Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bird Feeder

Fall is here and time once again to fill the bird feeders. We are just a bit inland, so we don't get shorebirds at the house, nor do they eat seeds, but you see them flying all over. When we clean crabs at our fish cleaning sink, the gulls find out pretty quickly. They hang out on the roof next door and wait until we are done. Then its a mad dash and the crab parts are gone in a few minutes. Our fuchsia bushes attract many hummingbirds during the summer, Anna's are here year round but we get the Rufous here too. It also attracts the neighborhood cats, so I have put a fence around the fuchsia to slow them down.

So the tube feeders went out a few weeks ago. I wait until I see the first of the migrating birds, the Brown Pelican. I've already had some interesting visitors that I never see during the summer. Our range is quite unique as we are close to the ocean, riparian and woodlands. There are tons of birds here, but they are all specific to their natural habitats. Adding a feeder brings the marginal birds to our yard. I have a feeder less than 10 feet from my desk, so I get quite a show all day long.

The Steller's Jay has been here the most. Never see them until the feeders go out. Scores of Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees jump from the apple tree to the feeder, grab a seed, back to the tree to open it and eat it, then back to the feeder. This goes on until the Steller's Jay comes and scares them all off. Yesterday was the first appearance of the Red-winged Blackbird, a group of about 5 were feeding for a while. I also saw a Starling, I know, I hate them too, but this was the first time I saw one in it's Fall plumage. Golden-crowned and White-crowned Sparrows won't feed close to the house, they like the feeder out by the fence. A Northern Flicker will stop by too, sitting on the fence to see all the action.

The best bird activity I've seen so far has been the confused Oregon Junco. These birds are ground feeders. You see them hoping around under the feeder picking up the seed that drop from the feeder. So the chickadees were all over the feeder and apple tree. There is a lot of lichen on the apple tree, so a few chickadees were storing seeds in the lichen. The Junco hopped into the tree and was just watching the chickadees eating the seeds out of the lichen. It started to hop around the tree looking for seeds too, knowing genetically that this could not be. It did figure out that the seeds were stored and started eating them.

I have another feeder on the north side of the house, out the dining room window that has yet to be discovered. The birds will find it when the south blowing winter winds pick up as it's protected from the wind.

So get a feeder out at your house. Make sure you put it where you can see the birds when you're inside, isn't that why you feed the birds in the first place?

If you want to see the migrating sea and shore birds, now is the time in Pacific City. The Brown Pelicans are on the surf line all day and rest in the river at night. Lots of grebes in the river too. The sunsets are rush hour for the geese, very noisy as they fly from feeding to resting areas.

Come on down to Pacific City and visit all our birding areas. It will take a few days, so rest here at The Craftsman B&B and update your life list of all the birds you saw during the day.

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