Monday, January 23, 2012

Backyard Birds--We've Got 'Em Here!

Every year we look forward to an influx of colorful birds in our yard. The numbers generally pick up in January, and usually coincide with colder temperatures. While birds are here at any given time throughout the year, there is more obvious activity at the feeders during the winter months:

Finches and a Bluebird at one of the feeding stations

What do we do to attract the birds?  One thing we do is provide a variety of seeds, nuts and berries in several different bird feeders.  Black oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower nuts, peanut pieces, safflower seed, nijer seed, and suet is available and enjoyed by many different birds.  Here are some birds on the suet feeders:

Downy Woodpecker (female) on suet feeder

Downy Woodpecker (male) on suet feeder

Starling on suet feeder

Carolina Chickadee on suet feeder

Eastern Bluebirds on suet feeder

Here are others on the seed feeders:

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebirds (Male and Female)

Eastern Bluebirds and House Finch

Red Winged Blackbird

Female Cardinal

Northern Cardinal (male)

Downy Woodpecker (female)

Carolina Wren

Downy Woodpecker and Starling

Chickadee

American Goldfinch
  Nijer (Thistle Seed) feeder:

American Goldfinch

Goldfinch 

Eastern Bluebird (male)

House Finch (female)

Despite the food offerings, probably the most important thing we do is offer water. Birds love bird seed, but they need water. We started out with a heated birdbath which the birds really love because it prevents the water from freezing over:

Eastern Bluebird (male)

Bluebird (female)

Male House Finch and Female Bluebird

Female (L) and Male (R) Bluebirds

Female Goldfinch
Last summer we also installed a meandering stream. It has proven to be an attractive addition and/or alternative to the birdbath and I've immensely enjoyed watching the birds get to know it:
 
American Robin

Mourning Dove

House Finch (male) and Goldfinch (male)

Goldfinch (female)

Dark Eyed Juncos

Eastern Bluebird (male) and Junco (male)

Bluebird (female) and Junco (female)

Something else that helps to make the birds feel safe is having some shelter, such as evergreens or bushes/shrubs that don't lose their leaves in the winter. We planted Leyland Cypress on either side of the house, and birds can frequently be seen resting on the bows of the trees, seemingly hidden from sight (except for mine!):

Male (L) and Female (R) Northern Cardinals

We also have holly trees in the front yard, and on either side of the house. This morning I spotted this colorful guy up in the icy-covered branches:

Northern Cardinal (male)

Many birds don't even go to the feeders, but enjoy the food that drops to the ground:

Dark Eyed Junco

Tree White Throated Sparrow (I had my short lens on and had to enlarge this photo to see it. Not the clearest photo...)

Even when birds aren't eating, they are simply fun to watch, as they hop on railings, bird feeder poles or tree branches:

House Finch (male)

House Finch (female)

Northern Cardinal (male)

Mourning Dove

American Goldfinch

House Finch and Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird (male)

Eastern Bluebird (female)

Downy Woodpeckers

White Breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

I hope you've enjoyed these photos--I have captured them all within the past couple of weeks. Our weather has finally gotten cold and we've had a little snow a couple of times and even a minor 'icing'. I've said it before, but I do believe it: Winter is for the birds!

What do you do to attract birds?



Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @ http://www.thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.

36 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photos! Where do you find your sturdy bird feeder polls?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of our sturdy poles -- and particularly the are from Wild Bird Center, which is a franchise located close to our home. I have a couple that I've gotten from the big-box stores (Lowes, Home Depot) as well.

      Delete
  2. Jan,

    Those bluebirds at the feeders is a real trick!! I saw one land on one of our feeders a week ago, but didn't stick around. I think your tree sparrow is an White-throated Sparrow, never seen a tree sparrow myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Randy...I think you're right. I don't know why I called it a Tree Sparrow. I've seen White Throated Sparrows before. It was late when I posted this last night;-)

      Delete
  3. Your stream is so nice for the birds. I have a few birdbaths and keep breaking the ice or pouring water over the ice for them. I have not gotten a heated one as of yet. One of the many joys for me is to sit and watch the birds. They make me laugh, gasp in awe, and feel as if all is well with the world.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a treat! I have to find a way to convince some of those bluebirds to visit Montreal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I always take our birds for granted when I'm home! I hardly ever see anything other than geese when I'm down here. I especially love the cardinals and bluebirds!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What wonderful photos - it makes the birds that visit our garden here in the UK look very ordinary - I love the colours of the bluebirds; can't think of anything quite like them here.

    So many questions I want to ask, Jan but had better limit myself to two! Your stream looks so natural, did you build it from scratch or was there running water to start with?

    What camera equipment do you use to take such beautiful photographs?

    Perhaps you have written about these before, if so I have missed them. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Johnson

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello Johnson, thanks for your kind words. The stream was built from scratch and runs with a recirculating pump. My camera is a Nikon D40x camera, with a 300 zoom and a 105 macro; I do own a tripod but rarely use it (although it would help my photos to be more stable & clear, I'm sure)! Most of my bird photos are taken from inside the house through windows, and in a few places, screen. I use the 'automatic' setting and know that if I would just 'learn' to use the manual settings I could have even better outcomes. I mostly just enjoy documenting the beauty and haven't been motivated to perfect the technology, as yet;-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your birds are so cute and colourful!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You do have a lot of different birds visiting. I love the shot with the Cardinal in the berry shrub. How beautiful. I have to admit I am jealous that you have Blue Birds this time of the year. Mine always leave in the fall.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jan I love your visitors. Many of the same birds visit me even though I have no feeders but have native plants for them to feed on...I am envious of some of the spring birds and songbirds we do not have right now...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful blog post wonderful to see the birds feeding so happily in the winter <|;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. What wonderful captures of your feathered friends! I am surprised to see the bluebirds at your suet and seed feeders. I have never seen a bluebird at my feeders. They are usually eating from the ground.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We have a lot of different birds but we never seem to have any bluebirds. Yours are so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Holy picture explosion! Your place looks like a party. AND thank you for helping me identify a bird. I've been looking all over the internet and finally found the right identification here. I appreciate your labels on birds. I'm learning:)

    ReplyDelete
  15. What beautiful pictures! I love the bluebirds!
    I put up some feeders this year and it has been so much fun watching the birds. It definitely helps to have different types of seed. I recently put up some smaller seeds which has attracted the goldfinches. Now I need a water feature!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hooray, this page loaded. It didn't at first. Love your bird photos, just wonderful!! Think that is one of the best pics of a Brown Creeper...they are hard to photograph. Those birds LOVE your yard!!
    I don't think I have seen Bluebirds on suet feeders. Very cool!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, yes, yes, I loved all the photos! What I do to attract birds? We have lots of trees at our house complex, and that attracts birds naturally. On the terrace, I have placed a feeder made of mud, and put some food every day. I have also placed water for them to sip. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful. Just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You certainly prove you can never have too many feeders! LOVE your Bluebird photos! You have a beautiful stream and so many great birds :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Aw, cute photos! We have many of the same birds here during various times of the year. Mostly lately, with the cold weather, we're seeing cardinals and juncos. They're so fun to watch. These are great captures!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great captures. I'm impressed with the diversity. I mostly have finches.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow!!! How fun to see all of those birds visiting your garden!!! Those bluebirds are the cutest. The cardinals on the evergreens are just gorgeous. The Brown Creepers are fun to watch -- they are hard to see and they scurry so fast. I can't seem to get the birds to sit still long enough to get a photo. I had put a net over my pond this fall/winter to try to keep the falling leaves out of the pond. The other day I noticed some birds hanging around my pond. I got worried that they were going to get their feet tangled in the net, so I removed the net. The leaves are done falling, so it was time. Hopefully the birds will come back to play in the water :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lovly with all that birds!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a feast for the eyes this post is Jan. You've got some beautiful shots! I'm doing the backyard bird count too and find it fascinating to compare with others doing the same. I rarely see goldfinches or bluebirds - so fun to see them here.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Jan, you definitely DO have the backyard birds! I had to peek again to remind myself that you're in Virginia. Whereas we have all the birds here that you have, we'd Never see bluebirds in the winter!! Just beautiful photos!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow, you really do have quite a few lovely visitors to your yard! I don't get but a few varieties here, but I think it's because we are smack dab in the middle of the suburbs, with no large trees or woods for them to hide in. I've never even seen a bluebird! Hey Jan, when you get a chance, make note of my new blog address, as my old one was deleted due to someone else's fraud. Grrrrr!
    http://lifeinrobinsnest.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  27. Jan, Your feeders certainly are a happening place!! That photo of the male cardinal among the red berries looks like a Christmas card.

    I don't know if you've seen the Versatile Blogger award going around (or perhaps have already been so honored). Anyway, I've named you as one of my "versatile bloggers." You can learn more here: http://jeansgarden.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/versatility/

    No Pressure on this; I am not offended at all if people choose to ignore these awards. -Jean

    ReplyDelete
  28. You have an amazing variety of beautiful birds! You are obviously providing a great environment for them, as well as nutritious food. I really enjoyed looking at all your great photos, especially the ones of the bluebirds and the cardinals. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have seen bluebirds at Huntley Meadows, but never in my yard. I think they are all in your yard!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dear Jan, Your photographs just get better and better. I hope you use those Cardinal photos for Christmas cards. The bluebirds are so pretty. I have all the birds you have, but can't match your photography. P. x

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for the photos! Almost as good as being there myself... I do think when I retire I'll start some bird feeders myself. The birds don't really need it, but I'll enjoy watching the show!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow, alot of beautiful phots here! http://theeverydaygardener.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  33. We have the same birds you except for the Nuthatch. We have the Brown-headed instead of the White-throated. We have never seen the bluebirds on our suet and until yesterday, never seen the bluebirds at the feeder! We started using hulled seed instead of Blackoil whole seed. Wow, the bluebirds have discovered the feeder and hopefully, they will find the suet as well.... Your pictures are wonderful and I enjoyed them today, Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!

Jan

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Post Topics

17 year Cicadas...Enough Already! 2011 Official Post 2012 4th of July collage 5-lined skink A Certain Kind of Light A Cozy Fire A Dusting of Snow A Family Meal A Hawkish Tale A Little Bit of Winter A Visit From Miss Glad on Blooming Friday A Visit With The Queen A Warm Cup of Tea Acorns African Violets African Violets:Kitty Style Agastache Allium Am I too late for GBBD Amaryllis Amazing Zinnias American Beautyberry American Hazelnut American Lady American Robin Anemone Anenome Anglewings Anise Hyssop Another Birthday aphids April 2010 April blooms Arbor Day Are Words Really Necessary? Artemesia Asarum Asclepias Asiatic lilies Aster Aster Yellows Audubon-at-Home August 2009 GBBD August 2013 Autumn Autumn Reflections Awards Awesome Azaleas Azalea on Ice;Picture This Photo Contest;Winter's Beauty Azaleas Azealea Back Yard Backyard Bird Series backyard birds Backyard Makeover Bald Eagles Balloon Flower Bee Collage Bee-Balm Bees Bees Busily Buzzing on Blooms Before and After Being Settled berries Big Eyes Bird Collage Bird Conversations Bird Itch Birdfeeding Birds Birds Before Blooms Birthday Books Black Swallowtail Black Swallowtail Butterflies Black Swallowtail butterfly cats Blackeyed Susan Bleeding Heart Blog Anniversary Blogger blogging blogging friends Blogiversary Blooming Friday Blotanical Blotanical awards Blotanical's 2009 Best Virginia Award Blue Blooms Bluebeard Bluebird Bluebird Fledglings Bluebird in Snow Botanical Interests Boulder Bouquet of the Month:April 2010 Bouquet of the Month:March 2010 Bright Flowers broad-winged damselfly Brown Creeper Brunnera Buddleia Bugbane Bulbs BulbsSproutinginPot Bumblebees Butterflies BUTTERFLIES LIVE Butterfly on Salvia Butterfly weed Calorie-Free Candy Camera-less in April Can You Guess What This Is? Can You Please Identify Me Can't Get Enough Cosmos Cancer Experience Cardinal Cardinal (Female) Cardinal (Male) Cardinal Flower Carolina Wren Carolyn's Shade Gardens Carpenter Bees Carpet Rose Caryopteris Caryopteris x clandonensis Catmint Cedar Waxwing CedarWaxwing celandine poppy Celebrate Your Freedom Cercis canadensis Certified Wildlife Sanctuary Chelone Cherry Blossoms Chickadee Chris McLaughlin Christmas Fern Christmas Rose Chrysanthemum Cicada's Ahead of Schedule Cicada's May 2009 Cicadas May 2013 Cinquefoil Clematis CobraHead Collage Collages Columbine Common Buckeye Common Whitetail dragonfly Composter Coneflower Containers Cooper's Hawk Coral Red Honeysuckle Coreopsis Corona Corydalis Cosmos Covered Hellebore Plants Cozy and Warm Cranberrybush Vibernum Crepe Myrtle Crested Iris Crocus Crocus 'Romance' Crow Cut Flowers From My Garden Cutleaved Coneflower Daffodil Daffodils dainty blue flowers Dayflower Daylilies December 2010 December Birds Deer Poop Desert Island Plant Challenge Desperate for Color on Bloom Day Devastation in the Garden Devotion Dicentra Digitalis purpurea Does This Outfit Make Me Look Fat? Dogs Dragonflies Dragonfly or Damselfly Dried Blooms ducklings Dutchman's Breeches Dwarf Nandina Dwarf Sumac e-Bird e.e.cummings e.e.cummings:i thank You God for most this amazing Earth Day Eastern Bluebird Eastern Comma butterfly Eastern Redbud Eastern Tiger Swallowtail eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly Ebony Jewelwing Echinacea Elderberry Emily Dickinson End of the Line Epimedium Euphorbia Evening Primrose facebook Faith Fall Color Project Feasting on Seeds Feb 2010 GBBD Feb 2010 monster storm Feeling Blue Feeling Blue? Finch Fire Pink First Day of April First Snow First Snowfall Project Fiskars Flame Azalea Flat Tire Basket Flick'r photo large sizes Floral Collages Focal Black and White photo Foliage-Followup Forsythia Fourth of July Foxglove Foxy in November Free Will Friends Fritillaria Frozen Blooms Galanthus Garden Garden Blessings Garden Blogger Bloom Day:November 2008 Garden Blogger Muse Day November 2009 Garden Blogger Muse Day:December 2008 Garden Blogger's Bloom Day:January 2009 Garden Bloggers Garden Bloggers Bloom Day Garden Bloggers Muse Day Garden Bloggers Muse Day (April 2009) Garden Bloggers Operation Christmas Child Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day Garden Bloggers' Muse Day: June 2009 Garden Books Garden Give Away Garden Give Aways Garden Give-Aways Garden Product Give Away Gardening Gone Wild photography contest Gardening Nude Gardening-by-Letter project GardenShoesOnline Garter Snake Ingests Toad GBBD Febrary 2009 GBBD July 2009 GBBD June 2010 GBBD March 09 GBBD:December 2008 GBMD May 2009 GBMD:January 2009 Geese in a Row--and Ducks too Giant Hyssop Give-Away Winner Gladiola Gloves Go Native Goblins and Pumpkins and Snakes oh my God in the Garden Golden Groundsel Goldenglow Goldenrod Goldfinch Goodbye March Graham Rice Gramma's Afghan Grapes Grasshopper Grateful Great Backyard Bird Count Great House Plant Census of 2010 Green and Gold Green Cure fungicide Hairy Woodpecker Happy Father's Day Haven Brand Manure Tea Hawk hawks Heated Birdbath Heather Heliopsis Heliotrope Hellebore Hellebore Collage HelleboreHover Hellebores Hellebores Book Give-Away Helleborus Helleborus niger Help Identify Animal Tracks Henry David Thoreau: Hepatica Heron Heuchera High School Orchestra Concert Highbush Blueberry Hip Mountain Mama Holiday Stress Holiday stress: How Much is Self-Imposed Holly Honored and Humbled Hornworms House Finch Hummingbird Clearwing Hyacinth Hyacinths Hylotelephium I Am Truly Thankful! I'm a bit Bee-hind Iberis Ice on Stream Ice Storm Ilex Impatiens Indentifying Butterflies Iris Iris reticulata It's Here Its Grown On Me Jacob's Ladder January 2010 snow January 2011 January 2013 Japanese Anemone Joe Pye Weed John Keats July garden 2010 Junco June 19th 2009 Just Be Gardens Kerria Kerria-Japanese Rose Keter Dynamic Composter Kombi Ladybird Johnson Lake Anna Lake Anna June 2009 Lake Vacation Lamium Lantana Late to the Party Again lavender Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Leyland Cypress Liatris Life Experiences Light Lilac Bush Limestone Liriope Liverwort Lobelia Lonicera sempervirens Luna the Greyhound Lungwort Lyme Disease Lyme Disease has gone to my Head Macro in a Mason Jar Mallard ducks March Birthday Bloggers March GBBD mention master gardener May 2010 May Apple Meaning Memorial Day 2010 Memories Mertensia Mid Summer's Eve Mid-June Blooms MidMarch Blooms and Foliage Milkweed Miniature Dachshund mishmash wednesday Mistflower Mites Monarchs Monarchs and Milkweed Monarda Monkshood Monthly Garden Bouquet Moon More April Bouquets Morning Light Mountain Laurel Mourning Doves MuhlyGrass Mums Muscari Muscle My Cat Smokie My Daughter My Dog James My Family My FIRST Enlarged Photo My Husband My Mother My Son My Yard Mystery Tracks Nandina Nandina berries National Cherry Blossom Festival Native Ginger Native Honeysuckle native plants Natural Habitat Nepata New York Fern Non-Natives Northern Flicker Not The Best Notecards November 2009 GBBD Now that's an 'ice picture Obedient Plant Oct 2008 GBBD Almost Ready Oct 2009 October 2009GBBD Of Gloves and Shovels Oh Say Can You See Okay so who or what is eating my plants Oliver Herford:I Heard a Bird Sing Operation Christmas Child Pain Management Techniques Pansies Pansy paperwhites Pay It Forward Project Pay-It-Forward gift-giving exchange Peanut Feeder Peonies by Mary Oliver Peony Perennials Perennials in my garden Perovskia Personal Poetry Personal Poetry: Petunia Phlox Phlox paniculata photo contest Photography Contests phytoplasma Pieris Pieris Japonica Pileated Woodpecker Pine Siskin Pink Azalea Pink Peony Planting Natives Plants on Ice Poetry Pollinators Polymonium Pond Critters Poppy Potentilla Potomac River Pretty Pink Peony Has Popped Prize Winners Product Reviews Project FeederWatch Pulmonaria Pumpkin Carving Purple Coneflower Purpose Questionmark butterfly radishes Rain Rain Barrel Rainbarrel Rainbow Project Rainy Days Raspberry and Lemon Sherbet Reasons I Garden red admiral Red Winged Blackbird Red-Bellied Woodpecker Red-Spotted Purple Red-winged Blackbird Redbud Relaxing Remember Renee's Garden Revised GBBD February 15 Richmond VA Robert Frost Robin Robin'sNestingPlace Rock Soapwort Rock Solid RockSoapwort Roly-Poly Squirrel Rose hips Roses Roses with Thorns Rosy Maple Moth Rudbeckia Rudbeckia lanciniata Russian Sage S.A.D. Salvia Salvia greggi Samuel Taylor Coleridge:The Nightengale Sanguinaria Scilla Seagulls Seasonal Affective Disorder Security Blanket Sedum Sedum Autumn Joy Seed Planting Experiment Seed Starter System Seed-Planting Experiment#1 Seed-Planting Experiment#2 Seed-Planting Experiment#2 (cont.) Seeds Sense of Humor September blooms September Blooms:A Series of Surprises September Surprises #3 Serviceberry Shades of Blue Shady Gardener:Gladsome Be? sharing Sharp-shinned Hawk Shawna Coronado Shirl's Garden Watch Siberion Buglose Skink Slaty Skimmer dragonfly Snake Snake skin Snow Snow in Spring Snowdrop Anenome Snowdrops Snowstorm Solomon's Seal Sounds of the Birds Speedwell Spicebush Swallowtail Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly cats spicebush swallowtail caterpillar Spider Webs Spiderwort sprained ankle Spring Buds and Bulbs Spring Has Sprung Spurge Squirrel Squirrels stainless steel water bottle Standard Poodle Starling Steam on Fence Strawberries Succulents Summer Flowers SunRays Sunrise Sustainable Living project Swallowtail Butterflies Sweaters Hoods and Coats Sweet Allysum Sweet William Teacup and Teapot Tete-a-Tete Thank You to Phillip Thanksgiving The Best Christmas Gifts The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting The Gardener's Guide to Growing Hellebores The GGW photo contest I 'almost' entered on time The Multi-Hued Greens of Spring The Ocean The Seed Keeper Company The Sun Shines at Night The Thrush This Ain't No April Fools Joke This aMayzing Day Thyme Tiarella Titmouse Toad Lily Tools Toulouse goose Tradescantia Tree Sparrow Trees Trillium Trout Lily Tufted Titmouse Tulips Tulips in Spring Tulips on Thursday Turtle Crossing turtle garden Turtlehead TX-Bluebonnet Umbrella VA Gardener Magazine Valentine's Display variegated foliage Verbena Veronica Vinca Violas Virginia Bluebells Virginia Gardener Magazine Wake Robin Walt Whitman:Miracles Washington DC Water Fountain Water Garden Waterfall/Stream WBBS Wednesday Words Weeping Willow West County Gardener What Are You Waiting For What d'ya think Janet What's Happening? What's New in November White Embden geese White Peony White-Breasted Nuthatch Wild Geranium Wild Ginger Wildflower Wednesday Wildflowers Will the Real Turtle Please Come Out William Wordsworth William Wordsworth:The Daffodil's Willow Leaved Sunflower Window; Death; Personal Photography Winter I Am So Over You Winter is for the Birds Winter Light Winter Solstice winter storm slide-show Winter Walk-Off 2014 Winterberry Witch Hazel Woodfern Woodland Pinkroot Woodpecker WORDLESS Friday Wordless Wednesday: Wren X-Rated Yellow but not Mellow Yesterday and Today Zinnia Zinnia Bud (Plan B)
Loading...