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Old 02-26-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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(This is a garden question, right? The feeder's in the garden... )

What birds are you seeing at your feeder this winter? And what are you "serving"?

I have 3 feeders: a tube feeder with nyger seed, a suet basket, and a hanging feeder with sunflower heart chips (no shells).

The nyger feeder gets only goldfinches.

The suet basket gets woodpeckers, chickadees, the occasional cardinal, too blasted many starlings, and Sheba the Squirrel if I forget to grease the hanger pole so that she can't climb up it.

The sunflower chips get chickadees, goldfinches, cardinals, sparrows, juncos, and titmice mainly. A small flock of mourning doves patrols the ground beneath the feeder but lately I've seen a few of them actually land on the hanging feeder perch and eat directly from the hopper. The starlings will also come to this feeder but not as much as when I had a 4th feeder with a shelled-seed mix (they decimated that in no time, so I went back to just the sunflower hearts which they don't seem as attracted to).

What surprises me is that although there's a bluejay in the area (hard to miss those calls) I have only seen one at the sunflower feeder once all winter, and never at the suet feeder. I'd think the sunflower hearts would be a big attraction but no. Very strange, even more so because there are no oak trees nearby (thinking that if there were plenty of acorns the bluejays will prefer that to the feeder.... but no oaks).

We had a very warm spell (temps in the low 50s!) a few weeks ago and suddenly a "bachelor group" of about 15 male robins appeared in and around my yard for two days. Haven't seen them since, so I assume they left when the arctic front moved in!

So, what birds has everyone else got this winter?
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:13 PM
 
Location: NE Florida
17,835 posts, read 29,028,748 times
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we have allot of red wing black birds
my cardnal couple have come back
lots of little brown birds
and don't forget the "fat boys" mourning doves they are fun to watch
karla
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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Over-same food, same birds! All the way up here

But, I must add, no cardinals, starlings or squirels (with the hawks and eagles up here no surprise), lots of nuthatches. We have about 5 feet total snow now which will remain until the spring thaw, so everyone is "lookin" and we are happy to oblidge and the big shep loves to play tag with them all-they have her wrapped around their wing-hours of entertainment and not a bird harmed yet!
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
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I feed all winter on a plain sheet of plywood, mounted on a 5 foot tall tree stump. Just oiled sunflower seeds. I get pine gross beaks that have red males, much like a cardinal with no crest, and the females are grey with yellow heads. Then the usual chickadee's and some other little brown birds. An occasional wood pecker, and a couple different red squirrels (which are tiny compared to lower 48 breeds), camp robbers or whiskey jacks and magpies, also show up at the same time every day. I throw any food scraps into the garden so they go there to eat. I can watch them for hours at a time.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Apex, NC
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We don't have Starlings down here in Boones Mill, VA, but we've got Grackles. Being from Vermont I know all about Starlings; nasty filthy birds in my father in-laws' barns. I'm seeing alot of what you're seeing. My favorites at my office window feeders are mourning doves, cardinals, eastern bluebirds, red headed woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, carolina chickadees and nuthatches.

In particular I have a male cardinal with obsessive compulsive disorder. He flies into my master bath window about once every 3 minutes. All day. Every day. For 400+ days and counting. He has a female so you'd think he'd have better stuff to do, but no. It's mostly just the running into window that he fills his idle time with

Sean
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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Well...first of all let me just say that contrary to popular opinion spring here in the mid-atlantic is not announced by robins but more accurately by starlings and grackles. They are the true harbingers of spring and they have been busy all week driving away the:

Cardinals
Tufted Titmouses (Titmice?)
House Wrens
Carolina Wrens
Carolina Chickadees
Downey Woodpeckers
Red Bellied Woodpeckers
Dark-eyed Juncos
Various Sparrows
House Finches
Blue Jays (Mine love the sunflower hearts, don't touch the suet)
White-breasted Nuthatch

I think that's it for the winter birds. I live in the suburbs of Washington, DC and have the same feed offerings as you.
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:17 AM
 
Location: on an island
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Being in transition, I don't have a feeder going, more's the pity.
(The house and garden forums are driving me nuts, because I can't fully participate! )
However.
I do walk the dog for half an hour twice a day, and where I live is a birder's paradise, lots of undeveloped lots, huge pines and oaks, and even a mini-wetlands.
In fall and winter, I regularly see bald eagles and other raptors in the marshy area and at the beach, but I think the eagles will eventually go north for the summer. We also have red-winged blackbirds at the marsh. There is a mated pair of American Coots there, too.
In the canal we get kingfishers, snowy egrets, great blue herons, and great egrets. They hang around the bay, too, along with cormorants and pelicans. The cormorants will go north when summer comes.
Even though it is late February, and we could possibly get one more cold snap, it became obvious to me that spring is here because I have seen a couple birds that had to be passing through:
an indigo bunting and a painted bunting. Gorgeous birds.
In December we became indundated with flocks of robins, but I am curious about this. I have moved around so much within this community and I have only been here for 19 months, but in '06 I only remember seeing robins briefly--and never in the summer.
Will our robins fly away as our hot summer sets in, or remain? Dunno.
We have two types of doves: mourning doves which seem larger than the ones I knew in Colorado, and then a very small variety.
We also have adorable nuthatches, tiny marsh wrens, various woodpeckers, cardinals, and chickadees, I presume they are Carolina ones but I do not know for sure. Also blue jays, starlings, and everywhere, all year long, we have mockingbirds.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:24 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,367 posts, read 39,626,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanpecor View Post

In particular I have a male cardinal with obsessive compulsive disorder. He flies into my master bath window about once every 3 minutes. All day. Every day. For 400+ days and counting. He has a female so you'd think he'd have better stuff to do, but no. It's mostly just the running into window that he fills his idle time with

Sean
Sean
There is a humorous photo in this morning's paper of a male cardinal determined to defeat the other cardinal he sees in a car's review mirror. Poor guy.

Just saw my first grackles today. Don't remember seeing them last spring.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:36 AM
 
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Oh Cil, I have always wanted to see the buntings, both painted and indigo, in real life! How sad is that? I am just a Northerner and will never live where they they do. To me, they are just gorgeous-enjoy that walk with the pup every day! It sounds like you are in a birder's paradise indeed!
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:40 AM
 
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Sean, sounds like your obsessed cardinal has issues, LOL!

About the robins, in this area there are always some that overwinter but I never see them at the feeder. Those "roving bachelor gangs" must travel around depending on weather patterns. We usually start seeing them regularly by, say, late March and then start seeing pairs in April.

The unmistakable sign of spring for me in this area is hearing the song of the red-winged blackbird. The first time I hear that "o-ka-leee" each year, I give a sigh of relief that there's absolutely no more chance of a late snowstorm!

cil, once the weather warms up I get the same birds as you have now, with the exception of the bald eagle, pelicans and buntings. We're right near the water (used to live on a canal too) and get all the waterbirds. My sure sign of summer is seeing the first tern. When I lived on the canal, black skimmers used to work up and down it during late summer evenings. Fascinating to watch.

We do have mockingbirds and catbirds year-round here. I've seen them around but neither one ever comes to my feeders. You'd think they'd at least want the suet, but apparantly not. Maybe they're finding sufficient food elsewhere? It has been an extremely easy winter (knock wood!!!!!)....
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