Monday, May 11, 2009

Exciting Birds

Female (browns) and male (with red) Rose
Breasted Grosbeaks

It's been a busy time for birds this past weekend. In our yard and the fields by the house:

Ruby Throated Hummingbirds

Male and female Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks
Male and female Northern Cardinals
Male Indigo Blue Bunting
Brown Thrasher
Male and female Red-Winged Blackbirds
Black-Capped Chickadees
Morning Doves
Eastern Kingbirds
Male and female House Finches
Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker
Male and female American Goldfinches
Great Blue Heron (down by the creek)
Northern Bobwhite
Male and female Blue Jays
American Robins
American Tree Sparrows
Swamp Sparrows
Downy Woodpecker

I'm sure there are others that I haven't seen or identified.

Some are passing through on their way farther north. The trick to enticing birds to stop for a bit (either all summer or on their way to other places) is to have a variety of food, water, and shelter.

I still have sunflower seeds in the feeder although the birds are spending less time visiting and more time eating at nature's banquet. I put out my hummingbird feeders yesterday.

A healthy lawn has earthworms (a favorite of robins) and other insects. A variety of flowers in different shapes, colors and smells that entice different feeders. I try to have flowers blooming in over-lapping times so the yard is not flower free from spring to winter.

There are all types of hummingbird food for feeders but I use old plastic feeders and simple homemade nectar. One quarter cup of sugar and fill with water to make two cups. Microwave for one minute, stir until dissolved, let cool and put one cup in two feeders each. Repeat when empty or after 3-7 days. Hummingbirds that visit my feeders do not like store-bought food.

We also have owls and hawks but the first comes out in the evening and we seldom see them but do hear them talking to each other. The hawks are mostly feeding in the fields and roadsides.

All the birds have molted and their coats are pristine with their summer markings. The blue, red, orange and yellows are almost tropical. If you're into the beauty of nature, a bird feeder near a window is a perfect view.

Although most birds are rather skittish of humans right now, as the summer progresses and they become more used to our presence on the porch and in the yard, they linger in view longer.

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” Chinese Proverb

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