Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Bird Feeding Season

It`s the time of year when many people put out bird feeders and hope to see some interesting birds among the hardy few species that stay here all winter.  To be honest, our efforts haven`t been very successful the past few years, but I`ve made a determined effort to improve on my meager efforts this year.  Yesterday I got the sunflower seeds out, and today the first birds appeared.

The Chickadees are the most common visitors we get.  They stay here all year, though they disappear into the woods over the summer to nest.  Then they regather around feeders, and come and go all day long.

We have these two `squirrel proof`feeders that actually seem to work, and I buy just black oil sunflowers.  The best price around here is at the Walter`s Falls Feed Mill, where I buy it in 50 lbs. bags, and they toss it in the back of my car for me.

Chickadees dash in to the feeders, grab a sunflower seed and take it away where they usually hold it down with their foot, and peck at it to get out the edible nut.  Then back to the feeder for another, come and go all the time.

Sometimes they dash in and out again so fast they`re just a blur, but sometimes they have to sit and take two or three tries to grab a seed securely.  These feeders are a fair distance from the window, and I don`t have a huge camera lens, so it`s hard to get a closer picture than these, which are already cropped.  I enjoy seeing the birds, but I don`t think I`ll ever be a bird photographer!

We also get Goldfinch at the feeders.  They come in a small flock of maybe 8-10 birds, who swoop in for a time, and then all disappear again.  At this time of year the bright yellows of their plumage have faded.  If I see them, I can recognize them as they arrive; they fly with a unique gentle `bouncing`motion.

Because Goldfinch can split the sunflower seeds in their beak, they just sit on the feeders to eat, often staying there several minutes, and eating all the time.  The Chickadees have to fight for a chance to get their share.

They seem to me to be greedy little birds, and sometimes we`ll have 4 on a single feeder.  They don`t mind sitting close to each other and they just sit there eating for quite a while, so they completely dominate the Chickadees, who seem nervous in the face of the competition.

This Chickadee was sitting in the Spruce, waiting a moment to swoop in and get a seed in spite of the Goldfinch sitting on the other side of the feeder.  In any case, it`s a nice change in the season to see a few birds outside our window.  Now, if I could get the focus clear on these birds!

Walking time with the dog: 20 minutes.  Walking time in the woods: 1.5 hours, though a lot of that was slow exploring, and taking pictures.  Still, it counts!

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21 comments:

  1. I swear, you should never throw anything out. Last summer I chucked the old birdseed, and now I had to buy more because I've decided to make suet balls for the first time. I found a recipe over at Crafty Gardner's site and plan to make "Christmas Balls" for the birds to enjoy. - Margy

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  2. Nice pics of the birds! My husband puts several bird feeders in our backyard and we both really enjoy watching the birds that come to visit.

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  3. I can spend hours just watching birds on feeders, unfortunately it doesn't count as beneficial exercise.

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  5. For someone who doesn't reckon themselves as a bird photographer you don't seem to do badly - I'd be delighted with those shots!

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  6. Lovely photos , you did a nice job of these photos . I love my telephoto zoom 55-300mm lens for my bird photography lets me get close with out always getting close lol ! We buy the oiled sunflower seed by the 50lb bags all year long and then have suet's and wild seed for the winters ! Our Chickadees , Juncos , and Blue jays are our fall winter birds as are the Pine Siskins the Gold finch sometimes stay and sometimes they migrate I am a birder have been for years lol and love to photograph them . Fall and winter we have 10 different breeds in the yard and in the summer we have 15 to 25 . I help with the count of birds for our Southwestern Ontario Naturists bird count . I love watching them and hearing them to ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  7. I was watching out the front window and saw a couple chickadees pecking around in my flower beds and I thought about getting some birdseed. We have English sparrows that pretty much take over if I have too much around. They drive the other birds away, much like your goldfinch. :-)

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    1. That's why i only buy black oil sunflower seed.

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  8. So wonderful just watching the birds come to you.

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  9. beautiful captures of your backyard birdies, these two visit my feeders as well. we have a feeding station for the birds and it gets really busy during their natural feeding times. i have been feeding the birds for over 10 years and they have come to depend on the food i provide.

    if you can, put out some water for them as well. it is almost as important as the food you provide!!!! your first image is exceptional!!!!

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  10. Chickadees are one of birds, so loved those pictures!

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  11. Nice shots! If you feed them, they will come... :)

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  12. I really like the little chickadees. So cute I find they are not so easily frightened away.
    Always like to hear about someone walking. : )

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  13. thumbs up on the walking. And I figure the superb photographers need the amateurs around to make them more appreciated.

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  14. We have a lot of Chickadees on our feeders as well. Great images!

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  15. I am amazed that you would use an anthropogenic term like "greedy" to describe the feeding habits of a bird. Greed has nothing to do with it. Greed implies some kind of less than agreeable human trait. Bankers are greedy, union members are greedy....Those goldfinches are simply feeding in the way that millions of years of evolution has programmed them to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

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  16. Oh I do like your photo's, that first one is stunning ... thank you for sharing them.

    All the best Jan

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  17. It's a real treat having Chickadees at the feeder. Winter and these birds go hand in hand. Very nice!

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