Backyard Birds

Backyard Birds – May 2016

The spring birds have arrived and it’s so much fun watching out the kitchen window every day lately.  We have several feeders out there, containing a variety of snacks for our birdy friends.  Offerings include Nyjer, Black-oil Sunflower (In shell and kernels), Safflower, Peanuts (whole, shelled, and pieces depending on what I have), Suet (various flavors), Finch mix (white millet & nyjer), Cracked Corn, Grape Jelly, and Oranges.

We’ve had at least 5 different Baltimore Oriole visitors to the oranges and jelly, as well as a Gray Catbird.  Many other birds enjoy the jelly as well, including Robins, House Finches, House Sparrows, Grackles, and Starlings.  We’ve had up to 12 Blue Jays at the same time, but usually they only visit in smaller groups.  A White-winged Dove hung around for a day last week, in addition to the Mourning and Eurasian Collared Doves we see daily.  We occasionally see some Black-capped Chickadees and White-Breasted Nuthatches, and a pair of Brown Thrashers is around quite often as well.  A pair of Northern Cardinals visits often, and we hear them about twice as often as we see them.  We have up to 4 Downy Woodpeckers, and pretty much all day long there is one or another on the peanuts or the suet feeders.

We’ve also got all the usual “trash birds”, as I call them.  European Starlings, Common Grackles, and House Sparrows.  Occasionally we get a partially leucistic Grackle that is pretty interesting to look at, and we’ve gotten to watch House Sparrow fledglings get fed by mom, which Big C thinks is pretty fun to see.

The Goldfinches seem to have moved on to more rural areas for the summer, and we haven’t seen Pine Siskins for about three weeks now.  I don’t have hummer food out as I don’t like to mess with keeping it fresh and ant-free, so I don’t know if we could attract them to our yard or not.

On any given day we can easily find 15+ species if we watch for awhile, so it’s kind of nice to have that to come home to since I don’t get bird very often during the week.  The squirrels enjoy lunch on us fairly regularly, too, but the dogs do a good job of chasing them off when they feel like going after them.


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