Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bird Watching, Bird Feeders & Seeds

I have been watching birds feed on our back porch for years.  I’ve never bothered to find out the name of some of the species, I was just content watching them fly in and out through the day. It’s not that I am clueless as to the names of some of the more common birds that visit the feeders; such as the Cardinal, House Wren, and Morning Doves, but others I didn’t recognize. 

I decided a couple of weeks ago I would make an effort to try and identify the other colorful birds that frequent my feeders; so my first stop on this bird journey was Barnes and Noble. The big-box book stores can be overwhelming with the volume of books. I spent some time sorting through numerous books that dealt with everything about birds. I finally found a small handbook titled “Birds of Alabama” which had everything I wanted to know about the bird species in Alabama.

This little book is loaded with information about each species of birds. ----according to size, color images of male and female, types of nests, number of eggs, incubation period, type of food and much more. For someone getting into bird watching at a beginner's level; this book really got my attention.
 The book states the types of bird seeds that will attract different species to your feeders.   
 I’ve been using the Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for years to attract numerous species of bird. It is probably the most popular of all bird seeds.
I just started using the Pennington Ultra Premium Nut and Fruit Blend Bird Seed. I read in the book where this seed will attract even more species of Sparrows and Wrens. I may add another feed later such as the tiny White Sunflower Seed, but for now I feel this is a good seed start.
I’ve had this feeder in use for years and over time had to add a tray on its bottom to collect all the sunflower hulls. The birds will crack the outer shell to get to the soft seed inside. I am cleaning the tray out daily. Notice the cast iron tray bird feeder; prime for another type of bird seed in the future.
This copper feeder has the nut and fruit blend seeds. I am seeing more Sparrows and Wren species since I started using this feed.
Adding the piece of round metal below the feeders made it squirrel proof.
Guys, I'm sorry for the blur on this video, but it was shot from my den filming through the window. I wanted you guys to see the activity around the feeders. I believe most of these birds are Goldfinch. Let me know if you think they are a different species. I believe I have found a new hobby!


Brk Trt said...

Bill I enjoy birds. When I'm out especially in the woods along a stream I see a variety of birds...wish I knew what they were.

rivertoprambles said...

Bill, I'm glad you found new interest in bird watching. It's a rewarding hobby, especially as you learn more and more about each species and their connections to the environment. I've been studying wild birds since early grade school and I never tire of it. There's always more to learn, so have fun at it!

cofisher said...

I married my guide to Colorado birds, complete with binoculars. Pam is a student of birding and is an unbelievable source of information. Sorry, you can't borrow her.

Bill Trussell said...

I hope now I can pin a name to some of the birds I see as I fish the lakes tailraces. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

I don't think I will have the time now to evolve into birding, but as for the bird watching it is something I will continue to do. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

I have learned the difference in bird watching and birding, bird watching will be my passion for now. Thanks for the comment

CARF said...

I enjoy watching birds, as well. I have a small pocket/field book that I keep in my car and sometimes take with me to help identify raptors. I love birds of prey! I think a small field book of other birds will be my next purchase. I also have one for mushrooms of Illinois. While I'll never eat any wild mushrooms that I find, I just love knowing what exactly I am looking at. Those bird feeders look great, and will provide you with plenty of entertainment!

Bill Trussell said...

The only birds of prey close to our house is an occasional hawk in our back yard. I have seen an eagle a couple of times on Smith Lake, which is rare.
I will post an image of some white mushrooms in our front yard; hopefully you can identify them. Thanks for the comment