Tuesday, February 16, 2010

feed your feathered friends

this image of a red bellied woodpecker is from http://persweb.wabash.edu/facstaff/phillipj/red-bellied-woodpecker3.jpg

I never knew how many birds lived in our neighborhood until I began feeding them.

I put out seed in two "store bought" feeders.
we also have several pine cones on twine that we have seeded by smearing them with peanut butter before rolling them in seeds. You can re-seed them many times.

While participating in this years backyard bird count I learned the names of most of our littlest neighbors.

We have at least 6 cardinal neighbors-they show up all at once sometimes so I know it is at 6.
2 huge male blue jays
several tufted titmouse (titmice?)
3 or 4 fox sparrows
2 red bellied woodpeckers-one quite large the other is smaller
1 eastern towhee
a few white crowned sparrows
one very ill tempered mockingbird.
1 red breasted nuthatch

several other small birds that I haven't quite figured out yet.

The bird feeders are right outside my kitchen window- I have enjoyed watching their antics.
It often seems like they talk to one another as they take turns at the feeder. Birds land in the topmost branches of the trees. Hopping down as their turn nears. Occasionally the mean mocking bird shows up and spends all of his time chasing birds away-rarely getting to eat himself. Sometimes while watching his frantic chasing I start to think the other birds are teasing him. Every time he chases after one bird another hops up to the feeder and he races back to chase that one and on and on it goes like that until, disgusted, he flies away.

once you start feeding the birds in winter it is very important that you keep up with it. They will come back every day checking for food-and word spreads quickly! Soon you will have new visitors every day.

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