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My New Obsession

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My New Obsession

Post  nancy on 6/20/2011, 10:46 am

My daughter and I have been frequenting Wild Birds Unlimited every 2 weeks (on payday) and have been acquiring the pieces to build a backyard bird feeder. This Saturday we finally had enough of the pieces to put it together. As of today we have a hummingbird feeder and an oriole feeder that are both temporary, and a finial feeder with seeds, peanuts, and cranberries. We've had a great time seeing who comes so far. The first bird to visit was a female house finch (I think). A female cardinal and the chickadees came next and that is all we saw yesterday. At one time we had a chickadee, a cardinal, and a hummingbird all together. This morning the mourning doves and sparrows also came to visit. And watching the squirrel climb up into the baffel and then having no where to go is highly entertaining!! We can't wait to see who comes next. In 2 weeks we will get a finch feeder for one of the arms. Not sure what will come after that. This has been great fun!


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Re: My New Obsession

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/20/2011, 10:55 am

You guys will enjoy that so much. Watching the mommies bring in the babies this time of year is also a great teaching tool. Hopefully, you don't have to wait for next year to see that.

Squirrels are outstanding entertainment. I am going to get a bungee cord soon to tie corn cobs onto. The squirrels will jump on the bungee and bounce and bounce while they eat. Good for lots of laughs.

I would encourage you to keep a small list somewhere of the different birds you see. I bet you get close to 30 different species in a year.

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  Lavender Debs on 6/20/2011, 11:18 am

How I miss that life! When we lived in the Mountains we hung bird feeders in the boughs of the maple tree that arched its limbs in front of the big office window. (30 in a year? Mountains must be bird rich environments you should get yourself a quiet place to spy in a wooded valley BYBW, you'll go nuts with the joy of it).

Good binoculars and a Siblies Field Book are great investments. I make my notes right in the pages.

Two small terriers and city rats have ended our feeder days but we still love to play the paparazzi when we can.

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  Glendale-gardener on 6/20/2011, 12:09 pm

That's awesome Nancy! We've done a few new feeders as well this year. My dogs are finally old enough that they don't go tearing out of the doggy door the second they see a bird through the window. I've already noticed a lot more birds and when I walked out my back door last week, a bird flew out of my magnolia tree right next to my head. I looked in the tree and a robin had built a nest practically at eye level! With three little blue eggs! Luckily, the dogs going in and out their doggy door right there doesn't seem to bother it so dh and I are trying to use other doors for a while. I remember once as a kid, we couldn't use our front door for weeks because a mourning dove nested behind the welcome sign across the straw wreath on the door! If we opened the door very carefully when the mom wasn't around, we could see the babies through the screen!

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/20/2011, 1:48 pm

@Lavender Debs wrote:30 in a year? Mountains must be bird rich environments you should get yourself a quiet place to spy in a wooded valley BYBW, you'll go nuts with the joy of it.

What I mean is 30 completely different species of birds. Yes, mountains are great birding areas. I live near a wooded park, but only count what comes into the yard, not what I see flying a couple of houses away. Here's my current list. The asterisk means I have a picture of the bird.

- Carolina Wren*
- Eurasian Tree Sparrow*
- Northern Cardinal*
- Tufted Titmouse*
- Black-capped Chickadee*
- Blue Jay*
- White-breasted Nuthatch*
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird
- Mourning Dove*
- Common Grackle*
- American Goldfinch*
- Eastern Phoebe*
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Downy Woodpecker*
- American Robin*
- Brown-Headed Cowbird
- Red-Bellied Woodpecker*
- Northern Mockingbird
- House Finch*
- Brown Creeper*
- White-throated Sparrow*
- Purple Finch*
- Dark-eyed Junco*
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker* (first sighted 01/2011)
- Red-winged Blackbird*
- Rusty Blackbird* (first sighted 3/10/2011)
- Yellow-billed Cuckoo
- Cedar Waxwing*
- White-crowned Sparrow*
- Lincoln's Sparrow*
- European Starling
- Cooper's Hawk

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  nancy on 6/20/2011, 2:12 pm

You've had a hawk in your yard? Oh, man! I don't actually have any trees in my backyard - the fenced area is only about 20x25' including the patio. Altho' some neighbors had a wounded hawk in their yard last fall (they think it was after their dog).

I did begin the list of what I've seen at the feeders since Saturday at 2 when we put it up. I'm at 7 - mostly females. I can't wait to see who else finds the feeder. Alas, my phone camera does not zoom, but I have an slr that uses film (gasp!) and I may try taking some pics of them if it quits raining.

I bought a book of Ohio Birds on one of the first trips to WBU. It is sitting on the computer desk with the binocculars. I will put the list of birds in it. I can't wait to get home tonite!! Cool

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  Glendale-gardener on 6/20/2011, 5:01 pm

I really need to get a bird book too! I've been seeing some new ones that I don't remember seeing before in the yard but I have no idea what any are. Any recommendations? And Nacy, we've seen quite a few hawk in our yard as well. I've seen it swoop down and grab a squirrel(or a chipmunk, not sure, but man, was it screaming! ) and it grabbed something out of a neighbors tree one day- I'm sure glad my dogs aren't any smaller than they already are, the smallest of the two is 12 lbs of pure muscle-hopefully that's big enough for him to steer clear!

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  nancy on 6/20/2011, 7:23 pm

I have "Birds of Ohio Field Guide" by Stan Tekiela. It was $5.95 at Wild Birds Unlimited. I like because it groups the birds by color, making them easy to look up. And it is only Ohio birds so they won't list something I won't see. Well, I probably won't see a lot of these birds in my backyard... They also sell CD set with bird songs on it and each page tells you on which CD and track you can find the songs and calls.

Since I've been home I have taken female house finch off the list - it is a female house finch. And I've added European Starling, Common Grackle, and Brown-headed Cowbird. This is cracking me up! The tiny birds are all lined up along the top of the garages waiting their turn. The feed is nearly half gone already - that could be due to the steady all-day rain we had, too.

BBG - what different kinds of feed do you offer? Is that on your blog? I'll go look.

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  shannon1 on 6/21/2011, 2:00 am

May I sugest a bird bath as well. I get quite a few that just come to drink and take a bath. It has been very dry here and it is fun to watch them take a dip. I just made mine from two pots and a saucer I am not useing. The bottom is an upside down pot, then a right side pot topped with the saucer for the water. They love it. I put fresh water in it daily. Since I have installed it for them my grasshopper problem has much abated. Very Happy I get downey wood peckers, cardnials, brown thrashers, catbirds (they do sound like cats), mocking birds, and bossy little carolina wrens.

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  nancy on 6/21/2011, 9:46 am

Thanks Shannon! I found a great birdbath in Family Fun magazine that I want to make with my daughter and some of her friends. The only thing that worries me is the neighbor's cat, who is a bird hunter.

http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/mosaic-birdbath-1009389/

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  Ha-v-v on 6/21/2011, 10:50 am

@nancy wrote:Thanks Shannon! I found a great birdbath in Family Fun magazine that I want to make with my daughter and some of her friends. The only thing that worries me is the neighbor's cat, who is a bird hunter.

http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/mosaic-birdbath-1009389/

Wow, that is crazy !! I love that. My sister found a way to make bird baths from saucers like that and we made a couple ourselves. We used glass bead things ( dont remember what they are called) We used a glue to glue the glass pieces down and then grouted and sealed it. One of mine is with epoxy grout and the other is done with sand grout. The epoxy one is still out in the elements just not being used like I want.
The other bird bath was a gift for someone.

One I made as a gift. Sand grout and sealed.


One for us. epoxy grout and some gold flakes in it. I will have to get a now photo to see the wear and tear. I made it in August of 2006.


I am so glad this thread was brought up !! Im moving my bird bath to my garden. I have it near a window, but its not a place I work in and keep water to.
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Re: My New Obsession

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 6/21/2011, 12:09 pm

Beautiful birdbaths! Makes me want to try it, too. BTW, my experience with our three birdbaths stationed around the house is this: only the two with rough sides are popular (made from cement I think); the prettiest, a fused glass beauty, only attracts one black headed grosbeak male, who uses it more as a surfing pond than a bath tub. Perhaps he thinks his skidding across the surface of the water will impress the ladies.....probably a California coastal guy originally.

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  nancy on 6/21/2011, 7:01 pm

Hav - thanks for sharing those! I am so happy to see one with glass beads. It gives me more ideas. I was worried about finding enough tiles. We have bunches of glass beads around here! Yours are lovely. What a thoughful gift!

Would you believe that entire cranberry feeder is gone today? I think it's mostly due to the rain. Plus the sparrows are pigs. :pig:

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Re: My New Obsession

Post  Ha-v-v on 6/21/2011, 7:17 pm

@nancy wrote:Hav - thanks for sharing those! I am so happy to see one with glass beads. It gives me more ideas. I was worried about finding enough tiles. We have bunches of glass beads around here! Yours are lovely. What a thoughful gift!

Would you believe that entire cranberry feeder is gone today? I think it's mostly due to the rain. Plus the sparrows are pigs. :pig:

You are welcome !! I love the glass tile things I found them in different shapes, they were very popular at walmart that year.
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Re: My New Obsession

Post  Ha-v-v on 6/21/2011, 7:19 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Beautiful birdbaths! Makes me want to try it, too. BTW, my experience with our three birdbaths stationed around the house is this: only the two with rough sides are popular (made from cement I think); the prettiest, a fused glass beauty, only attracts one black headed grosbeak male, who uses it more as a surfing pond than a bath tub. Perhaps he thinks his skidding across the surface of the water will impress the ladies.....probably a California coastal guy originally.

Thank you, it was easy to make them really. Surfing bird how funny !! Ive seen a couple birds on the stand for the bath, but not many like I saw at Gramma's house, it seems like she had so many. She would save scraps for the Mocking birds and scrub jays. I loved her Smile
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