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What birds do you have at your place?

  1. May 17, 2006 #1

    turbo

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    This is our first spring in our log house out in the country. We have put out 3 hummingbird feeders and 2 seed feeders in sheltered areas under the eaves (the eaves overhang about 3 feet) and we have more birds than you can shake a stick at, and a lot of them appear to be nesting on our property, or at least staking claims, judging from the amount of singing going on. Of course, there are the red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches, titmouse, chickadees, and the downy, hairy, and pileated woodpeckers - they over-winter here. Since spring arrived, though, we have had (and still have) robins, phoebes, white-throated sparrows (good singers), house sparrows, chipping sparrows, bluejays, goldfinches, purple finches (both of these types of finches are great singers) and pine siskins. We have plenty of ruby-throated hummingbirds - lots of dogfights! Lately, we have had a pair of broad-winged hawks, a couple of pairs of rose-breasted grosbeaks (excellent singers!), and today a wave of Baltimore orioles came in, and the orioles have been raiding the hummingbird feeders and checking out the seed feeders. They seem to like our apple trees pretty well, and we're going to put out oranges for them tomorrow.

    Do others get this variety of birds at your feeders? We never got this type of diversity at our feeders at our last house (in a development on the edge of a mature forest near a major river). There, we mostly got chickadees, cardinals, jays, doves, and phoebes. In the space of less than a minute this afternoon, I saw goldfinches, purple finches, rose-breasted grosbeaks, hummingbirds, and chickadees - all less than 5' away, and of course the robins and mourning doves are fixtures on the front lawn. Many of the birds are skittish, but if I stand near the seed feeder with a handful of sunflower seeds, many of the chickadees will come eat from my hand and a few of the red-breasted nuthatches will, too. I'm getting spoiled.
     
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  3. May 17, 2006 #2

    brewnog

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    Wow hummingbirds, I was impressed that we get woodpeckers!

    Commonly seen in our garden (and I'm no ornothologist) are woodpeckers, blue tits, sparrows, barn owls, jays, bullfinches, robins, yellow tits, chaffinches, herons, a pheasant, and bats!
     
  4. May 17, 2006 #3

    Math Is Hard

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    sparrows, blue jays, crows, mockingbirds, and doves, mostly. the little sparrows are very annoyed with me right now because they are trying to build a nest in my neighbors' light fixture. I have to walk past it everytime I go downstairs and they get all in a tizzy because I am too close for their comfort.
     
  5. May 17, 2006 #4

    turbo

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    I HOPE we get mockingbirds - they are excellent singers, and they string all the songs they know into a "best of" compilation. It's neat when they go to a tree-top in the evening and cut loose.
     
  6. May 17, 2006 #5

    Moonbear

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    I put out "gourmet" birdfood, and I think every bird in town has shown up; the birdfeeder needs refilling every other day now! I think they're going to get cut back to cheaper food soon since the rate their eating it will make it far too expensive to give them the gourmet stuff (it lasted a long time at first, because I started putting it out in winter to attract whatever birds were around in winter to my feeder, and to make sure there was some high energy food in there for them, like peanuts and cracked corn, in addition to the sunflower seeds and other more typical seeds).

    I have so far seen cardinals, doves (they eat the seed that falls on the ground), lots of little sparrows, some sort of finch...I just dug out my bird book, and they're either purple finches or red finches, but of course I haven't seen one since getting out the book to check how much of them is red. I think they're likely purple finches though. Cute little things. A bluejay just started coming around. I've seen a few tufted titmice, and two days ago, a nuthatch appeared. There's a bird I didn't recognize, but might have been a purple martin (black, but smaller than a blackbird, with a blue tinge all over, especially on its back). Saw a pretty red-winged blackbird in flight the other day too.

    The birds don't seem to mind if I sit outside while they're at the feeder (I didn't think they'd be happy about that), so when the weather gets warmer again, I'll have to sit out with my bird book and identify the few that are new to me. :smile: I just love watching the finches...they are so silly and playful looking.
     
  7. May 17, 2006 #6

    Moonbear

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    I guess you're not. Bats aren't birds, you know? :uhh:
     
  8. May 17, 2006 #7

    turbo

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    brewnog, do your barn owls show up regularly? They are specialized rodent eaters and I don't think I have ever seen one in central Maine.
     
  9. May 17, 2006 #8

    turbo

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    How about flying squirrels? :rofl: (We have them in Maine, and they are as cute as can be!)
     
  10. May 17, 2006 #9

    brewnog

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    I've only seen the barn owl a few times at home, but we hear them quite a lot, and they leave unmistakable evidence. There's quite a lot of open countryside around, we see kestrels and sparrowhawks from the house too but not in the garden.
     
  11. May 17, 2006 #10
    I don't get much in my garden in terms of wild birds, but I do keep and breed birds. At the moment I've got 2 greenfinch hens on chicks, and another greenfinch hen that has reared chicks that are just over 1 month old now and eating by themselves. It'll soon be time to remove them and give her a little rest before putting the cock in again. I've also got a zebra finch hen with a few chicks too.

    I've also had a Siberian bullfinch hen that was sitting eggs. Unfortunately, they were clear (infertile), but hopefully she'll go down again soon as I'd really love a few bullie chicks. Also got mealy redpolls, but they are too busy painting their nails and haven't yet realised that it's the breeding season!
     
  12. May 17, 2006 #11

    Moonbear

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    Correction...one just checked in at the feeder, and it's not a red finch or purple finch. It's a common redpoll! Neato! I didn't suspect them, because my bird book shows a breeding range for them way up in northern Canada, but doesn't specify any other summer range (there's a dashed line across the southern US and a note they winter that far south, and occassionally are found further south).

    Okay, the birds are fighting over crumbs. Time to refill the feeder. Greedy little things! :tongue2:
     
  13. May 17, 2006 #12

    brewnog

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    Pah, shows what you know! Call yourself a biologist? They've got wings!
     
  14. May 17, 2006 #13
    They're completely different. Bats come out at night; birds come out in the day. Bats are like the anti-bird. If they ever flew into each other I suspect they'd annihilate and emit gamma rays.

    I haven't been outside in a while, and it shows.
     
  15. May 17, 2006 #14

    Chi Meson

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    Fun recent sightings:
    red-wing hawk, red-shouldered hawk, cooper's hawk, brewer's blackbird, boat-tail grackel, phoebe, great crested flycatcher, barred owl, brown thrasher, veery. Oh, and lots of freakin chickadees.
     
  16. May 17, 2006 #15
    At the farm we have lots of robins, hawks, pigeons, sparrows, blackbirds, finches, praire chickens, seagulls, canadian geese and the odd woodpecker, bluejay and owl. We have tons of magpies which we use for target practice lol. There are probably others but I don't know what they are called.
     
  17. May 17, 2006 #16

    turbo

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    Ah, redpolls. They don't seem to breed here in central Maine. They came through about a month ago, hung out for a few days to "tank up" and moved on. I'm very happy with the little guys that are sticking around, though. Peterson's describes the songs of rose-breasted grosbeaks as if they were robins who had take singing lessons. That's too tame by far! A rose-breast male in good form is a joy to hear - pure, on-key, and musical.
     
  18. May 17, 2006 #17

    Chi Meson

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    In March, this wonderful turkey wandered through our yard.................*buuuuuurp*
    [​IMG]
     
  19. May 17, 2006 #18

    turbo

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    We are over-run with wild turkeys here. The state fish and wildlife department re-introduced them a number of years ago, and they have been so successful that it is not uncommon to see 20-30 or more of them on somebody's front lawn or in their garden. They are voracious feeders and should be harvested pretty aggresively, but the state has authorized only a limited split season, and if you shoot one of a flock that's ripping up your garden, you lose your hunting license, pay a fine AND a $500 "turkey replacement fee". Hell! They're replacing themselves for free at a much faster rate than we can accomodate them!

    BTW, turkey hunters would refer to this bird as a "Jake" - a young male. In future years, his beard may grow so long that it is dragging on the ground and he will be treading on it, and his fleshy head-dress will grow quite a bit. When you watch a Tom in display, the changes in size, shape, and color of the fleshy parts can be pretty impressive.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2006
  20. May 17, 2006 #19

    Chi Meson

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    I take it you've seen a turkey before, then.

    Our 3-year-old son spotted this one outside the window and started to yell "pidgeon! Pidgeon!"
     
  21. May 17, 2006 #20

    turbo

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    Yes, certainly! I ride a Softail on these country roads, and although many people will take pains to warn you about riding carefully to avoid deer, few realize that hitting a 20# bird will give you fits at 40-50 mph! I watch the turkeys pretty closely - in the spring a hen crossing the road may hav a very long train of flightless, but somewhat massive babies in her train.
     
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