February 15th, 2008

A lot has happened at my feeders over the last week. I put out some Nyjer in a stocking in an effort to give my House Finches more feeding options. The next morning, I was shocked to find Goldfinches! OK, I guess this isn’t that surprising. But, I’ve never seen a Goldfinch in my yard before, so I was surprised that they found my Nyjer stocking that quickly. I wonder what other types of birds would come to my yard if I offered more feeding options. Let’s see…I already have a window feeder, a Nyjer stocking, a sunflower seed feeder, and a hummingbird feeder. My yard is getting complicated fast! :)

I’ve spent the week marveling at this new addition to my yard. Goldfinches are much duller in the winter, but it is still fun to watch a new bird. My BirdCam took 100s of pictures, but I have narrowed it down to a few favorites.

The look like they are about to kiss! :)

There is some color!

Here are some other shots that I thought were interesting. The House Finches seem to be enjoying the Nyjer just as much as the Goldfinches are. Take a look at some of the coloring on these finches. They are simply beautiful!

The Orange-crowned Warbler that I wrote about in a previous blog post continues to visit my hummingbird feeder. At this point, this Warbler is a more frequent visitor than the hummingbirds that visit my yard! I really enjoy watching this bird drink nectar.

Finally, my BirdCam has uncovered some disturbing news. A squirrel is after my window feeder! Luckily, it appears that he was not able to reach it. The evidence is blurry, but look carefully. The squirrel is reaching up to my window feeder (which is not in the picture). Let’s hope he can’t crack this nut! :)

Don’t forget The Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend – Feb. 15 to Feb. 18, 2008.

The Great Backyard Bird Count

February 10th, 2008

The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up! Every year the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and thousands of bird lovers unite to get a picture of where birds are across North America. Last year, 81,003 bird sighting checklists were submitted that included 11,082,387 individual birds counted. Everyone can help the Great Backyard Bird Count by simply counting the birds in your backyard, at a park, in a nature preserve, or in a city. Checklists are provided based on where you live, and there are easy links to help you identify the birds in your area. All you need is fifteen minutes to watch the birds!

The results from previous years are published on The Great Backyard Bird Count’s Web site. It’s a lot of fun to look through your town and see what other people have reported in the past. Now it’s your turn! I hope all of you get involved in this fun and important project.

Click here for more information about The Great Backyard Bird Count.

Ground Feeders

February 7th, 2008

I set up my BirdCam early this week to start catching some pictures of the ground feeders under my seed bird feeders. These little guys are willing to wait and catch what falls from the feeder above. Below, you will see the second most common visitor in my yard, the White-crowned Sparrow. Adult White-crowned Sparrows have a distinctive back and white streaked head. Immature White-crowned Sparrows have a similar pattern on their head with much more subdued gray and brown colors. I see these birds everyday in my yard, but I have never seen one fly up to one of my feeders. They prefer to wait below!

House finches, house finches, house finches. They are everywhere in my yard!

That’s it! I was a little disappointed that the two Mourning Doves that live in my yard didn’t show up on the BirdCam. I have seen them ground feeding several times, but I have yet to capture a picture of them. They have a spot they like to perch in on my tree, but when I approach to take a picture they always fly away.

And now, for the number one ground feeder in my yard!

Hummingbird Feeder Watch

February 3rd, 2008

I haven’t had my hummingbird feeder out for a couple of days. So, when I put out my nectar feeder I wanted to see my hummers again! I set up my BirdCam (More on this product in a later blog post, stay tuned!) and when I picked up the pictures I had a beautiful one of a hummingbird in flight.

Here’s the same picture without zooming in.

What a stunning little bird. :) I saw him several times the next day feeding. It’s good to have my hummingbirds back!

I think the hummingbirds in my yard were getting annoyed while I had their feeder down. I caught them peeking their head into my sunflower seed feeder a few times. They sure were brave to fly right up to a feeder with twenty house finches fighting for position. — I can hear them fighting right now. House finches don’t like to share. :)

As stunning as this picture was, it was not the most interesting one my BirdCam took. I was shocked to find this little guy at my hummingbird feeder.

I was shocked! What kind of bird was this, and why was it at my feeder? I had to go to the message boards for help identifying this one. The conclusion… warbler! It looked a little dull to be a yellow warbler. Apparently there are four types of orange-crowned warblers. It looks like this might be the sordida orange-crowned warbler. Taken from All About Birds — The form sordida is the darkest green and is found only on the Channel Islands and locally along the coast of southern California and northern Baja California.

Here’s a shot of this warbler feeding on nectar.

I saw this bird several more times today at my hummingbird feeder. It’s been fun to watch this little guy. I keep wondering what my hummingbirds think of all this. :)

Finches in the Window

January 28th, 2008

The finches discovered my window feeder today! They weren’t too keen on its previous location as my cat would jump at the window. So, I placed it a little higher, and today I had some success. Ironically, my cat was sitting right below the feeder. All it took was raising the feeder two feet above where my cat stands, and some gutsy finches were willing to feed. I should have cleaned the window better, but here are some shots that I got.

This was a great shot…I wish I had cleaned my window. :( House finches are very common, but the male’s red coloring always amazes me.

Finches can get pretty aggressive at my feeders. Sometimes I worry that this will scare off other birds.

While I was taking pictures, my cat suddenly leaped into the air. No more birds. :( I cleaned off the windowpane and put more food in the feeder. A few birds came back, but my cat had scared most of them off. Check out this last shot with a clean window.

Much nicer. :) I hope the birds will continue to visit my window feeder. It sure is fun to see them this close. I literally got within two feet of the feeder!

Finally, a bird I hadn’t seen in my yard caught the corner of my eye. It didn’t go to any of my feeders. It just sat there, and then flew off. I snapped a few blurry photos, but I was too far away and too hurried to get anything good. It looks like it might have been a Black Phoebe.

Welcome to Birding Depot’s Blog!

January 26th, 2008

Welcome to Birding Depot’s Blog! My wife and I love to watch the birds in our backyard, so we wanted to share what we see everyday with you. These are a couple of our most common visitors – house finches. I love that action shot on the left; break that sunflower kernel!

We hope to continue posting pictures of what’s happening in our yard, and we encourage anyone with pictures they’d like to share to submit them as well. In addition, we will be posting information about what’s happening with birds and the people who love them. As we try new products in our yard, we’ll also share our successes and failures. Let’s start birding!