Sunday, May 19, 2013

Birds of a Feather

Several years ago we hung bird feeders outside our dining room window.  It is so fun to see the different birds come to feed.

We (and by that I mean David and the boys) filled the feeders a couple of weeks ago.  We have one for goldfinches, one for hummingbirds, and one for various birds.

Those goldfinches are a riot.  We routinely have upwards of 20 swarming the feeders, fighting for their spot.  Not to mention chatting away at each other and bathing in the many puddles around the yard, both ours and the next-door neighbor's.  They eat all of the thistle seed in their feeder in one day.  The little ravenous things. No wonder my mom used 2 liter bottles for finch feeders when I was growing up.  I remember at least two or three on the tree in the side yard and just how many swarmed all over them.

A Baltimore Oriole was the first to find our hummingbird feeder.  A pair came actually.  Then David got out another feeder that a member of the congregation made for us.  It is the shape of church with a cross on top, all walls open.  On the center of the "floor" a jar lid is fastened.  I cleaned it up and put some grape jelly inside.  David hung it and now the orioles have found it too.  Fun!

We also saw a hummingbird come to the feeder.  My 4 year old niece was here and saw both the hummingbird and the oriole, not to mention all the "yellow' birds.  She thought it was quit neat.

Rose Breasted Grosbeaks have made visits to the feeder too. I haven't seen the Cardinals at the feeder much this year, but I have seen them flying around.  I also hear them.  I enjoy their calls!

Speaking of bird calls, they like to start bright and early!  The other morning David and I were awakened by them at 4 a.m..  I told him I laid there and wondered which bird was greeting us so early.  After some searching through my bird call cd's, I'm pretty sure it was a robin, or two.

That morning I also heard another call, a high pitched two tone, the first higher than the second.  It is almost like it says, "tweee-teee".  I didn't know what that was either, and forgot about it until I heard it later in the day. Once again I searched my field guide cd.  It was a Black-capped chickadee.  Now that I can identify that call, it is like a friend calling.

I want to try to identify more bird calls this summer.  My ears are becoming better tuned at listening first for the sounds of the various birds and second for their distinctive calls.

While eating dinner on the porch, Abby said, "What is that red bird over on the evergreen tree?"  We looked and saw a bright red bird with black wings.  I didn't ever recall seeing that bird before and neither had David.  Abby went and got the library book she checked out this week, "Backyard Birds" and found it right away.  It was a Scarlet Tanager.  It was so pretty.  We hope to see it again.

Maybe next time we get some bird seed we will buy some peanuts too.  I love to watch the Blue Jays squawk and fight and pick out just the right peanut.

My knowledge of birds is very small, but I can see why there are so many who like to go bird-watching.  It is really fun to spot them in trees and at feeders and by listening to their calls - even if it is your own yard!

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

Oh, we're trying to be bird people too. When we escape to the Shawnee national forest we see bluebirds everywhere and sometimes indigo buntings, a pair of quails is too lazy to keep a reasonable distance from us, and a summer tanager stops by every evening (we thought he was a scarlet at first but now we totally know our tanagers :D ). It makes us feel really cool. :)