Friday, December 27, 2013

Bird Feeders

Yesterday afternoon a pride of peacocks and a few ibises showed up in the back yard for lunch.  I went to find my camera, but by the time I got back, they had left, leaving one last straggler.  And by the time I was able to get him in focus, he took off, too.  So here’s a photo from a couple of years ago when the subject was kind enough to pose for me.

Ibis on the Fence 06-14-11

When I was growing up in Ohio, we had a lot of bird feeders in the yard, and according to my mom and dad, they still do at their new place in Cincinnati. Up north the birds really go for it because the snow and winter cut back on their food supply, but even here in Florida a lot of people feed the birds… and the squirrels, too.  (We have fought the good fight with the pesky little rodents who are basically rats with good p.r.  There’s a thriving business in coming up with the ultimate squirrel-proof bird feeder.  Some are rather ingenious, involving weighted doors and menacing spikes.  And some people have surrendered and put out feeders for them.)

I don’t actively feed the birds here in my yard; nature has provided an abundant supply of insects and flowering plants, and every day I see a parade of ducks, ibises, peacocks, mockingbirds, wrens, and even the occasional cardinal and jay come by for a meal.  I’ve also seen at least one vulture drop in to clean up after a canal-side casualty.  (Vultures travel light; they only have a little carrion….)

So tell me; do you feed the birds in your neighborhood?  Who shows up?

5 barks and woofs on “Bird Feeders

  1. Big time bird feeder here for over 30 years. I get virtually every bird known to frequent Georgia. Cardinals, Jays, Titmice, Chickadees, Thrashers, woodpeckers of all types. With all the wildlife I also get the predators, hawks and owls.

  2. We used to feed the hummingbirds, but the ants simply invaded the feeders. The neighbor was feeding birds for her young sons interest. That drew rats coming in on the phone and cable lines so she stopped that. The rats actually got into the walls of her house, so we were on watch here.

  3. We feed all year round. The bird varieties and numbers are our reward. As a result, we are devoloping an ecosystem with top tier predators (red tailed hawks) who keep the squirrel population in check, some garter snakes, and my cats. Our wild birds have stayed wild. The woodpeckers are my favorites.

  4. Here in Western N.C. I get what Fallen Monk gets – plus the birds he didn’t mention like Song Sparrows, Towhee, American Gold Finch, Rose Breasted Grossbeak in mid-spring, various sapsuckers to go with the different varieties of Woodpecker, two varieties of Nuthatch, snow birds (Carolina Junco) and on and on. I’m sure FM has the same but as both he and I are leaving out quite a few, it’s obvious the variety is splendid. I have herds of gray squirrels that I feed if for no other reason than to slow down their raids on the bird feeders. Actually, I like squirrels.

    TIP for hummingbird feeders and ants… dab cooking oil onto a Q-Tip and then LIGHTLY apply it around the feeding ports and the hanging mechanism. Ants, honey bees, and yellow-jackets avoid the oil. However, you must be judicious as the oil will damage (or remove) hummingbird feathers if applied too liberally. For the past three years I have so many ruby throated hummingbirds that I use right at 5 lbs of sugar a day making nectar for the feeders.

    As you can tell, you touched upon my avocation. Sorry. 🙂

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