Bird Feeders Bring Life . . .

Nuthatch

Bird feeders bring life to my yard during the harsh, cold, dark winter months. This weekend it has attracted 20-30 chickadees plus a few nut hatches, a pair of woodpeckers, the occasional blue jay and of course red squirrels. The bird songs and calls fill the silence, the screeching bluejays and chattering squirrels add excitement. Yesterday was the first time in ages there was sunshine and I was able to get outside with my camera. It never got above zero yesterday and there was a very icy wind, which is probably not good for my camera (or my bare fingers operating it) so I was not outside long. However I was able to get a few nice pictures of my feeder visitors on this rare sunny winter day.

Nuthatch2

Bird watching is not boring to me it is relaxing and I find the animal behaviors surrounding it interesting. (I suppose it is similar to city dwellers who go to the Mall to people watch ;0)
If the feeders are completely empty, seeing or hearing a bird in any tree near my house is pretty tough. If it is cold, a squirrel is hard to spot also unless he is scavenging the seed hulls on the ground below the feeder. Life begins when I go out with a new supply of seeds and suet. Amazingly, I hear chickadee songs before I even finish filling the feeders and by the time I am back in the house, there is a flock of chickadee’s enjoying the feast and singing. Their song almost immediately wakes up the squirrels and they show up a few minutes later.

chickadee

Chickadees wait patiently in the trees near the feeders for their turn. On their turn, they quickly swoop in, daintily pick up one seed and fly to a nearby branch to eat it and wait for their next turn. Nuthatches are more timid, but their behavior is much the same. Nuthatches wait further away, usually take the seed in an acrobatic, upside down way and fly further away to eat it. Bluejays and woodpeckers usually show up in the lulls of activity and make only quick appearances.

Squirrel2

The squirrels are the only critters at my feeders that I wish would just go away. They are destructive, chase the birds away, park themselves right in the feeder and shovel a coffee can of seeds into their mouths in a short amount of time. They also have squirrel wars … they viciously defend their territories from each other, often shedding blood as they battle for the right to sit in the bird feeder.

Squirrel1

The squirrels are sneaky and creative about how they get seeds out of my “squirrel proof” feeder and they can be cute as you can see … so the birds and I tolerate their presence at the feeder.

Chickadees

I feed the birds for entertainment, I want them around to make my woods a more pleasant place. I also feed them for their survival. Even though I have been told more than once that there is plenty of natural food in the woods for all of these feathered friends of mine to live on, I still can’t imagine how tough life would be on them during these cold, harsh winters without a little help from me.
If you would like to start feeding the birds, too … check out this article filled with great tips. Advice for dealing with the squirrels can be found here.

Oh no, I now have a song stuck in my head~ Mary Poppins (singing) ” … Feed the birds, that’s what she cries, while overhead her birds fill the skies. All around the cathedral the saints and apostles look down as she sells her wares. Although you can’t see it, you know they are smiling each time someone shows that he cares. Though her words are simple and few, listen, listen, she’s calling to you. Feed the birds, tuppence a bag. Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.” … sorry if it is now stuck in your head, too. ;0)

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~ by bearyweather on February 27, 2011.

8 Responses to “Bird Feeders Bring Life . . .”

  1. Beutiful chickadees. They add such a cheeriness to winter days. Thanks for sharing.

    Pat Bean
    http://patbean.wordpress.com

  2. Hi Bear in mind. We are of kindred spirits – especially regarding the squirrels! : )
    I so enjoy your fabulous pictures. Excellent photographs of the beautiful Chickadees! Have a super great day and stay warm!

    • When I started blogging, I never dreamed that I would meet so many kindred spirits, it has been wonderful and the main reason I am still doing this. Thanks for visiting, finding your blog was fun for me, too.

  3. Oops, I meant to greet you as Bearyweather! My apologies. Have an excellent day!

  4. lol! I just got that song out of my head a few days ago. Oh well. Now it’s back. It’s not such a bad song and Mary Poppins is one of my favorite movies. It was my first movie (or at least the first one I can recall seeing).

    Your chickadees are so cute. So are the squirrels. I didn’t realize they could be that mean to each other. We don’t have any squirrels out our way, unless they’re hiding in the woods. I miss them. We had black squirrels when we lived in Kent (Ohio) which is about 8 miles from where we live now. The black squirrels were very entertaining, chasing each other all around the yard and up and down the trees. They reminded me of kids playing tag.

    • Mary Poppins is one of the first movies I remember, too … I think the family packed in the car and I saw it at a drive-in theater. I have seen it many times since and there are parts that always make me laugh and songs that stick in my head for days.
      No Squirrels? really? I thought those little “wood rodents” (said with love and hate) lived everywhere .. I would gladly send you a few.

  5. Beautiful photos of the birds. I realize most people who feed the birds are annoyed with squirrels as they seem sneaky, manipulative, and greedy. However, I just love watching their playfulness and ingenuity.

    • So far, the squirrels have kept a tolerable balance for me (greedy, sneaky, destructive … and … entertaining). When that balance starts leaning too far to the destructive side, that is when I am going to have to do something about it. I was hoping nature would just take care of the growing population around my house by sending a few owls to visit (it has happened before).

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