feeder but the seed is held below a double grid of white plastic that makes it too hard for their greedy little paws to get any seed out.

The goldfinch is wearing his dull winter coat. Around mid March he will become a brilliant golden yellow.

We have many cardinals. They bully the smaller birds and each other at the feeders. This female is puffed up, against the cold wet wind maybe?

There is a metal fencepost and trellis with a Cadenza rose growing on it just a couple of feet from the feeders. See the precipitation dripping on the canes. She is waiting her turn.

She looks kind of mad here. Don’t try and come get a bite you chickadees and titmice.

Below the feeders, spilled seed doesn’t go to waste. The juvenile rufous sided towhee and song,strike that, white throated, thanks Lisa, sparrow pick up the crumbs.

Back to the wire feeder filled with peanut suet pellets. This is a new feeder and filler this year and has been extremely popular. But the squirrels can get to it, even with the chicken wire baffle I hung below it.

The white breasted nuthatch feeds and creeps on the nearby tree upside down.

Mister Cardinal looks like a red flower in the winterscape of the garden.

He too cleans up any whole seed that has fallen from the hanging feeder. Note the daffodil foliage just to the right of him.

This photo from March 28, 2007 shows the most exciting event of the bird watching at Faire Garden. Click on the image to see better the yellow tail band and black bandit mask. The passing through of the cedar waxwings. They stop by here twice a year, in spring and fall and partake of the water in the pond. Last year the pond had to be redone at the time of their fly by, due to a leak in the liner, and was not available for these beloved birds. I was worried they would not stop here. They don’t use the feeders, only the water. There are usually at least twenty or thirty at a time that stop for a day or two. This photo was taken from inside the house, you can see the screen of the door. Since the pond was drained they had to jam onto the birdbath for their drinks. It was a lucky opportunity to be able to get a picture of this event. With the newfound knowledge of the zoom button on the camera, maybe the waxwing stop can be captured this March, this time on the newly rebuilt pond.

Waiting for waxwings,

Frances

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19 Responses to Feeding The Birds

  1. chickenpoet says:

    How, nice to see such beautiful birdies enjoying your provisions for them. We have cardinals and an occasional Baltimore Or. The kitties keep away any real type of variety though.

  2. Sherry says:

    Wow. I love the cardinals. We used to have bird feeders, but the cats started attacking them and bringing them into the house – some alive, some not alive… that was the end of the bird feeders :-(

  3. Entangled says:

    I love to see the cedar waxwings too. They usually come around in the fall in a flock with the robins and eat the holly berries and the fruit from the neighbors’ Bradford Pear.

    Also, I’m envious of your towhees – I see them around occasionally, but not near the feeders.

    But I just had to show you this picture of my Nuttery feeder. It was squirrel-proof for a while.

  4. Robin's Nesting Place says:

    I love cardinals. We don’t have enough of them here to be a problem. I’ve only seen one couple this year.

    One year when I lived in Alabama, my neighbors massive maple tree was full of cedar waxwings. It was a marvelous sight.

  5. Kylee says:

    Really nice, Frances! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a cedar waxwing before in real life. And while I adore the brilliant red cardinals, I think the females are pretty, too.

  6. Benjamin Vogt says:

    That’s some lovely bird diversity you have! I recently moved to a new home closer to the edg eof town, and am just thrille dto see cradinals, bossy blue jays, and yellow and red finches. I’ll settle!

  7. Frances says:

    chickenpoet…sometimes the cats are too interested in the birds feeding. Lucky you with the orioles.

    sherry…dead or even alive birds in the house sounds unacceptable.

    robin’s nesting place…those waxwings must be very social to travel in such large groups. what a sight that must have been!

    kylee…I agree that the female cardinals are beautiful. I think their coloration more attractive than the male.

    Benjamin Vogt…It sounds like you have a good variety in your new place. Wonderful.

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Frances you have a great selection of birds coming to your feeders.

    We have Cedar Waxwings most of the summer due to the Mulberry trees and other berries in and around our garden. They must nest someplace close. I just haven’t found a nest yet. They brought their young to our water feature one summer. Such a treat.

    I too love the female cardinal. I think she is one of the most beautiful of female birds but most people are drawn to her flashy mate.

    If you look at your Peterson guide I think you will find that the sparrow with the Towhee is a White-throated sparrow. They are only around during winter. This is probably a female or first winter bird.

    I wish I had a squirrel proof feeder. The squirrels take over the feeders for some time every day. UGH

  9. Frances says:

    Lisa…funny, I was just leaving a comment on your blog! About the squirrel proof feeder, click on the line in Entangled’s comment for a shock! Nothing like that here, yet, thank goodness. That sparrow is always here in winter, but a clock I received for Christmas one year that had a bird song for each hour, had the song sparrow that makes the exact song he sings. Maybe there are two types of sparrows here. I really can only see the markings with the binocs My bird identifying skills are lacking, definitely.

  10. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    That must have been a baby gray squirrel to be able to get into that cage. Geez

    If you look at that sparrow it lacks the heavy striping on the chest and sides plus it doesn’t have a dark central spot like the song sparrow.

    Sparrows are difficult to tell apart. It takes some study since they aren’t as flashy as some of the other birds. Birders often call them LBJ’s – Little Brown Jobs if they can’t id them.

    It is funny that we were reading and commenting on each others blogs at the same time. Ha…

  11. Frances says:

    Lisa…Thanks for keeping me on my toes. Now I will have to look at the guide and study those sparrows more closely. I figured they were all the same kind. I have seen the one with the dark striping, don’t know about the spot. More attention needs to be paid to the details.

  12. brokenbeat says:

    songs, like those passed from generation to generation in the medieval times, have traveled from the brush piles of faire garden, spread happily at the highway powerline gatherings, been exchanged by passers-by in flight amongst the clouds, and are now being sung in casa brokenbeat’s apple trees. apparently, from what my birdsong studies have lead me to believe, the story of those photographed has become fabled legend, bringing hope to the largely underappreciated yard birds of the southeast. let us keep our fingers crossed that this doesn’t result in these peaceful feeder-lovers vying for spots on something like reality television shows. i shudder to think of two cardinals on a televised date with little pop-up bubbles saying things like ‘red drops the ball in three…two…one’, at which time the ticket-buying audience will in unison whistle, whaa-whaaw.

  13. Frances says:

    bropkenbeat…are you suggesting birds vying on american idol, the bird edition? or basketball, or animal antics?

  14. Entangled says:

    Frances and all – that was a youngish squirrel that managed to get inside the Nuttery feeder. (S)He did it for several days in a row. Eventually they learned how to get the top off the feeder and then broke the chain that keeps the top with the feeder. I secured the top with wire so they couldn’t get it off and then they chewed the enamel off the top. I have to keep rotating the squirrel-proofing techniques as they always seem to figure out how to defeat them. I have to admire their persistence and inqenuity though.

  15. Frances says:

    entangled…Thanks for clearing that up. You have some never say die squirrels there. We figured it had to have entered through the top, but the top was still there in the photo.Could he get out by himself?

  16. Salix Tree says:

    My goodness, the cardinal is such a bright red! Our reddest winter bird is the tiny and cheeky robin (the European one), but it really doesn’t compare in color.

  17. Frances says:

    salix tree…I love your description of the cheeky robin. Our cardinal males are brilliant, some more than others. The younger males are paler shades of red. Thanks for visiting.

  18. Entangled says:

    Frances, the squirrel was actually able to squeeze through the openings in the cage in order to get in. I was afraid it would panic if it thought it was stuck inside, but it just wriggled out the same way it came in. They learned how to get the top off some time later.

    Their latest trick is removing the spring from one of those feeders with a door that closes over the seed when there’s a certain amount of weight on the perch. They seem to know the spring has something to do with it, but when they pull the spring out the door closes and stays closed.

  19. Frances says:

    entangled…those are some smart squirrels you have there. Have they been experimented on by the government? Just kidding, but boy, that seems scary!

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