Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Autumn birds

I bought this wreath to hang outside for the birds (and, as it turns out, the squirrels) to find a tasty treat or two. The birds much prefer the easy-to-use feeders, but the ever-curious chickadees are everywhere playing and pecking around inside this wreath. This was taken just after I hung it outside; it now looks much the worse for wear.

The juncos have returned for the season, I see. Not sure exactly where they go during the summer, maybe further north, but now they are back. It was so pleasant to see them return after being gone. I now have two northern flickers living nearby and downy woodpeckers, too. As soon as I see a new bird out on the porch, I grab my Birds of Washington State book to see who has come to visit.

You can see juncos (the black headed ones) here on the front porch with the ubiquitous sparrows, who never leave. Our porch is littered with huge rocks to hold down our rugs during the windstorms, not for birds to hang out on -- although of course they do. Right now I have to remember not to stumble on one while filling the feeders.

While I was writing this post, Mr. Grey Squirrel came up for a quick meal so I snapped his picture. You can see he's not hurting for food. The squirrels can only get what the birds leave on the ground, but they are constantly sneaking up the side of the apartment. Two black squirrels and at least one grey squirrel think this place is their own Club Med. I do scatter some bird food on the ground, since the juncos don't go up to the hanging feeders. I don't mind the squirrels eating part of it, as long as they leave some for the juncos, who are the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave.

The other birds have two suet feeders, two nyjer socks (for the finches only), a vertical sunflower seed feeder, and an upside-down feeder that holds small bits of sunflower seed mixed with the nyjer. Here's a picture of this feeder, with finches in their winter colors and, yes, that's a chickadee down there on the bottom. Any picture can be enlarged.

I spend a fair amount on the birds, but they give me such joy, year round. I'm not sure whether they will all make it through the winter, and I'm not sure how to keep the water from freezing in the bird bath (I know they make little heaters for them), but we will figure it out. It will not be because of me that my birdies don't make it. I've been wondering where they go when the wind blows like it has the past two nights. I picture them deep inside a tree somewhere, huddled closely together and listening to the wind blow, just like me.


  1. Hi DJ,
    Oh I love the birds, too. That wreath was so pretty, even though temporary. I also feed my birds (and squirrels) on my back deck. I need a better bird book. My little book sitting on my desk doesn't show enough birds and I get many that aren't even in there. Good idea for a Christmas gift, don't you think?

  2. Hi DJan!
    I am feeding the birds again this winter and it brings me a lot of pleasure, too! It is amazing how close you can get to them before they fly. I have had Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees and Jays. I also have had a Purple Finch and the last stragglers of the Robin Clan. Of course the Goldfinch are frequent visitors, too.
    Take care.

  3. DJ, I believe that birds and human can go well harmoniously. When I hear them chirp early in the morning it gives me a pleasant feeling of good days coming ahead. Birds flocks in the mango tree and there are hundreds of them, that comes and go. They feed on my dogs and cats leftovers and I'm gonna try making a wreath like that and let us see what will happen.


  4. My husband always laughs and says we have the fattest squirrels around thanks to my feeding them. It's not that I am doing it on purpose, but they are such thieves stealing all the bird food. I have never figured out a way to foil them. It makes for a fun day to watch them and Piper. He likes to chase them. One day he will catch them. Their fat is slowing them down.

  5. Oh DJan, I love the little gray squirrel. I never see them here only the fox squirrels. Our juncos have arrived here as well along with a few flickers.
    The wreath is beautiful, I'll bet the squirrels do like the corn.

  6. I don't get many squirrels on my deck; the dog sees to that. I do get a fair number of birds, though, and that's without any sort of feeder. I think Nancy has a good idea about the Christmas gift. Perhaps I'll ask for a bird feeder or two and a book on the birds of Virginia. It would be another fun thing for Jordan and me to do together, not to mention it would be neat to identify who's hanging out on my deck.
    I love the wreath.

  7. It sounds exactly like our home in Reno. We also fed hundreds of quail. They do bring joy. Nothing like looking out at your feeders when there is deep snow on the ground and you know you are helping them survive.

  8. God created them with a sense for survival. Yes, they do make heaters for everything! We use many on the farm. Horses and goats don't drink enough water if it's too cold.

    If you don't have electric handy, they make solar ones too. Not as many choices though...

  9. Beautiful and lovely series of shots !!Nice post !!Unseen Rajasthan

  10. Gorgeous shots everywhere!!! Love the new header!! Simply spectacular! I want a wreath like yours!!!! How wonderful!!! And your photographs of the birds and squirrel are amazing! No wonder you find so much joy! What a lovely way to spend a day!!! Love this post!!! ~Janine XO

  11. We have a pond here with a big bubble rock in it and we have a trough heater in it that we bought from TSC Stores for about $30.00 (Canadian.) I do know you can get the little heaters for your bird bath and it's worth it 'cause they all come and have baths! You'll have so much fun watching them this winter!

  12. Your wreath was beautiful! We have Nuthatches and Chickadees and an occasional Blue Jay..they are bird feeder hogs. I love to watch the birds too..it is very calming for me..and Lord only knows I need to be calm every once in awhile:)

  13. I love the idea of the wreath for the birds.
    We love seeing what comes through to our feeders this time of year too. We had a ton of Cedar Waxwings the other day...gave me a great opportunity for some photos (which I will post soon on my blog..stay tuned!) :-}


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