Thursday, March 11, 2010

Project Feederwatch Update

Project Feederwatch is underway and although I’ve been sharing a periodic count and photo in the sidebar, I thought I’d fill in a few more details. It seems I’ve been feeding my visitors the birdseed equivalent of oatmeal.  The true caviar of bird feed, ording to my trusted sources Our Friend Ben, the venerable Nyack Villager, and Proud Procrastinator’s ornithologist dad, is black oil sunflower seeds. When I saw that my seed was running low, I purchased a bag of these and am dedicating a single feeder just to these gourmet tidbits.  Business is booming.

What seems to have made the biggest change in my clientele, though, is the addition of suet to the menu. We started with a single regular hairy woodpecker visitor and now we’re up to 4 hairys and a red-bellied.



The titmice, juncos, doves and nuthatch are always around.


The sparrow markings are fun to note.  In these rather bad photos, you might be able to see the different masks and markings.  A few of the sparrows are distinctive because of their white throats. 

One day, I saw a purple finch!  (I did get a photo but can't seem to find it anywhere - I'll keep looking!)

Another time, a flock of starlings visited the yard. Only a couple were brave enough to visit the feeder that day, but since then, the starling population has been growing consistently.

The chickadees are my favorite. They are the littlest and cutest. And they seem not to be as camera shy.


We get excited when we spot a rare cardinal. 



I saw a robin today hopping around in the yard. Spring can’t be far behind. I guess that means I have to clean my deck.

Distractions abound.  I'm talking about that crazy-schedule-full-time-job-no-blogging-time thing.  Plus my Bloglines subscriptions got screwed up and now I have to subscribe to everything again.  I've missed visiting everyone and hope to catch up with all my blogging friends this weekend!

17 comments:

tina said...

I saw this on the GBBC website. I probably should participate as much as I feed the birds. Suet is a great feeder and I do it in the summer too. You'll have the parent woodpeckers there with their babies. Here a mockingbird has adopted the suet at the station as all his. He chases off everything with wings. Grrrr.

our friend Ben said...

Hi Jen, and thanks for the link! I loved your photos---you even managed to capture the "red" belly of the red-bellied woodpecker! And of course I had to laugh about sweeping off the deck. You should see the poor bulb bed under our cabin feeder...

Joanne said...

Wow, you've got a regular feathered sanctuary going on over there! No robins here yet. I saw a couple random robins back about a month ago, but none since then. Pretty soon ...

patti said...

Oh, you took me away like a Calgon bath! What AMAZING pictures.

It's so interesting that I would TURN CARTWHEELS to see a titmouse or one of those woodpeckers while you "spot a rare cardinal" and I have a quartet (or more) of them sing to me all the time!

What is the white bird with a bit of red; a woodpecker?????

Blessings and thanks!

Talon said...

Loved the photographs, JGH! Business is indeed booming for you! And lucky ducks, getting the primo feed! I've yet to see a robin, but the temps have been warming, the snow is steadily melting, and I hope to see some soon. Once they arrive, it really does seem spring has sprung.

I have a soft spot for chickadees, too. They are so friendly and curious. I wish we didn't have the cats so I could have some feeders. My mother always puts suet out for the birds. They really do adore it.

Karen said...

Very cool to see who has come to visit. Chickadees are my favorite too! And starlings get a bad rap but that spotted plumage is pretty impressive when you really look at it. The house sparrows look sweet together, even though they're technically a reviled introduced species. Never heard of or seen the red-bellied woodpecker before - it's shaped like a northern flicker, kind of. Awesome!

AshKuku said...

How wonderful they all are... Nice to be a part of nature & feel their lovely presence, between you..... It is a nice feel, one can only live & enjoy & not express......

Ash....
(http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

Bangchik said...

Birds really look cuddly, when they fluff their feathers and become almost woolly. ~bangchik

Ronda Laveen said...

Thanks for the pictures, especially the Cardinal. On the left coast, the only Cardnials we see are on Christmas cards.

Sounds like you found the right treats for them to eat.

Pam J. said...

Love the picture of the red-bellied woodpecker. We have them in abundance here in the DC area. I'm surprised that cardinals are rare in Nyack. Female cardinals are my favorite. Love their subtle but striking colors. Nice report!

Anonymous said...

Great photos. We love birds and always get those huge bags of seed.

Black oil sunflower seeds are the most popular in my yard, as well as thistle seed. I love the almost mossy colored female cardinals (altho they say they are brown, they are gorgeous.) the older a male cardinal gets, the redder his feathers to attract females. Our yard is regularly filled with sparrows, titmice, woodpeckers, mourning doves, cardinals and jays. Mixed flocks come and go, and I love to see the red wings ...and the very occasional indigo bunting.

it's pretty easy to attract hummingbirds esp if you start in April and set up a feeding area for them.

k said...

"Chick a dee dee dee dee."
Someone once told me that birds like stick margarine and that it's a good winter food, the cheaper the better. Has anyone any thoughts?
I haven't seen any juncos here.I hope I haven't missed them on their way through.

Carol said...

You have quite the bird haven there! I have never seen starlings at a bird feeder before. Love the red belly! Of course who does not love those little feisty chickadees! Good luck managing your load! ;>)

Elephant's Eye said...

We have cats. And feed birds. In what started life as a French/Victorian cage for a garden candle. We added a tray underneath, and now the wild birds can feed in peace and safety in their 'cage'. It is also a good place for stunned birds to recover.

Kelly@LifeOutOfDoors said...

Isn't it so cool that these guys just hang out in our back yards? I'm so happy to have found your blog - thanks for picking my post on blotanical (that's the connection). I've been watching my local goldfinch for a few weeks - he's still eating but not quite gold yet! http://lifeoutofdoors.com/2010/02/04/goldfinch-goldfinch-on-my-window/

Lzyjo said...

You have such a great variety! I never realized what birds were attracted to suet, that's so exciting. I've never even seen a purple finch.

k said...

And thanks to your pictures, we now know why they are called "starlings."