Some of the other nearby neighbors had bird feeders, and I enjoyed watching the birds come and go, and before I knew it, I had purchased some bird seed and scattered it on the porch. Almost immediately several birds found the seed, so I took a trip to the local Wild Bird Chalet to learn the do's and don'ts of bird feeding. There is also quite a lot of information on line, and now I'm not only hooked, I found a perfect use for those hooks on the porch: two upside-down feeders (such as the one in the top picture), two suet feeders, and a black-oil sunflower feeder hang from them. One peg is vacant because I discovered that the squirrels can reach it. The others are beyond their reach, as well as protected from the rain, so that the bird seed stays dry, an important aspect to consider here in the Pacific Northwest.
I joined the Whatcom Birds email Listserv hosted at Western Washington University that has allowed me to learn a great deal about local birds, as well as to see pictures of them for identification. Joe Meche, president of the North Cascades Audubon Society, puts lots of pictures on the site that can be downloaded to help identify birds. Other people also put pictures up that give me pleasure, such as this one from Victor Burgett:
|Taken by Victor Burgett|
|Taken by Joe Meche|
I continue to learn more and more about the birds that visit me, as well as other local wildlife, including the hawks that sometimes come to check out the fat little birds that hang out on my porch. Sometimes they will even venture onto the porch themselves, wondering where their tasty treats went off to. Even though the Northern flickers are big but nowhere near as big as the hawks, the birds know the difference and make themselves scarce when a hawk shows up.
Sometimes a bird will strike my front window hard enough to knock itself out, and occasionally to kill it, although I've put reflective stickers on the window to minimize bird strikes. I take the bird and place it in nearby greenery, hoping that it will be recycled into Nature one way or the other. I love my birds, and I do realize that Nature is not always kind. But it gives me great pleasure to see them, to learn more about them, and to appreciate their winged freedom.
It is amazing how fast it becomes an obsession too. We now buy our bird seed in twenty kilo bags and green apples (it has to be green for some reason) are a fixture on our shopping list. Thank you so much for a look at some of your birds - I loved the aggressive small bird, and bird yoga cracked me up.ReplyDelete
nice that first pic is awesome...the capture of the sun on it...and the number of birds there...cool on the coil as well...and true on the water source...we have a feeder on the grape arbor where they go this time of year...ReplyDelete
I'm so jealous! I love birds. Have had many as pets over the years, too. They have such personality, crack me up with their antics, and I also adore the squirrels who come to steal their food at the feeders, too. I know that's not a popular stance for the birders, but I have a soft spot for squirrels, too.ReplyDelete
You can spend endless hours watching the bird families, the bullies, the shy ones, the silly ones...there's something quite heavenly about birds. I love that you gave them a water supply all winter. You are a good guardian. :)
Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! And I'd love to see any and all pictures you might let us see of your feathered friends. :):)
Once you start with birds you're hooked. The activities and learning are endless. I got hooked when I was about 4 and my mother showed me a mallard drake! As you say there is very much interesting activity when birds are around.ReplyDelete
Keep on watching!
I wanted a heated bird bath for Christmas until I realized we have no place for one. In our small yard, every spot would be soon inundated with snow or accessible to neighbor cats. But the watching, feeding, and learning are as wonderful as you describe.ReplyDelete
You make a good point about the water in winter and I will now go online to learn what I should do to keep the bird water from freezing here. I have been going out and breaking up the ice and adding warm water a few times a day. Lots of winter days ahead and I will find a better way. I am so glad you are a bird lover. Well, a nature lover actually.ReplyDelete
I was not a fan of birds until I was visiting a friend and witnessed the visitors to her bird feeders. Now I'm fascinated with them and have feeders of all kinds in my yard. They easily become an obsession!ReplyDelete
We lived in this house for 15 years before renovating and putting a kitchen, and some windows, at the rear of the house facing the ravine. well, bird city! Squirrel city too. we have since spent countless hours and dollars on everything bird and squirrel-related. We get so much pleasure from watching the wildlife - even though we're in a subdivision the ravine provides raccoons, squirrels, opossums,coyotes, stellar's jays, juncos, chickadees, varied thrushes, nuthatches, owls, purple finches, bushtits, downy, hairy, and pileated woodpeckers, northern flickers, and many more. Love it, love it, love it!....and love seeing the pics of your feathered and furry friends. I should post more of mine...ReplyDelete
I love how you have really studied this whole concept of feeding the birds. It is amazing how watching birds visit these feeders can become such an important part of our lives.ReplyDelete
I have always been fascinated by birds but have never really got into the identification or even feeding. In the past I would put up squirrel feeders just to see their antics, the birds could pick up a little spare food along the way. Now with hawks that like to hang out in a nearby tree and a yard filled with my little former feral brood I would never subject the birds, or squirrels, to such danger.ReplyDelete
I'll just keep watching the birds at the park and on friends' blogs.
I never noticed birds much until we went to Nicaragua for a couple of weeks in 2004. The most glorious place! Now we have three bird feeders on our front porch. Our yard is a certified wildlife habitat. We have a small fountain on our front porch, and the pump keeps the water flowing rather than freezing. Recently we bought a new feeder in Idaho, and we've got a large mess of discarded black sunflower seeds, but it's worth it to see how busy the feeders are.ReplyDelete
It'a fun hobby and one that pulls you in quickly. Birds used to be just feathered grey things flitting around outside until I started feeding them. Then I went gung ho to learn everything I could about identifying them, getting all the right feeders, seed, suet, etc. Have fun watching all your little feathered "friends".ReplyDelete
We feed them too and provide water in the spring through the fall. During the winter the birds in Minnesota eat snow..and if it is a warm day and the snow is melting on the steel roof they fly up there for a drink. People down next to the lake may have electric bird waterers..the birds here make the rounds:)ReplyDelete
These are such gorgeous photos. I love the one of the gull yoga. You can't tell what it's doing, which position it's taking. I used to love to feed the birds back in Illinois too. I don't in Hawaii though.ReplyDelete
Just can't get into the bird mood today!ReplyDelete
Oh, man....and you thought sky diving was addictive....ReplyDelete
We have probably 7 or 8 feeders at different junctions around the property and it's nearly a full time job keeping the seed and suet filled.
But the array of birds around here is magnificent, and even the Irishman (a rabid birder) is duly impressed.
I like the idea of the upside down feeder. Those sparrows are really messy, greedy eaters. I love that you learned what you could about setting up feeding stations. Frank and I more or less just figure it out as we go along. Thanks for sharing your ideas and links.. and photos.ReplyDelete
My son-in-law is a birder in Trinidad and I've learned so much through him (and now my daughter and grandson). Our trips into the rain forest or even in their yard is bird paradise.ReplyDelete
Wish I had time for more bird watching. When ever I read about birds it always makes me think of my dad. Love your pictures!ReplyDelete
Gull yoga! I laughed at loud at that one.ReplyDelete
Birds usually do that to allow the sunlight to penetrate their feathers and kill the lice. See it here all the time.ReplyDelete
We have used a thermostatically controlled pet's dish as a water source for wildlife in the dead of winter.
The information makes a nice post.
Hi DJan - This was a great post. One of the things I enjoy most in summer, is sitting on the back deck in the evening and watching the birds bathe in one of the two birdbaths in the back yard. Even PJ does not bother the bathing. She sits patiently on the deck and observes just like us. I think she has even got used to watching, as around that time she will come and whine to go out on the back deck, like we have forgotten? ha,haReplyDelete
Beautiful photos and I like that contraption for the water. Did you build it ? Nice idea.
Have a great day :)
I'm glad I read this post today. I loved seeing the photos of the birds! I also realized that our water source isn't a good one anymore, and I need to do something about that.ReplyDelete
I also keep moving the bird feeders, as the squirrels are relentless at managing to find a way to hang upside down and get at the birdseed. I left the one in the front yard though, as I still get a kick out of seeing those silly squirrels and I want to get a picture!
That sounds like so much fun. I bet my kids would love this.ReplyDelete
Next summer, I'm going to try this, and I'll remember to have some water nearby ;)
We just put up our feeder and we also have a heater. My husband always sputters when he sees someone feeding ducks bread. A no, no. But everyone does it.ReplyDelete
How wonderful and great fun. We fed birds for decades in our woods but I didn't combine the hiking/birding bit till I started taking my GSD puppy on long hikes. Now he scoots ahead stirring them out of the bushes. Not the usual birding technique but it works for us. :)ReplyDelete
I love feeding the birds over here as much as in England. The birds are so different over here. We have three regular pairs coming every day, all day. One pair are wrens, the other tufted titmice and the third are, I think, Chickadees. Occasionally we get more exotics. Later through the winter we have the cardinals and the humming birds, which I haven't seen here yet.ReplyDelete
Love your heated bird water dish.