At the Feeders

I have a few bird feeders set up in my backyard at the edge of the woods, far enough from the trees to keep the squirrels from freeloading. There are no nearby water sources so I also have a small bird bath that has a heating element built in to keep the water from freezing in the winter. My reward is a constant flow of local birds to brighten up the day, especially in winter. These are photos of some of the visitors. First, the most common birds.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Downy Woodpeckers are regular diners. Occasionally a Hairy Woodpecker will visit as well. Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers look identical but the Hairy is much larger and has a stouter beak than the Downy. You can see the difference in the photos of the two on the same feeder. From top to bottom: Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker and Red-bellied Woodpecker.

I had new visitors this year, a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches. Hopefully they liked the food and will move in! This is one of them with a rare visitor, an Eastern Bluebird. There are plenty of them at a nearby farm but the wooded area around my home is not their usual habitat.

I also had a pair of Carolina Wrens. They were often on the same feeder and are likely a breeding pair. These birds were decimated in a really bad winter that we had a few years ago. It was great to see them back on a daily basis.

Two birds that visit in the spring are the Pine Warbler (top) and Chipping Sparrow (bottom).

There are lots of other birds that come to the feeders. The most common are Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, House Sparrows and House Finches. Wild Turkeys will come by on occasion. And a Cooper’s Hawk has made a few appearances. Luckily it has been only a few.

I’ll be reducing the number of feeders now that spring is here. But a new feeder will be going up…a Hummingbird feeder.

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