Thursday, January 3, 2013

Our Birdfeeders

I enjoy seeing wildlife in the yard, which was quite common before we had dogs living here. We use to see deer and turkey regularly, as well as other small wildlife. Luke and Jack keep most wildlife run off now, though, so most of what I get to see are birds. We have bird feeders that are visible from my window, so that I can look out and see them when I'm working.

We currently have five bird feeders, not including the humming bird feeder that goes on the front porch during warmer weather. The tube feeder is currently filled with a traditional bird seed, and is being completely ignored. The cabin feeder, which is a wooden feeder that resembles a lot cabin, is also filled with traditional seed, and is likewise being ignored. These were getting some activity before we put out sunflower seeds, but mostly because the birds were picking the sunflower seeds out of the other seed. This will change as the seasons change and other birds begin visiting the feeders, so we will continue putting out the traditional seed. Our other wooden feeder is now filled with black oil sunflower seeds, so is very popular right now. The platform feeder that Andrea made also has the sunflower seeds, and is, by far, the most popular feeder at the moment. The remaining feeder is a basic suet feeder, which gets some activity, but not a lot. We recently picked up a double suet feeder to put in place of that one, so we can experiment with different types of suet cakes to see which the birds prefer.

The most prominent birds that we see are Cardinals. We don't see them often, probably a few times a day, but because of their size and color they always stand out. The cardinals seem to like the sunflower seeds best. The most common bird we see is the House Finch. It took me a while to identify these, as they do not match the photos and description in Peterson First Guides to Birds, which is the identification book I was using. After doing some online research, however, I ran across information on the yellow variant of the House Finch, and realized that was what has been visiting the feeder. The Finches love the sunflower seeds, and can be seen at almost anytime. When I looked out the window this morning there were at least six of them on the platform feeder, and another one or two on the wooden feeder with the sunflower seeds.

We began noticing a new bird at the feeders today, so I've spent some time trying to identify it. I've been able to determine that the bird is a Warbler, but have not identified the specific type. They resemble the Cerulean Warbler, but don't quite match the photos that I've seen. I suspect that me thinking they could be this type may be a bit of wishful thinking as the conservation status of the Cerulean Warbler is vulnerable.

Now that I've started attempting to identify the birds that visit our feeders I'm likely to continue doing so. I probably need to pick up a more complete identification guide. Right now I'm considering either Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America or The Sibley Guide to Birds. Either way, I'll probably so pick up the Peterson Field Guide: Eastern Birds' Nests, because I know nothing about nest identification.


  1. I highly recommend Peterson for just about everything, and especially birds for beginner to intermediate level. Sibley's is great, but is really too in depth (and big) to be a beginner guide. I also trust Peterson's gestalts more than anyone else's.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I like the Peterson guide I have, I just need something that is a bit more in depth, although I probably do not need anything as in depth as the Sibley's.