Friday, November 26, 2010

For the birds

I love birds. Wild ones, that is. We had a parakeet while I was growing up and it always pained me to see it in a cage. My parents did have finches flying free in the greenhouse attached to their old house for a while- that was much better.
For years I have had bird feeders outside the window. Last year, with all the chaos of house renovations, settling in and just not knowing what I was doing, I didn't get my feeders hung. One had been broken in the move and never got fixed. The others were stashed in the barn and buried under other things.
But, this year, I've got them hung again- much to the eternal torment of the cats who REALLY want to get at those birds. I've had them filled for about a week now and the birds are flocking in.
The list observed so far:
Sparrows (lots of these!) I've never been good at identifying the different species but I know we've got some introduced ones and some native.
Black capped chickadee- my favorites!
Blue jay
Tufted Titmouse
Dark- eyed Junco
Downy woodpecker
I just hung a new thistle feeder for the finches on Tuesday evening and they haven't really discovered it yet. I did see a goldfinch there this afternoon so it should soon be a busy place.
I'm hoping to see more goldfinches and some purple finches this winter. I know we have cedar waxwings around here - which I also LOVE!- but I'll probably have to get some berries to attract them.
We've also seen the huge rough legged hawk that overwintered here last year- well, I'm assuming it's the same bird. I'm hoping that if I put out some corn on the ground that we can attract the wild turkeys that I know are lurking around.
It's fun to watch the birds and I always find it calming. K10 and I spent some time identifying birds this morning before anyone else was up. (I knew what they were but it was fun to see him trying to identify them.)
Anyone else feed the birds? I know some people are against bird feeders, saying that it makes the wild birds too dependent on us. But they seem to be in the bushes and weeds as much as at the feeders here.
Update only a few minutes after posting- I can now add Red-Bellied Woodpecker to the list.


  1. Hi Judy,

    I totally get it. Aren't those woodpeckers the best??

    We can't have feeders at our Chicago home because it draws the unwanted rodents (like rats). Yesterday morning I was up early and sitting and drinking coffee at the front window (in Chicago) and I said to Bill when he got up - I can't wait to sit and watch the birds at the feeders I have planned when we live at the farm.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  2. I love watching birds come to feeders to eat. My parents had one outside the kitchen. I wish we had one, but as of yet, none. Maybe I will ask for one for Christmas... What a delightful mix of birds you are getting.

  3. I've fed the birds as long as I can remember. We have a thistle feeder, a wild feed feeder, a small black sunflower feeder and a cracked corn feeder. All are up but the cracked corn feeder. I haven't bought any yet. Been busy with other stuff, but should be getting some soon. The cardinals love cracked corn. We have the same birds as you do. I love to watch them! ...debbie

  4. I live in an apartment building now and don't have feeders, but I carry a bag of bird seed and throw some out for the sparrows that nest at shopping malls or movie theaters. I understand what people are saying about not feeding them, but the thing is we have massively effected their environment and have already interfered. I see planting food bearing trees and plants for them as well as using feeders as a way to bring balance. We're all living in their space now so it just seems neighborly. Hope you can get some pictures of your visitors. I'd love to see them.

  5. Angie- I never thought of a rat problem. I thought squirrels were bad enough. But you will have so much fun when you're not in town anymore.
    Author- definitely ask for a bird feeder- I would guess that there are al kinds of fun and different birds in Texas. What an adventure to see what kinds there are. I bet your son would love to watch them.
    Debbie- Yup, these are the pretty common birds at feeders. I'd think you might have some different species living further south. That would be fun.
    Suzanne- I love your philosophy about us living in their space. It is so true. I'll try to get some photos but that may mean I have to wash windows. LOL! Or build a bird blind on the front porch.

    I can add purple finches officially onto the list. I saw one this morning already.

  6. I use birdfeeders and try to plant wild plants that they birds would normally eat from. I love to watch the birds... and the squirrels. :D


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