Don’t be fooled by our nice weather… just around the corner could be lurking a cold winter blast. Hopefully not a blast from the past (I am talking about the 10 days of freezing temperatures we had. So, there are some pretty simple things you can do to help our feathered friends right now. Better to do these things while it’s nice for us to go outside.
We built and installed a platform under our front porch for the Phoebe’s to build their Spring nest on. This is to hopefully keep them from putting 10,000 pounds of mud everywhere on our porch trying to build their own platform for their nest. Boy is that messy. I have never done this before, so we will see if they use it.
Many species of birds like open platforms. Here are a few: Chickadees, Wrens, Phoebes, and Nuthatches. Ducks and other large raptors also use large platforms that are higher up.
Also new is a Bluebird feeder. This is an attempt to keep the dried mealworms from blowing off the platform dishes onto the ground and getting them wet and icky in winter weather. It’s hard for any insect-eating bird to find food in the winter.
I have also stuffed the Bluebird nest boxes with dry pine needles for extra protection from the weather. I have shown here the area behind my house where I feed the Bluebirds and put out eggshells for the Purple Martins. The cow panels make perfect perches for the birds. Perches are very important if you want to draw any birds to you.
I have placed these feeders away from the regular feeders so we don’t have conflict between the birds, and I can see it easily from inside the house.
These are my regular feeders. The open hopper is a favorite of most all my regulars, Cardinals, Chickadees, Titmice, and just about every bird.
So, you can do a few things that will assist our wild friends. Do what you can.
I have had an invasion of American robins this week. They came by the hundreds and have not left.
Usually they land, eat bugs, then move on, but this time they looked around and decided they would hang out. Life is good here.
So, every day they have been drinking and pooping in my bird baths. I’m not sure in which order; we’ll leave that alone. Because of that, twice a day I put fresh water in all of them and replace the dried mealworms.
My resident birds, the cardinals, woodpeckers, chickadees, and others have to fight to get their share.
But one robin has taken it to a new level. He or she has decided to chase my bluebirds off the mealworm feeders. None of the other robins are doing this, just the one.
For four days the bird has sat on the platforms and chased the little bluebirds away.
I love all the birds, but this is pushing my patience, so I tried to run him off so he could join his flock in the pasture.
He’s not budging! I almost touched him once.
I could not get a photo of all the action, but here he is in all his glory. I call him the Bluebird Bully.
Yesterday, many of us mentioned hearing and seeing hummingbirds in the tree tops, gardens, and at some feeders. Today, just after noontime, this hummingbird posed for the camera. Enjoy the short narrative as to what happened.
I looked out the window and saw a hummingbird at the feeder. I grabbed the big camera and went outside, somewhat hidden, and stayed motionless for 15 minutes or so.
It was still raining off and on, pleasantly mild, thundering, all foliage was wet. The hummingbird sat on a tiny branch on a large Crape Myrtle tree next to the feeder. Did he see me? Most likely! So it was standoff. I stayed motionless and was not going to move, no matter what was itching or biting me. This went on for many minutes; it seemed like forever.
Big raindrops began to fall again. A couple of Carolina Wrens landed in the same tree. The hummingbird was aggravated with them and chased them off. I waited a few more minutes, raindrops more frequent. Then, the hummingbird made his move.
My camera clicked rapidly at the fast-moving target. I wondered, “What type of hummingbird are you, who are you?” I asked repeatedly.
Then, after feeding a couple of times at the left feeder, he came right at me to the camera. I zoomed the lens back, he positioned himself in the upright position, and revealed his identity, proclaiming, “I am back.”
Then he went to the second feeder to feed. Welcome home, Ruby Red-throated Hummer.