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What's at your bird feeder?


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34 minutes ago, cyclone said:

We see Red-Breasted Mergansers on a regular basis through the winter and early spring but is was a rare treat when they were joined by a pair of of these this morning. 

Nice!  The Commones halve allreddey lefte WLIS.                                              :)

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Local wildlife this weekend. He did not like the rain. Super impressed with our Olympus (m4/3) cheap $150 telephoto. You can just see a drop of rain on his claw.

very rare sighting.  we might never see these in the wild...  

Earlier, I told of a bald eagle taking a sea-run cutthroat from an osprey on my beach. On a lake on this island there are 4 ospreys and 2 bald eagles.  The eagles would also take fish from the os

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45 minutes ago, cyclone said:

Hummingbird feeders go out today although there’s a chance of snow this weekend (C’mon). We see Red-Breasted Mergansers on a regular basis through the winter and early spring but is was a rare treat when they were joined by a pair of of these this morning. Stock photos from the Cornell site.

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We lived on South Cove in Essex on the lower CT River, and RB Mergansers were always a harbinger of Spring!!  Loved the Hummingbirds, but their feeder always attracted more bees than birds, and Missus BB is deathly allergic to bee stings.  I keep telling her she needs to carry an EpiPen, but she doesn't listen....

 

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35 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

Not my birds?  The millet based cheap seed is the slowest moving, while the Sunflower hearts and Nyjer seed are very popular, although I know the squirrels are empyting the sunflower hearts faster than the Goldfinches.....

Hmm that’s interesting. I’m talking about straight white proso millet only, not the commercial “wild bird mix” that consists of mostly milo, red proso, wheat, and a bunch of other cheap fillers that birds generally don’t eat and make a mess while they pick the sunflower and white proso seeds out. The white proso are the tiniest white seeds you see in those mixes, they eat it readily from the two feeders I have it in. I have to refill millet almost as often as the sunflower feeders (the millet feeders are actually a bit larger). It was like crack to the guinea fowl I used to keep; the wild turkeys, pheasants and occasional stray chicken visit most days to eat the bit that spills under those feeders. YBMV.

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20 minutes ago, WhoaTed said:

Hmm that’s interesting. I’m talking about straight white proso millet only, not the commercial “wild bird mix” that consists of mostly milo, red proso, wheat, and a bunch of other cheap fillers that birds generally don’t eat and make a mess while they pick the sunflower and white proso seeds out. The white proso are the tiniest white seeds you see in those mixes, they eat it readily from the two feeders I have it in. I have to refill millet almost as often as the sunflower feeders (the millet feeders are actually a bit larger). It was like crack to the guinea fowl I used to keep; the wild turkeys, pheasants and occasional stray chicken visit most days to eat the bit that spills under those feeders. YBMV.

 

I think that's what I have been  using, will get some unadulterated millet and give that a try instead, thanks!

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9 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

I think that's what I have been  using, will get some unadulterated millet and give that a try instead, thanks!

A bonus is that the raccoons and squirrels don’t care for it, so I put it in the two feeders that they can easily raid. Deer however will eat it right out of the feeder, as will the turkeys when the deep snow makes it easy for them to reach it. Fortunately we recently put a taller fence next to where those feeders are, so they’ll soon be relocated to the fence out of reach of the deer and turkeys.

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1 minute ago, WhoaTed said:

A bonus is that the raccoons and squirrels don’t care for it, so I put it in the two feeders that they can easily raid. Deer however will eat it right out of the feeder, as will the turkeys when the deep snow makes it easy for them to reach it. Fortunately we recently put a taller fence next to where those feeders are, so they’ll soon be relocated to the fence out of reach of the deer and turkeys.

 

Surprised we don't see any deer or wild turkey here, because there are acres, and acres of woodland all around.  The feeders are on our rear deck, with is elevated one story above the ground as our Ranch house has a full walkout basement while the front of the house is at grade level.  Squirrels are the only raiders can get to them, although I did have to chase away some raccoons one time.  They climbed right up like the squirrels do..

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9 minutes ago, view at the front said:

WhoaTed. . . thanks for being more precise.

Billy B. . . I attached a "slinky" to each bird feeder hook to keep the squirrels away.  It's amusing to watch them try to climb them until they learn.

 

The feeders with the sunflower hearts the squirrels raid are spring loaded so anything heavier than a small bird will shut off the filling, but there are still seeds left in the three small trays. Once they jump off, the trays fill back up, and Bob's yer Uncle!  I am going to try your slinky; do you have to open it up and attach the the bottom of feeder?  That might close the filling of the trays.

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Several of my hooks are doubles and I thread (twist and twist) it over one side on the pole and let it drape, the singles have a joint and I attached them with zip-ties at that location.  I was able to find a pack of 5 mini-slinkies that are about 1-1/2" diameter.

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1 minute ago, view at the front said:

Several of my hooks are doubles and I thread (twist and twist) it over one side on the pole and let it drape, the singles have a joint and I attached them with zip-ties at that location.  I was able to find a pack of 5 mini-slinkies that are about 1-1/2" diameter.

 

Where can I find that, please?  Thanks!

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3 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

Surprised we don't see any deer or wild turkey here, because there are acres, and acres of woodland all around.  The feeders are on our rear deck, with is elevated one story above the ground as our Ranch house has a full walkout basement while the front of the house is at grade level.  Squirrels are the only raiders can get to them, although I did have to chase away some raccoons one time.  They climbed right up like the squirrels do..

The east end of our property abuts woods (about 80% tall firs and rest deciduous) 60’ from the house, the feeders are halfway between. There’s a creek running thru the woods and a large pond the other side, hence the ducks, heron, and Red-winged Blackbirds; I also forgot that there’s a Kingfisher that nests over there some years and flies around our side of the woods. We rarely saw raccoons around our yard and feeders the first 8 years that we lived here, but they started showing up shortly after we had to put our dog down to the point they were raiding the feeders every night. After that I had to get inventive to keep them off the feeders, they will tear a feeder apart to get at what’s inside. With the seed secured they’d still come around trying to (and occasionally succeeding) get at the suet, ten years later we got another dog last fall and suddenly no more raccoons. They avoid dogs at all cost, if you have a dog that’s probably why you don’t have a ‘coon problem.

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3 hours ago, view at the front said:

Of course, I found it at Amazon.  I searched "Mini Slinky Metal"  It doesn't want me to attach a link and I can't quite find what I bought?  I found 2" diameter size which is probably what mine is.

 

Cool, thanks!!  I hate that Amazon is destroying small businesses, but it's very good to us.  When we last moved we wanted a patio umbrella to place in the hole in the middle of our table.  Drove around to all the local stores that carry these, and they were all the same cheap plastic, and over $100.  Went to Amazon and for much less, we got an umbrella what was all attractive wood construction and even had a solar cell on top, that powers tiny light on the bottom of the spokes.  When the first one blew away, in a bad storm, I just look back at previous orders, found it, and reordered.  The feeders the squirrels raid are hung on Shepherd Hooks, so the slinky just might work!

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21 hours ago, view at the front said:

Several of my hooks are doubles and I thread (twist and twist) it over one side on the pole and let it drape, the singles have a joint and I attached them with zip-ties at that location.  I was able to find a pack of 5 mini-slinkies that are about 1-1/2" diameter.

 

Thanks M8!!!

 

image.thumb.png.a2253e279f6cebf01e6de41ea3ef1036.png

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On 5/7/2020 at 6:33 AM, billy backstay said:

 

Surprised we don't see any deer or wild turkey here, because there are acres, and acres of woodland all around.  The feeders are on our rear deck, with is elevated one story above the ground as our Ranch house has a full walkout basement while the front of the house is at grade level.  Squirrels are the only raiders can get to them, although I did have to chase away some raccoons one time.  They climbed right up like the squirrels do..

Careful what you wish for. 

20170714_082354.jpg

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On 5/6/2020 at 7:47 PM, Meat Wad said:

I found some old bird seed while cleaning out a pantry in the garage and thought.................So I got a feeder and not many birds have been by.

Maybe birds know when seed is old???

That's possible Dave.  Sometimes my feeders build up moist seeds stuck in the bottom of the feeder, and I have to clean out and refresh with new seed....

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2 hours ago, Dorado said:

Careful what you wish for. 

20170714_082354.jpg

 

Wow, where do you live??   Pratt and Whitney has a large fully fenced in site of many acres and I often see 6 or turkeys and they are pretty bold, not shy.  Same with all the Whitetail Deer.

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I think raccoons have been raiding the feeders.  Up until a few days ago, when I put the sunflower heart feeders inside at night, they were being emptied out every night.  This morning one Nyjer thistle feeder is completely missing, and the other one empty, and with deep teeth marks in the plastic tube, lying on the deck.  And the two sturdy feeders with the cheap generic seeds, that the birds rarely eat, are half empty.  So, I reckon I have to bring them all inside, every night until this is over.  Last year, when I  caught raccoons on the feeders, I put them all inside for a few nights, but then it was no more a problem, and I left them out 24/7...

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5 minutes ago, dyslexic dog said:

Our two pair are eating thru the grape jelly like a 10 yr old boy. 

 

So, I need grape jelly to attract Orioles?  Neighbor directly across the street has seen them, and I think my wife saw one, but not I, as of yet...

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BB  I use a suet cage with two orange halves to get there attention. Wired to the top of the cage are jelly plastic tubs of grape jelly.

I have to refill the jelly two or three times a day. I also have a orange half sitting horizontally that is eaten by orioles, finches and woodpeckers.

We have at least three pairs of orioles visiting. Springtime is fun.

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48 minutes ago, ropetrick said:

BB  I use a suet cage with two orange halves to get there attention. Wired to the top of the cage are jelly plastic tubs of grape jelly.

I have to refill the jelly two or three times a day. I also have a orange half sitting horizontally that is eaten by orioles, finches and woodpeckers.

We have at least three pairs of orioles visiting. Springtime is fun.

 

I will try that, thanks!!  Now how does one attract scarlet tanagers?  They seem to be as rare as rocking horse poop around here??

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1 hour ago, billy backstay said:

 

So, I need grape jelly to attract Orioles?  Neighbor directly across the street has seen them, and I think my wife saw one, but not I, as of yet...

Friend says the Orioles have shown up at his place.  Not at my place as of yet.

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This big guy showed up at our beach here on the Bayou and is pretty good at helping out around the yard but I wish he would quit smoking and dropping his cigarette butts all over yard. I've given him until Thanksgiving to get his addictions under control...

    He is pretty good about letting me drive his bitchin' Bronco though. I never knew the Bronco had wireless key fob starters though!

 

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8 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

So, I need grape jelly to attract Orioles?  Neighbor directly across the street has seen them, and I think my wife saw one, but not I, as of yet...

Oranges to attract them, grape jelly to feed them.

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17 minutes ago, view at the front said:
3 hours ago, dyslexic dog said:

Now if I can only get rid of the Canadian geese that shit on my dock.....

And the damn things don't migrate anymore. 

Nobodey lickes to fly anneymoire...........                          :)

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6 hours ago, dyslexic dog said:

Now if I can only get rid of the Canadian geese that shit on my dock.....

 

Yeah, Canada Geese are just big pigeons. Mute swans are mean as hell if you get close to their nest.

I saw a Robin kick the shit out of a Jay today while I was planting flowers. He was not a happy camper. I threw out some egg shells from breakfast to make the Jay stop. He seemed happy with the arrangement.

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7 hours ago, austin1972 said:

Yeah, Canada Geese are just big pigeons. Mute swans are mean as hell if you get close to their nest.

Yeah. The geese are aggressive if cornered but can be chased away. I hate mute swans. Invasive and destructive to aquatic grasses. Can be hunted here because of that. When I kept my boat in a commercial marina, nearby hotel guests would come down to the dock and feed the “pretty swans.”  Was working on my boat once day and told a couple of ladies if they trained the swans that this was a feeding station I would have to bring down a sand wedge and remove their heads (swans, not women).  They were pretty shocked.  

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2 hours ago, dyslexic dog said:

We put it in a soufflé  cup in a wire ring. Grapes work too

Grosbeaks and Orioles will eat that in one day at our house. You would think I got a preteen boy in the house the way we go thru jelly.

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On 5/14/2020 at 9:58 AM, billy backstay said:

 

I will try that, thanks!!  Now how does one attract scarlet tanagers?  They seem to be as rare as rocking horse poop around here??

rare at feeders, they prefer insects. Plus they are attracted to woodlands for nesting, so unless you are in the middle of acres of trees you are unlikely to see them. 

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On 5/14/2020 at 7:48 PM, bmiller said:

We have some sort of Oriole migrating through, he gets on the hummingbird feeder which pisses off my wife and the hummers to no end.

Put out the grape jelly nearby and he will probably ignore the hummer feeder.

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24 minutes ago, chinabald said:

rare at feeders, they prefer insects. Plus they are attracted to woodlands for nesting, so unless you are in the middle of acres of trees you are unlikely to see them. 

 

We are in the middle of acres of trees, surrounded by more trees than anything else.  The volume of winter blown sticks in the smallish grass yard are voluminous!! Wheelbarrows full.

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17 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

We are in the middle of acres of trees, surrounded by more trees than anything else.  The volume of winter blown sticks in the smallish grass yard are voluminous!! Wheelbarrows full.

Rake those forests mate.

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41 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

We are in the middle of acres of trees, surrounded by more trees than anything else.  The volume of winter blown sticks in the smallish grass yard are voluminous!! Wheelbarrows full.

Then get out the binoculars and scan the trees. Because that’s where you are likely to see them. The only time have heard of a scarlet tanager at feeders. It was a platform feeder with suet and fruit. And that was only a one time visit 

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On 5/7/2020 at 10:05 AM, view at the front said:

Of course, I found it at Amazon.  I searched "Mini Slinky Metal"  It doesn't want me to attach a link and I can't quite find what I bought?  I found 2" diameter size which is probably what mine is.

 

Installed slinky's on the sunflower heart feeders the squirrels have been emptying.  I am just leaving work so haven't seen them in action yet, but Missus BB says they get half way up the pole then slide down to the bottom.  Problem solved, maybe?

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58 minutes ago, view at the front said:

I hope that they save some of their "learning" for when you return.  What is this work thing that you speak of?

 

Missus BB says it's hysterical to watch them jump up on the pole then totally lose their balance and tumble to the deck below, or even the back yard, a whole floor below.

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1 hour ago, view at the front said:

I hope that they save some of their "learning" for when you return.  What is this work thing that you speak of?

 

Could have been retired by now, but for the great recession.  Next August, SS income starts and I can quit, if I want to.  But, my job is rewarding in some ways, just not monetarily so much.  I can quit next year, but might stay on part time for the dental, vision and prescription plans, and other fringe benefits.  If I can do three 10 hour days a week, I'm still considered full time.  I like cool cars, want to have a boat again, and we both enjoy traveling to Europe and elsewhere, with friends, which is usually 10 grand a whack minimum.  Life is short, and working is not so bad.

 

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I also liked what I did, and worked until I was 68, and took SS at 70.  We travel a lot. . . and have been to 41 countries.  We've cancelled 4 trips so far this year, and put off Morocco from this Nov/Dec to 2021.  I had to fund my own medical, dental, vision and pension so I was not working to keep those.  I borrow boats, and have 35,000 NM racing and cruising on a friend's boat over the last 42 years.  Life is good, and perhaps short.

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1 hour ago, billy backstay said:

 

Missus BB says it's hysterical to watch them jump up on the pole then totally lose their balance and tumble to the deck below, or even the back yard, a whole floor below.

It's the little joys in La Quarantina. 

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Our first Oriole showed up last this afternoon.  He didn’t eat but checked the feeder an hung around for a bit.

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We just put our feeders back up, this week After a couple of years of not feeding. 
 

orioles we have at least 3, the goldfinches And house finches have rediscovered the nyjer feeder, that only took a few hours.

other then that several LBJ types and the grackles. Have found the seed and suet. 

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Brown creepers are back this week, and a flock of cedar waxwings stopped to eat berries from the mountain ash next to the feeders before resuming their migration north. We see them around our place in bunches during the migrations, we must not have ideal breeding environment for them right here though.

The squirrels here don’t climb the pole to the sunflower and suet feeders, they jump the 10’ from the fence. Otherwise I’d install the slinky, that’s a great idea!

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1 hour ago, chinabald said:

We just put our feeders back up, this week After a couple of years of not feeding. 
 

orioles we have at least 3, the goldfinches And house finches have rediscovered the nyjer feeder, that only took a few hours.

other then that several LBJ types and the grackles. Have found the seed and suet. 

 

I have a blast when the big nasty birds like that come around! I shoot the BB gun at the branches they are congregated on, and they leave pretty quick.

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32 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

I have a blast when the big nasty birds like that come around! I shoot the BB gun at the branches they are congregated on, and they leave pretty quick.

My seed feeder closes when the bigger birds get on, so they don’t hang around too long. 

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Finally saw an Oriole the past couple days, and the slinky's are so effective at keeping the squirrels from emptying out the sunflower heart feeders, I no longer have to refill them twice a day!!

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15 minutes ago, view at the front said:

That's going to take a bigger Slinky?

We have black-tailed deer, not climbers, but knock enough out to be a problem.

 

Had a photo years ago, of a young black bear, on his hind legs robbing Mom's bird feeder, just a hundred yards south of Essex Village proper.  I sent it to a local news channel, and they ran it on the 6 o;clock local news.

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On 5/16/2020 at 12:06 PM, billy backstay said:

 

Installed slinky's on the sunflower heart feeders the squirrels have been emptying.  I am just leaving work so haven't seen them in action yet, but Missus BB says they get half way up the pole then slide down to the bottom.  Problem solved, maybe?

 

"View at the front", you must be or have been a bowman, I suspect?  Me too, but I'm to old for that now...Your slinky suggestion is saving me 30 buck a week in NO squirrel pilfered sunflower seed hearts!!  Can't thank you enough!!  the knowledge of anything and everything from this membership is unbelievable, and much appreciated!!

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12 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

"View at the front", you must be or have been a bowman, I suspect?  Me too, but I'm to old for that now...Your slinky suggestion is saving me 30 buck a week in NO squirrel pilfered sunflower seed hearts!!  Can't thank you enough!!  the knowledge of anything and everything from this membership is unbelievable, and much appreciated!!

Yep, did the bow for about 35+ years on a 40 footer.  I remember reading in a yachting magazine that when you turn 30, you should move back to the cockpit. . . I missed that by several decades.

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5 minutes ago, view at the front said:

Yep, did the bow for about 35+ years on a 40 footer.  I remember reading in a yachting magazine that when you turn 30, you should move back to the cockpit. . . I missed that by several decades.

 

So did I!! And I've got a repaired torn bicep tendon, and shot rotator cuff, to thank for it!!  I pretty much stay in the cockpit now, and trim sails, or drive, when I get the chance to...

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I finally ID’d a squawky bugger that started coming around a few years ago; I could hear it but it’s always high up in the trees and moves from one spot to another quickly so that I can’t get the binocs on it. LOUD chirp/squawk with a burr to it that goes on for quite a while, he was doing his thing out by the greenhouse yesterday and finally lit on a lower branch long enough for me to get a good look and ID: Great Crested Flycatcher. The calls on Cornell’s site don’t have the repeated squawking that this one does (makes the bird sound seriously pissed off), only a single note of it but I immediately recognized its other call on the site as one that we also hear fairly often.

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My wife has a small greenhouse and attached “shed” room that I built several years ago; she keeps some garden tools etc in the shed part but also has a chair & small table if she wants to sit in the shade while taking a break from potting plants or whatever. She has some chotch decorating the shed, goofy bird figurines etc as well as an old ornamental birdcage hanging in one corner. This year and last a cardinal has made a nest in this birdcage, of all places especially since there are plenty of other prime nesting spots in the shed and greenhouse. She’s laying her second clutch of the year right now (first pair didn’t survive fledging), pretty funny having a wild bird make a nest in a birdcage.

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Blue birds here now... And Mrs Red-bellied woodpecker showed her lovely visage. My small patch of wormy dirt is quite a busy place. No seed required. Squirrels come, look around, and leave. Just the way I like it.

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10 minutes ago, Dr. Blue Crab said:

Blue birds here now... And Mrs Red-bellied woodpecker showed her lovely visage. My small patch of wormy dirt is quite a busy place. No seed required. Squirrels come, look around, and leave. Just the way I like it.

You have a redbellied woodpecker coming to your patch of dirt. Are you sure it’s not a northern flicker?

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14 hours ago, chinabald said:

You have a redbellied woodpecker coming to your patch of dirt. Are you sure it’s not a northern flicker?

Comparing on the net, my two have more red than the flicker, "My" male has the red cap. The female looks a lot like a male flicker but my two are smaller in my estimation, and the male seems determinative. I've seen each only once but I'm betting on the male id. 

A buddy upriver from me has a pileated.  

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On 5/22/2020 at 6:22 AM, cyclone said:

Hummingbirds have been busy.... then a pair of these showed up.

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What is that? It's similar to what has been visiting our hummingbird feeder.

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7 minutes ago, Dr. Blue Crab said:

Comparing on the net, my two have more red than the flicker, "My" male has the red cap. The female looks a lot like a male flicker but my two are smaller in my estimation, and the male seems determinative. I've seen each only once but I'm betting on the male id. 

A buddy upriver from me has a pileated.  

 

Yellow bellied also have red cap heads... Audubon plate 190..

 

image.thumb.png.88f72b6c6c89097d2abf3c706a5e7fe1.png

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