Glued to the window

Despite being a serious competitor in the last person left without a big flat screen high-definition TV contest, I have an outstanding home entertainment system. Right outside my dining room is a state of the art network of bird feeders that no one seems to be able to pass by without getting stuck at the window.

It’s been especially fun during the blizzards, even after the power went off. So far I’ve counted 24 different species and at times up to 100 individuals have crowded the area, patiently taking turns at a feeder. Click here for my full list and photos.

Sometimes everyone is scared away by things that aren’t obvious to me. The backyard is suddenly still and quiet. But after a short wait, a noisy clamor from the tree line breaks the silence and soon there’s a steady stream of birds flying in from every direction… the troops are charging back.

Chickadees always seem to be the first back on the scene, the tiniest and perhaps bravest of the lot. At the end of the day, Northern Cardinals are usually the last to leave, enjoying the exclusive use of all feeders to store up energy for another long, cold night.

Some birds that you wouldn’t normally expect to find at feeders are present in large numbers. There are dozens of Dark-eyed Juncos, at feeders and on the ground scavenging seeds and bits of dried fruit.

At least a half dozen Virginia Bluebirds have been regular guests. Normally insect-eaters, they’ve been enjoying the suet with insects as well as the seed/nut/fruit mixture at one feeder.  I am hoping they stay and move into my Bluebird box this spring. Although the nesting box has been available for several years, it’s seen more use by Carolina Chickadees and a happy family of Bluebirds would be most welcome.

In the bad news department, there’s clearly a pair of House Sparrows living in the area. Originally found only in Eurasia and Africa, House Sparrows are now found worldwide and are considered significant contributors to the decline of Bluebirds and other cavity nesters. If I am lucky enough to attract a pair of Bluebirds to my nesting box, I’ll have to take care that Ma and Pa House Sparrow don’t kill the adults and/or chicks to move in themselves.

In the meantime, I’m having lots of fun watching the birds and hoping to see some new species before the snow melts away. With another five inches or so predicted for tomorrow night, I’m not looking forward to more time stuck at home but totally appreciating the view from my dining room window.

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2 comments so far

  1. Mary Beth Schaal on

    Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing.

  2. khosen on

    Thanks very much, Mary Beth. I’ve been having lots of fun… sure helps take the edge off shoveling snow and being cooped up at home!


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