Thursday, February 19, 2015

For the Birds

Free time is awfully rare around the "Parrot Cage and Confusion Factory" as I like to refer to my when I do get some, I mostly devote it to beady-related pursuits.  However, occasionally I get obsessed with other things.  For the last few months, every time I looked out a certain kitchen window, it occurred to me that it would sure be great to have a bird feeder placed in the back yard so that there was something to see out that window besides a fence.

I finally got around to doing something about it.  Initially, I had planned just a hummingbird feeder, but after perusing all the available options at Lowe's, I thought "what the heck...I'll just feed everyone."

This was the result:

Yeah, I know, the salesperson at Lowe's saw the word "SUCKER" printed in neon green on my forehead.  The hummingbird feeder is on the right, the cage on the left has suet in it and the "house" at the top has a seed mix.
For the first five days, I checked it religiously and...not a single bird came by.  I was so bummed...especially because I could hear birds in the area and I know I have hummingbirds that come through my backyard regularly.
Finally this weekend as I was about to give up...finches and hummingbirds started showing up like crazy.  I had so many finches that they actually emptied that top feeder over the course of 2.5 days and I had to re-fill it!  Then I got interested in trying to determine what species were hanging out and I found this great website:  Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  I did lots of research, listened to bird calls, watched webcams and ohmygoshiamSUCHAGEEK!
It was fun, though, and I'm even interested in learning more about how to photograph birds.  I did manage to identify the species that's been eating all the food:
Male house finch.

Female house finch.
If you're interested in learning more, you can go here.  They even have recordings of each species' songs!
I had a little more trouble with the hummingbird - they are so fast it was tough to identify, but I'm pretty sure it was either a Rufous or an Allen's.  Either way, they are so CUTE!
This adventure entered a new chapter yesterday when I decided the feeder needed to be re-filled and found out the hard way that not only does the top section detach (which I already knew), but the middle section also detaches.  So, when you are carrying a completely full feeder and holding it by the middle section...the bottom falls out and spills a ginormous amount of seed all over your yard.
I am not deterred, though, and will be going back to Lowe's for a new bag of food once I've allowed the birds (and, sigh, probably the neighborhood's rodent population) to pick up most of what spilled.

1 comment:

TesoriTrovati said...

So great! I switched from a seed feeder to a suet one for the winter and not one bird has come. But the danged varmint squirrels have completely decimated what was left of the seed feeder so that it is dangling, literally, by a thread. Perhaps it is just too cold here for the birds and they are all birdcicles now! ;-) Enjoy the day and the sunshine! (And send some warm thoughts my way!) Erin