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Friday, April 24, 2015

More birds than ever


We mentioned, on last visiting the bird seed store, we had more birds at the feeders this year than ever. Only one more feeder, and that a small one, so I’m ruling out quantity available.  The fellow behind the counter said customers were reporting fewer birds this year; we were an anomaly.

I was not able to take one decent bird picture last winter; certainly not like the winter before. Remember the cardinal in the oak tree? That took a lot of light. The chickadee in the oak tree took even more. There was not light like that last winter; it was gloomy almost every day.

I attribute all our guests to the harshness of this winter and to the feeder wait staff. Emily and Laura took good care of all those feeders, even when the paths to the feeders had four foot walls.

The return of the red winged blackbirds is a sure sign of spring. They live in the meadows and marshes. And this spring there were red winged blackbirds at our feeders, on top of the hill. The male stopped for a few days and left.  There probably were females, too, but they look too much like cowbirds for me to distinguish quickly. An immature young male still hangs around, so polite and handsome, with the white shoulder bar.

For fun, here’s a list of all the birds at the feeders: cowbird, starling, red-winged blackbird, grackle, crow, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, red headed woodpecker, red bellied woodpecker, blue jay, house finch, pine siskin (winter finch), song sparrow, junco, purple finch, tree sparrow, house sparrow, cardinal, mourning dove, nuthatch (red breasted and white breasted), chickadee, titmouse, goldfinch. I think the squirrel ground crew increased to half a dozen.

We were at the bird seed store probably every other weekend until the end of March. We’ll keep seed enough this summer for nesting birds who want it, but it’s coming on time to put out the bird baths. For Christmas I got a bird bath we can keep on the ground and outfit with a heater. With the snow gone we may get all those jobs done this weekend.



24 comments:

  1. I'm impressed you can tell the difference between all those sparrows and woodpeckers.

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  2. They've heard about your birdie cafeteria.....told all their friends.

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  3. Oh wow-so many and all those woodpeckers-keep taking pics please:)

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  4. Oh, and I do not get any blue jays or cardinals - they do not like British Columbia... Instead I have 'tons' of hummers and they making up for all the missing species.
    Evalina, This and that...

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  5. Red winged blackbirds are plentiful around here. I like to get up early in the morning and take a cup of tea outside as I listen the birds.

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  6. How cool with the bird bath with a heater! How sweet you have more birds when others have less; must be the tender loving care you and the girls provide for the birds; they must be telling their friends to come along to eat at your feeders :) I've been reading the local newspaper with the bird report they do weekly, it is fun to read about the different birds that were here in winter who are now leaving and the spring ones arriving. I sure get a kick watching the birds that come to eat at our feeders and the fights that go on with them if one doesn't like another one there, etc.

    betty

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  7. Today the crows hit my area. what sparkly item do they want? one flew in front of my windshield while I was driving and he looked huge.

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  8. Smart birds, they share with each other the best places to eat. :)

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  9. Now we know why there are fewer birds at other 'restaurants'; they're all at your place. Good service and fine foods...word gets around.

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  10. I like birds too! River told me about your blog and here I am! Hello!

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  11. kudos to you for drawing so many birds from far and near for sustenance in the harsh winter we just had

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  12. Hari OM
    Green with envy here..... in OZ I could have matched species with species and had fun with you. Here in Dunoon? Gulls. Oystercatchers. Various Corvids. There are others around of course - just not making themselves known to me! Yup. Love that listing..... YAM xx

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  13. Makes me feel a bit guilty that I haven't put up a seed feeder yet.... but I know that I'll have to remember to take it down every night as the raccoons wreak havoc with feeders around here.

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  14. There are still juncos hanging abut here..they've usually gone by now.This winter has confused everyone.
    Jane x

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  15. So interesting to read your bird list, so different from mine over here. Your cardinal is my favourite US bird - I did see one once.

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  16. Nice that you keep track of all the birds. You are a true nature lover.

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  17. I always think of those poor birds out even in our English winters - they are bad enough but nothing on yours. I'm glad you are a regular visitor to the seed store. Sometimes I think wildlife doesn't have a great existence and could do with a helping hand!

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  18. The red winged blackbirds dive bomb around here.

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  19. I am so jealous of your list of birds at your feeder! We have only three: robins, cardinals and wrens! I covet those birds of yours....

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  20. an amazing list of birds. they know which side the bread is buttered on!! my list could be counted on less than my fingers. Proud of the ground crew at Geoppert. Would need to borrow from my investments to feed such a flock. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Dear Joanne, I'm so impressed by the variety and splendour of your many, many birth feeders! Mine (one) on the balcony is now "closed", to the annoyance of the many sparrows (who now gulp down crumbs of cookies at the cafés at the near by Viktoria-Luise-Platz). But each day they come up for a good slug of water in the birth bath.

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  22. Hello greetings and good wishes.

    Very interesting and informative post. You have mentioned so many names of birds which I have not heard of. You are living in a paradise of birds. You can see so many wonderful birds. This is really amazing. It was interesting to read about the red winged black bird.

    Lovely photo.

    Best wishes

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