Something I don’t believe I mentioned in any previous blogs is the fact that my house is located in one corner of the woodlot. It is great to live on the woodlot for many reasons. One of them is being close to the wildlife that lives in the forest. It’s great to have the wildlife come to you on those days when you do not want to go outside.
We encourage many of our feathered friends to come and visit us and pick up a snack while they are at it. Of course the enticement is food and we have a couple of bird feeders out year round. As the seasons change so do the visitors to the feeders. The main source of food is black oil sunflower seeds. We did use mixed seeds but found that the straight sunflower seeds work just fine. There is one small feeder of nyjer (finch) seeds for the finches, who seem to like both. The other food put out is suet blocks. With these food sources we are able to attract some very beautiful birds to our back yard.
Black Capped Chickadees are pretty much year round residents at the feeder. Blue Jays are sporadic at our feeders and I’m okay with that. They can be big consumers of seeds if they arrive in small flocks. As common as blue jays are I always think of them as one of the most strikingly beautiful birds in our forest. Imagine, if you had never seen a Blue Jay before just how beautiful they would look with their brilliant blue color.
Some of the other birds that arrive in flocks at certain times of the year include the Purple Finch and the American Goldfinch. We can usually count on both of these in late winter and spring. When the goldfinch arrive it is often hard to tell the males from the females. However, as the weather warms the males become very noticeable as they change to their canary yellow mating plumage.
Some of the birds that prefer the suet feeder are the Red Breasted Nuthatch and both the Downey and Hairy woodpeckers. We have been very lucky this year to have pairs of all of these. If you see a Downey or a Hairy woodpecker in the forest it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart. The Hairy Woodpecker is considerably larger but without something to reference the size they are very similar in appearance. They are pretty easy to tell apart at the feeder as the Downey is closer to the size of the finches and the Hairy Woodpecker is more Robin size and takes up noticeably more space on a feeder.
Other birds that show up at various times through the year, either individually or in small flocks, include; Pine Siskins, Juncos, Common Redpoll and several of the woodland sparrow species. Birds that we use to get more frequently but now are very rare at our feeders are the Evening Grosbeak and the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. We wish these would both come back in bigger numbers. The rarest bird to ever visit us (that we know of) was a Summer Tanager. This little fellow was a long way from home and no doubt arrived on a strong wind that came from the south. He stayed for a few days and when word got out of his arrival several of the local bird enthusiasts came by to get a glimpse of this rare sighting in Prince Edward Island.
It is always a pleasure to look out through the kitchen window and see some of the wonders of nature this close to home.
Until next time, keep safe and well.
(click on any photograph to get a larger image)