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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Thomasville, NC

    Anyone still feeding birds?

    Just wondering if anyone is still keeping active feeders. Lately my suet and sunflower feeders are having lots of business. Cardinals, goldfinches, house finches, chickadees and titmice, nuthatches (both white breasted and brown headed) mourning and collared doves, several sparrow species. And several woodpecker species.
    But the one I am most interested in is the rose breasted grosbeak. They nest in our mountains here in NC, but migrate across the state in Spring and Fall.
    I've had a few hanging around the last few days. Anyone else seen them?
    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...ed_Grosbeak/id
    Last edited by Devilwin; 05-03-2020 at 12:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilwin View Post
    Just wondering if anyone is still keeping active feeders. Lately my suet and sunflower feeders are having lots of business. Cardinals, goldfinches, house finches, chickadees and titmice, nuthatches (both white breasted and brown headed) mourning and collared doves, several sparrow species. And several woodpecker species.
    But the one I am most interested in is the rose breasted grosbeak. They nest in our mountains here in NC, but migrate across the state in Spring and Fall.
    I've had a few hanging around the last few days. Anyone else seen them?
    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...ed_Grosbeak/id

    Yes, we keep a couple feeders well-stocked and have a suet hang. Funny you should mention the Grosbeaks because I've been very excited the last few days (much to my wife's amusement) by seeing several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at our feeders. And then today we either had an Indigo Bunting or Blue Grosbeak at the feeder. I didn't get a good, long enough look at it --- I know they're pretty different birds but I just saw it from our kitchen window and by the time I got to the closer window, it flew off. Definitely not an Eastern Bluebird or Blue Jay. A lot of the songbirds are migrating right now so getting some nice spots. I believe the hummingbirds are back in town.

    Other than the above, we really like the goldfinches and have a motley crew of sparrows, purple finches, blue jays, cardinals, and other regulars. We also have red-bellied woodpecker who hangs around. We get the occasional red-winged blackbird gang. It appears wrens have taken up residence in one of our bird boxes, not sure if the others are being used.

    Keeping an eye on the feeders makes my stay-at-home workdays much more enjoyable!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    I stopped feeding them after seeing that documentary Hitchcock did a while back.

    Devious bastards.

  4. #4
    Yes- business in the backyard for birds is pretty solid.

    Guessing what I would have spent on gas in the last 6 weeks is now going to birdfeed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rougemont Nebulae
    I have a couple of popular feeders in the backyard. I like watching for the Eastern Towhees. They're ground feeders but seem to be attracted to the activity of feeders. As 3/4 of my property is wooded there's plenty of leaf litter where they prefer to forage along edges of the landscaped areas, with their, okay I'll say it, cute little backwards hop. While the coloring of most female bird species is muted and not as lustrous as their male counterparts, I prefer the two-tone coloring of female Towhee to the male, a rich chocolate brown posterior over a burnt-orange anterior. Among the grosbeaks, buntings and goldfinches that stop by occasionally a kingfisher will visit briefly, on a quick flyby up from the river that runs behind my house.

    Orleans, 29 April, 1429. Dunois, aged 26, is pacing up and down a patch of
    ground on the south bank of the silver Loire, commanding a long view of the
    river in both directions. He has had his lance stuck up with a pennon, which
    streams in a strong east wind. His shield with its bend sinister lies beside it. He
    has his commander's baton in his hand. He is well built, carrying his armor easily.
    His broad brow and pointed chin give him an equilaterally triangular face,
    already marked by active service and responsibility, with the expression of a
    good-natured and capable man who has no affectations and no foolish illusions.
    His page is sitting on the ground, elbows on knees, cheeks on fists, idly watching
    the water. It is evening; and both man and boy are affected by the loveliness of
    the Loire.

    DUNOIS [halting for a moment to glance up at the streaming pennon and
    shake his head wearily before he resumes his pacing] West wind, west wind,
    west wind. Strumpet: steadfast when you should be wanton, wanton
    when you should be steadfast. West wind on the silver Loire: what
    rhymes to Loire? [He looks again at the pennon, and shakes his fist at it]
    Change, curse you, change, English harlot of a wind, change. West, west,
    I tell you. [With a growl he resumes his march in silence, but soon begins
    again] West wind, wanton wind, wilful wind, womanish wind, false
    wind from over the water, will you never blow again?

    THE PAGE [bounding to his feet] See! There! There she goes!

    DUNOIS [startled from his reverie: eagerly] Where? Who? The Maid?

    THE PAGE. No: the kingfisher. Like blue lightning. She went into that
    bush.

    DUNOIS [furiously disappointed] Is that all? You infernal young idiot: I
    have a mind to pitch you into the river.

    THE PAGE [not afraid, knowing his man] It looked frightfully jolly, that
    flash of blue. Look! There goes the other!

    DUNOIS [running eagerly to the river brim] Where? Where?

    THE PAGE [pointing] Passing the reeds.

    DUNOIS [delighted] I see.

    They follow the flight till the bird takes cover.

    THE PAGE. You blew me up because you were not in time to see them
    yesterday.

    DUNOIS. You knew I was expecting The Maid when you set up your
    yelping. I will give you something to yelp for next time.

    --George Bernard Shaw, Scene III from Saint Joan
    "You will stop hearing the term 'Big Brother' because we will do it to ourselves." --Neil Postman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Bears are now active and having lost many feeders to them over the years, I yield the yard to them. But lots of nice bird action now (they don't really need the feed now, but they definitely appreciate it) with some nesting phoebes, nesting (noisy) kestrels...I do envy the indigo bunting sighting, remarkable psychedelic birds...pileated woodpeckers making epic holes in dead trees...sitting on the deck now with a cold beverage and some binoculars is most pleasant...occasional ducks with fast Blue Angel style fly byes...all in all a great time of year for bird action...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Quote Originally Posted by fuse View Post
    Guessing what I would have spent on gas in the last 6 weeks is now going to birdfeed.
    At first that sounded crazy to me, but I did some research, and both are near historical lows.

    Gasoline: 69 cents a gallon
    Birdfeed: Tuppence a bag

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Thomasville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Yes, we keep a couple feeders well-stocked and have a suet hang. Funny you should mention the Grosbeaks because I've been very excited the last few days (much to my wife's amusement) by seeing several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at our feeders. And then today we either had an Indigo Bunting or Blue Grosbeak at the feeder. I didn't get a good, long enough look at it --- I know they're pretty different birds but I just saw it from our kitchen window and by the time I got to the closer window, it flew off. Definitely not an Eastern Bluebird or Blue Jay. A lot of the songbirds are migrating right now so getting some nice spots. I believe the hummingbirds are back in town.

    Other than the above, we really like the goldfinches and have a motley crew of sparrows, purple finches, blue jays, cardinals, and other regulars. We also have red-bellied woodpecker who hangs around. We get the occasional red-winged blackbird gang. It appears wrens have taken up residence in one of our bird boxes, not sure if the others are being used.

    Keeping an eye on the feeders makes my stay-at-home workdays much more enjoyable!
    Haven't seen but two purple finches this season, but tons of their nearly lookalike cousins the house finches. Lots of red bellied woodpeckers. Have noticed a few indigo buntings and a couple of blue grosbeaks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    a noted ornithologist told me you only see an indigo bunting with runners on first and second and nobody out...even the birds miss sports.

  10. #10
    We have cardinals, goldfinches, bluebirds, nuthatches, chickadees, doves, mockingbirds, eastern towhees, and our favorites, hummingbirds. In past years, we have seen 5 hummingbirds fighting over our feeders at the same time. This year I have just seen 2 at one time, but at least 3 different birds.

    We also had a peregrine falcon on the railing of our deck last year. That was cool to see up close.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Hummingbirds

    I put out my hummingbird feeders a couple of weeks ago, but haven't seen any hummingbirds yet. I expect they will show up soon. Once we get into the warm months of summer, they are constantly in our backyard buzzing around.

    I used to have other birdfeeders, but a few years ago we had mice in our yard that were attracted to any spilled bird food, so I've given up on using the other feeders, at least for now. We still get lots of cool birds, however. On Wednesday, I saw a yellow warbler, something I've never been seen before here at our house.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Had very active feeders this past winter. It got particularly good in April, as we had flocks of very yellow goldfinches, plus chickadees, siskins, juncos, pine grosbeaks, Cassin's finches and other Colorado specialties.

    Nine days ago a bear showed up and started eating the seed and husks that had fallen to the ground. My wife pointed it out to me while I was in an on-line bridge game. By the time the game finished, the feeders were g-g-g-one!
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Thomasville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Yes, we keep a couple feeders well-stocked and have a suet hang. Funny you should mention the Grosbeaks because I've been very excited the last few days (much to my wife's amusement) by seeing several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at our feeders. And then today we either had an Indigo Bunting or Blue Grosbeak at the feeder. I didn't get a good, long enough look at it --- I know they're pretty different birds but I just saw it from our kitchen window and by the time I got to the closer window, it flew off. Definitely not an Eastern Bluebird or Blue Jay. A lot of the songbirds are migrating right now so getting some nice spots. I believe the hummingbirds are back in town.

    Other than the above, we really like the goldfinches and have a motley crew of sparrows, purple finches, blue jays, cardinals, and other regulars. We also have red-bellied woodpecker who hangs around. We get the occasional red-winged blackbird gang. It appears wrens have taken up residence in one of our bird boxes, not sure if the others are being used.

    Keeping an eye on the feeders makes my stay-at-home workdays much more enjoyable!
    One bird I did not see this winter is the evening grosbeak. In fact, it's been several years since I have seen any. But they are cyclic, being absent for a few years then suddenly abundant. I did see a pine grosbeak back in December of 94, which was an excellent find, as this species rarely erupts this far south. Saw a few pine siskins with goldfinches back in January.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    I used to have other birdfeeders, but a few years ago we had mice in our yard that were attracted to any spilled bird food, so I've given up on using the other feeders, at least for now. We still get lots of cool birds, however. On Wednesday, I saw a yellow warbler, something I've never been seen before here at our house.
    The first year we moved into our new house we started finding mouse droppings in the basement. Didn't think much of it, I figure mice are pretty much everywhere so I put out a few traps. In the Spring, we were doing some cleaning and I grabbed one of my ski boots in storage and it was filled with a stash and spent bird seeds from our feeder. As we started looking in boxes, an old cat cage, Christmas decorations, the other ski boot, etc we came to find that EVERYTHING was filled with spent bird seeds. It reminded me of that scene in Never Cry Wolf where the guy realizes his entire tent is overrun with mice.

    Anyway, I enjoy the feeders too much so I upped my trap game in the basement...

    Quote Originally Posted by Devilwin View Post
    One bird I did not see this winter is the evening grosbeak. In fact, it's been several years since I have seen any. But they are cyclic, being absent for a few years then suddenly abundant. I did see a pine grosbeak back in December of 94, which was an excellent find, as this species rarely erupts this far south. Saw a few pine siskins with goldfinches back in January.
    Those are some spots, This is the first year we've seen grosbeaks of any kind at our feeders here in SE PA. Really nice to have. I'll have to give the finches at our feeders a closer look. I'm pretty sure we've had both purple and lots of house finches. I couldn't tell the females apart to save my life but I'm reasonably certain based on male spots we have both. I've been spending some time with my sparrows recently trying to pick up key identifying features. I've got the white crowned sparrows down so far and that's about it!

    Last year a couple of my fir trees became a small green heron rookery, which surprised me. I heard something "croaking" one morning and finally figured out what it was. Nothing doing so far this year.

    We also had a nesting pair of cooper's hawks, which literally killed my feeder traffic once the juveniles got out and about. Pretty noisy crew.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    I put out my hummingbird feeders a couple of weeks ago, but haven't seen any hummingbirds yet. I expect they will show up soon. Once we get into the warm months of summer, they are constantly in our backyard buzzing around.

    I used to have other birdfeeders, but a few years ago we had mice in our yard that were attracted to any spilled bird food, so I've given up on using the other feeders, at least for now. We still get lots of cool birds, however. On Wednesday, I saw a yellow warbler, something I've never been seen before here at our house.
    I'm surprised that you didn't see them in early April...I used to enjoy looking at this map each year before it was discontinued: http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html

    I put up my hummingbird feeders yesterday, expect to see some this week as they almost always show up for Mother's Day...as you say, great fun to watch (though thuggish males who chase others away are a drag)...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Thomasville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    The first year we moved into our new house we started finding mouse droppings in the basement. Didn't think much of it, I figure mice are pretty much everywhere so I put out a few traps. In the Spring, we were doing some cleaning and I grabbed one of my ski boots in storage and it was filled with a stash and spent bird seeds from our feeder. As we started looking in boxes, an old cat cage, Christmas decorations, the other ski boot, etc we came to find that EVERYTHING was filled with spent bird seeds. It reminded me of that scene in Never Cry Wolf where the guy realizes his entire tent is overrun with mice.

    Anyway, I enjoy the feeders too much so I upped my trap game in the basement...



    Those are some spots, This is the first year we've seen grosbeaks of any kind at our feeders here in SE PA. Really nice to have. I'll have to give the finches at our feeders a closer look. I'm pretty sure we've had both purple and lots of house finches. I couldn't tell the females apart to save my life but I'm reasonably certain based on male spots we have both. I've been spending some time with my sparrows recently trying to pick up key identifying features. I've got the white crowned sparrows down so far and that's about it!

    Last year a couple of my fir trees became a small green heron rookery, which surprised me. I heard something "croaking" one morning and finally figured out what it was. Nothing doing so far this year.

    We also had a nesting pair of cooper's hawks, which literally killed my feeder traffic once the juveniles got out and about. Pretty noisy crew.
    Purple finches are somewhat stockier than house finches. Males are more of a light purple, and the purple extends over much of the body, where the house finch is more red, and usually just has that color on the head and breast. Female house finches have a plain face, where the purple finch female has dark stripes on the side of her head.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilwin View Post
    Purple finches are somewhat stockier than house finches. Males are more of a light purple, and the purple extends over much of the body, where the house finch is more red, and usually just has that color on the head and breast. Female house finches have a plain face, where the purple finch female has dark stripes on the side of her head.
    Males house finches have streaks. An unstreaked red finch is most likely to be a purple finch, unless you are in the West, where Cassin's finches occur.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Thomasville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Males house finches have streaks. An unstreaked red finch is most likely to be a purple finch, unless you are in the West, where Cassin's finches occur.
    true, but male purple finches have streaks too, albeit fainter.https://www.audubon.org/sites/defaul...?itok=YotVs0i-

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    I'm surprised that you didn't see them in early April...I used to enjoy looking at this map each year before it was discontinued: http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html

    I put up my hummingbird feeders yesterday, expect to see some this week as they almost always show up for Mother's Day...as you say, great fun to watch (though thuggish males who chase others away are a drag)...
    This isn't quite the same as that old hummingbird map but you might be interested in checking out motus.org.

    They have a drop down of various tagged bird species and you can map the activity of individual birds. It's essentially crowd-sourced radio telemetry tracking.

    https://motus.org/data/tracksSearch

    And here is another interactive hummingbird migration map from google.

    It's a little like a hummingbird-specific eBird...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Yep

    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    I'm surprised that you didn't see them in early April...I used to enjoy looking at this map each year before it was discontinued: http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html

    I put up my hummingbird feeders yesterday, expect to see some this week as they almost always show up for Mother's Day...as you say, great fun to watch (though thuggish males who chase others away are a drag)...
    20 years ago, conventional wisdom was that they wouldn't show up in DC until mid-April. With climate change, that almost certainly has moved into early April, but I didn't get my traps out then. Usually, if we see them in April, they are just passing through on their way to your neck of the woods.

    Later this month, I expect we'll see some that will spend the summer here. I have three feeders, which seems to help spread the aggression a little.

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