Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber

Bird-watching notes

Lots of activity at the feeders and in the yard, despite me only filling the feeders off-and-on. Yesterday a brown thrasher kept me company while I gardened, perhaps trying to point out the empty suet feeder. I filled it yesterday evening, and today there are at least 2 thrashers chasing each other off the feeder. One of them took a nice dust bath in the mix of pine tree shreds and clay left by last year's stump removal. As I was finishing up this post, a northern flicker used the same spot, so maybe I have a "dust spa" in my back yard. I haven't seen a flicker in several year--hope it sticks around.

Bluebird and progenyDaddy bluebird showed up with 2 kids today, I guess to let them scope out the suet. One made it to the suet cage, then sat there begging. The other waited on the support pole for Dad to bring the goods.

As I was gardening in the back yard, it became obvious that the bluebird box I'd put up was, in fact, in use--I'd spotted grass and sticks through the hole but never caught sight of a bird entering or leaving. However, now the box is cheeping. After repeated bouts of standing around with camera or binoculars to get a good look at the occupants, I finally got a couple of non-backlit, not too blurry photos and think they must be house wrens. They disdain the hole in the box and are using the crack at the top, which apparently suits their desire to bring in larger sticks for nesting material. Small birds, very hard to see any distinguishing marks (not that I'm good at it, anyway--the rose-breasted grosbeak is about my speed), looking grayish-brown, lighter below, insect eaters (lots of grasshopper-ish things being fed to the chicks this weekend), and a faint light stripe above the eye. One of my books says "the most nondescript of the wrens".

House wren House wren House wren

Saw the first hummingbird of the season yesterday, so I changed the feeder solution to try to make it more attractive. No more hummers yet.

Also seen this weekend on or around the feeders or bird bath, the usual suspects: blue jays, cardinals, mourning doves, downy woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, house finches, sparrows (still need to work on sparrow ID), Carolina wrens, tufted titmouse, and Eastern towhee. Not so usual is the pair of goldfinches--they are around, but don't often visit the feeder area since I gave up on thistle feeders.

The crow(s), who can go through a suet cake in a couple of hours by flapping up to the feeder and stabbing to knock large bits through the cage to the ground as they 'hover', have not yet discovered that I put suet out. Maybe they've moved on....I hope. The chipmunks are at the backyard seed feeder, though, so I'm off to Home Depot for hardware to install the squirrel baffle on that pole. Won't stop the squirrels, but the feeder has one of the squirrel-cages around it that's fairly effective. Chipmunks fit right through the cage openings.
Tags: birds

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