Daily Archives: May 7, 2012

For the Birds

One of my favorite past times has always been bird watching.  In every home I have lived in over the past 20 years, I have always had a special area set up in my yard for bird watching.  In addition to having a variety of feeders, I would also plant certain things to help attract birds too.  It’s not only a relaxing and peaceful activity for me, but also interesting and exciting to me as well.

I’ve spent the past year and a half living in an apartment so I haven’t had a place to watch the birds. 😦  But with putting in my new raised vegetable garden in my mom’s yard I thought maybe I could put up a few feeders in her yard too.

Because my mom lives in the heart of the inner city, it’s not exactly a “nature” type of area for attracting a great variety of birds, but in being so deprived of this simple pleasure, I’ll take whatever little feathered friends I can get at this point.

A couple of my favorite feathered friends are Orioles and Hummingbirds.  So I dug my Oriole feeder out of storage and bought a new Hummingbird feeder, and put them out today.  It may still be a teensy bit early yet, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to put them out.

I use the type of Oriole feeder that has little dishes in it that you use to put grape jelly in.  There is a spike for putting orange halves on it as well, but I have found that it’s the grape jelly that they really seem to love…

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And here’s my new Hummingbird feeder…

I’ve had many different styles and varieties of Hummingbird feeders over the years and I don’t know if there is one style that is any better than another, I just know that I feel special and honored every time one of those tiny little jewels happens to visit.  Hope some will visit this one!  🙂

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Here are a couple of older photos from one time when we captured a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird coming to the feeder that we had hanging out on our porch…

Little wings beating so fast that all the camera caught was a blur.

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I didn’t take any of the following photos (heck I wish!), but I have had visits from these (and many others) in my yards and gardens on occasion over the years.  Maybe you have too…

Baltimore Oriole

I have found Orioles to be somewhat cautious at first, but once you get them coming for that grape jelly, their boldness increases and matches the boldness of their striking orange and black color!

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Such precious delicate little things.  ♥

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Bluebird

We put out several Bluebird houses around our property to attract these pretty and beneficial birds to our yard, but the Swallows usually took them over.  However, we still had them in and around the vicinity and many times they would sit on the edge of the porch roof just below my bedroom window and “hunt” for bugs.  They even brought their young there to “train them in.”

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Goldfinch

I adore these brightly colored little birds.  They often come in large groups to visit feeders offering thistle.  On our last property where we had acreage, we had a “wild” area where the thistle grew on its own so we had tons of Goldfinches flitting about everywhere.  It was wonderful!  🙂

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Robin

So common, but a sure sign of spring after the long winters here ~ Robins are always a welcome to see!

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Blue Jay

Blue Jays are sometimes a bit pushy and aggressive at feeders, and tend to scare away other birds, but they are so pretty.  And the other birds are always waiting in the “wings” and come back once the Blue Jays have had their fill.

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Cardinal

Cardinals were one of my most favorite birds for a long time.  Like the Hummingbird, I would feel so honored when they would visit my feeders.  Often times pairs would be repeat visitors and I would watch as the males fed their mates.  So sweet.  ♥

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Indigo Bunting

I have only caught a glimpse of these a few times visiting my yard and gardens, but it was very exciting when they did!  So colorful!

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak

The first time I saw a Rose-breasted Grosbeak at one of my feeders I got so excited to see something new!  Eventually they became regular visitors and delighted me with their gentle presence.

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Chickadee

I love Chickadees!  They may not be very colorful or interesting to most people, but I find them adorable ~ chubby little things hopping around amongst the tree branches, making their cute little sounds.  🙂

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Cedar Waxwing

This is such a gorgeous shot among these blossoms!  I love his “mask” around his eyes.  I rarely caught a close look at the Cedar Waxwings that would visit my yard, but I heard them.

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Junco

Dark-eyed Juncos are another bird that I find adorable.  They are ground feeders so they make for a good “clean-up crew” underneath bird feeders.

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Yellow Warbler

I didn’t see these too often, but I heard their bright cheerful little calls that match their color.  🙂

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Purple Finch

Sometimes Purple Finches and/or House Finches would try and build their nests in my hanging flower baskets that I would hang out on my porch in early spring, It got to the point of being a serious nuisance because I would fork out some serious cash for those hanging baskets and their nest building would all but ruin them.  So a few times I put out a “dummy” basket ~ especially for them, but they still preferred my store bought ones ~ little suckers have expensive taste apparently.  😉

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Chipping Sparrow

Sparrows are another “common” bird, but there are many, many different varieties, and I think Chipping sparrows are cute!

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Tree Swallow

I often had Tree Swallows flying around me whenever I would mow our land with the riding mower.  Excellent bug control!

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🙂