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What's at your bird feeder?


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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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A Merlin (small falcon) took a Pine Siskin from my bird feeders yesterday.  

Several weeks ago I was walking to my car, and a Merlin and I nearly collided.  He was flying at eye level and we didn't see each other, but we scared the shit out of each other.  He dropped his prey which disappeared under my car and escaped.  I resumed breathing normally.

I occasionally have crows dive towards the feeders, trying to have birds crash into my windows as they escape.  I have not seen them be successful yet.  It's a tough neighborhood?

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Brown thrashers digging worms from my dirtpatch . These have been here everyday. I figured they were mocking birds but have been too busy to check. Got curious when they ran a bluebird off. 

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1 hour ago, Snaggletooth said:

I allwayes enjoin seenig thrasheres, notte rare, butte notte commone ethere.  We halve mockeres evereywhearre...........                                    :)

AFAI can see the males and females look alike so maybe I have only one pair, tho I've seen two at once and they're worming so often there must be chicks in nests. Probably too late for a bluebird box. After being on the boat, a big back yard is a real treat.

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All at the same time this morning in the dirt patch: cardinal,  robin, bluebird, and some kind of UFO. Latter sat on my window sill for a few seconds. Sparrow size and coloring but with a big bright orange beak. Beak too big for a sparrow in my judgement but I don't know boo about birds and beaks.

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35 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

BB, howe dide theise worke forre you?

 

They work great Snaggy!!!  Missus BB has been home for 2 months now with a broken wrist, and she said that she has not heard one bird hit the windows, since I put them on!  I jut got 2 more in the mail this week.  Prior to that, it was fairly common occurence.  The cat OTOH has caught at least one goldfinch, but I can't keep her inside all the time. 

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On 5/26/2020 at 5:58 AM, bmiller said:

Finally got him, had to shoot through the garage window.

IMG_7465-XL.jpg

Did the feathers go all over the place?

Oh...never mind

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1 hour ago, billy backstay said:

They work great Snaggy!!!  Missus BB has been home for 2 months now with a broken wrist, and she said that she has not heard one bird hit the windows, since I put them on!  I jut got 2 more in the mail this week.  Prior to that, it was fairly common occurence.  

Gladde to heare!  Ille telle FIL of you successe!                                              :)

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58 minutes ago, Latadjust said:

Did the feathers go all over the place?

Oh...never mind

My hunting buddy calls little birds puff balls. Cuz when you hit them they go puff.

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Yellow-tailed_Black_Cockato1-ct280-280x240.jpgYellow tailed black cockatoo sitting and cracking its way through all the hakea seeds on the tree.

Not my photo, I don't know how to upload my own photos.

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4 minutes ago, DtM said:

Yellow-tailed_Black_Cockato1-ct280-280x240.jpgYellow tailed black cockatoo sitting and cracking its way through all the hakea seeds on the tree.

Not my photo, I don't know how to upload my own photos.

Well, we're not in Kansas anymore.

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7 hours ago, Dr. Blue Crab said:

All at the same time this morning in the dirt patch: cardinal,  robin, bluebird, and some kind of UFO. Latter sat on my window sill for a few seconds. Sparrow size and coloring but with a big bright orange beak. Beak too big for a sparrow in my judgement but I don't know boo about birds and beaks.

Could be a female Rose breasted grosbeak 

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Well if the male shows up that would settle it.  The beak was really orange, tho. I got a good close look. I've been comparing to sparrows and their beaks are similar but smaller. The beak color may be a variation, or even seasonal?

The female pic above is right on but for the  beak color. I realize now I've seen them here before but wrote them off as sparrows. Think I mentioned my dirt patch is where a big tree was removed and stump ground. There was a dirt hump that I removed. Grass/weeds are slowly creeping back. Just beyond the window. I have a (ahem) bird's eye view of the action. Rabbits like it too. 

B)

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3 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

Larger than a sparrow.  Male

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Adult male

 

Female

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Female

Not really. They look plumper. But the overall length of the females is well within the size range of many sparrows. And within an inch of most. So when they are moving around it’s easy to describe them as sparrow like. Even female red wing blackbirds are described by many as sparrows. And they are an inch+ longer then the grosbeak. 

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1 hour ago, chinabald said:

Not really. They look plumper. But the overall length of the females is well within the size range of many sparrows. And within an inch of most. So when they are moving around it’s easy to describe them as sparrow like. Even female red wing blackbirds are described by many as sparrows. And they are an inch+ longer then the grosbeak. 

Female RWB's coloratione ist similiare to manney sparrowes to.   Confussione raines.                          :) 

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A pair of bluebirds was hanging around the field this morning while  a flock of cedar waxwings was feasting on the apple blossoms. Got a close look at an indigo bunting earlier this week as well. Still not many warblers despite all the bugs.

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On 5/30/2020 at 10:03 AM, billy backstay said:

 

They work great Snaggy!!!  Missus BB has been home for 2 months now with a broken wrist, and she said that she has not heard one bird hit the windows, since I put them on!  I jut got 2 more in the mail this week.  Prior to that, it was fairly common occurence.  The cat OTOH has caught at least one goldfinch, but I can't keep her inside all the time. 

We hang a couple of old CD's on strings in front of our problem windows, haven't lost a bird since.

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Lots of non-bird activity, with Douglas Squirrels (the good non-invasive variety), Townsend chipmunks, Black-tailed deer, and now Eastern cottontail rabbits cleaning up under the bird feeders.

The slinky(s) are working to keep squirrels off the feeders, but something is emptying my un-caged bird feeders at night.  The deer can reach the feeder openings, but the openings are only ~1" diameter.  I have not seen them do that during the day.

Any thoughts?

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6 minutes ago, view at the front said:

Lots of non-bird activity, with Douglas Squirrels (the good non-invasive variety), Townsend chipmunks, Black-tailed deer, and now Eastern cottontail rabbits cleaning up under the bird feeders.

The slinky(s) are working to keep squirrels off the feeders, but something is emptying my un-caged bird feeders at night.  The deer can reach the feeder openings, but the openings are only ~1" diameter.  I have not seen them do that during the day.

Any thoughts?

 

Was having the same problem, so now I take them down around sunset and put into a garbage can in the screened porch.  No more pilferage!!  The slinkys are great, but a couple of the smarter squirrels discovered that can jump from the railing right onto the feeders, without having to climb on the slinky protected vertical poles.   Might have to get longer taller shepherd hooks to hang them on.

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3 minutes ago, pbd said:

Seen a couple of Hooded Orioles around the place this year.  Pictures aren't worth a shit so here's one from Googles.

 

HO.jfif

 

Don't think I have ever seen one, are they native to New England?

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Just now, billy backstay said:

 

Don't think I have ever seen one, are they native to New England?

Don't know, I'm on the left coast.

But Googles says no.

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On 6/1/2020 at 10:56 AM, Fisher said:

Spotted-Towee-Male.jpg
 

Spotted Towhee. Learned of these last night at Grandma’s house. Ground feeders eating sunflower seed. 
 

Pictures from here:

https://www.jaysbirdbarn.com/spotted-towhee/

I have been calling that a Rufous-Sided Towhee, but that bird has now been divided into 2 different species by the Audubon Society:  Spotted Towhee in the West as you say, and the Eastern Towhee.  Who knew?

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Guess you guys all went back to work. The big action out my window has moved from the dirt patch to a pile of old log bits and pieces. New to my notice are a pair of busy busy brown headed nuthatches working the logs. Must have found a supply of insects  and it appears they may have a nest in the attic or very close by.

The grosbeaks are back. Definitely the rose variety but the bright orange beak is a little different.

All the other usual suspects plus ........................................................ a bunny. The parents have been here all along but the cottontail baby is brand newish. And just one which seems unusual. Maybe the parents are young although both look like they've had a hard life.  I've noticed two black snakes in the yard that may have nailed other babies when tiny. The little one is not being sheltered at all, and sorry to say I think I'm expecting a hawk to swoop in and demonstrate, yet again, the circle of life.  

It's been fun sitting by the window and watching the action in an area with a lot of natural cover. I don't mind buying birdseed. What I hate is squirrels eating it.

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I have a grouping of 6 bird feeders outside my kitchen windows.  When I go to fill them, which I need to do daily, I'm starting to "try" to make bird sounds as I approach the feeders.  Most will initially fly off, but not all, and then they quickly return.  I placed a chair in the center of the feeders and sat down to watch.  After a few minutes, without moving, I had about 25 birds surrounding me, mostly around my feet.  I'm going to increase my presence in the chair, perhaps with birdseed in my hands.

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2 hours ago, view at the front said:

I have a grouping of 6 bird feeders outside my kitchen windows.  When I go to fill them, which I need to do daily, I'm starting to "try" to make bird sounds as I approach the feeders.  Most will initially fly off, but not all, and then they quickly return.  I placed a chair in the center of the feeders and sat down to watch.  After a few minutes, without moving, I had about 25 birds surrounding me, mostly around my feet.  I'm going to increase my presence in the chair, perhaps with birdseed in my hands.

 

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So I found the culprit last night. . . a blacktail doe with a long tongue can clean out my non-caged bird-feeders overnight.  The non-caged feeders will now be stored in the garage at night.

They also love my wife's roses, and that will be the kiss of death for them.  I'm not sure how to warn them?  She doesn't have a gun, but she will find a way.

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17 minutes ago, view at the front said:

So I found the culprit last night. . . a blacktail doe with a long tongue can clean out my non-caged bird-feeders overnight.  The non-caged feeders will now be stored in the garage at night.

They also love my wife's roses, and that will be the kiss of death for them.  I'm not sure how to warn them?  She doesn't have a gun, but she will find a way.

This is the only thing we found that works with deer. We have three of them, two on the rose garden and one on the back garden. It's a hard thing to train yourself to, if you are used to wandering out into the garden in a sleepy state better enjoy getting soaked with cold water. 

scarecrow.png

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29 minutes ago, view at the front said:

I've heard good things about Scare Crow, my wife also got a deer deterrent spray.  We'll try that first.

The deer deterrent sprays only work if you throw the can at them.

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3 hours ago, view at the front said:

I can hear her special words now as she throws the can.

I have used a slingshot to the butt to hurry them along. I'm a pretty good shot, I want to sting them, not blind them.

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Mornings at our house. They wait on the top of the tree using branches they have pulled bare for the purpose, watching. The food arrives and then it’s an hour of frenzy. Sparrows, goldfinch, yellow hammer, blackbirds, mynahs, nz wood pigeon, doves, fantails and the occasional Tui  Later the waxeyes will come for fruit and made up drinks.

Everyday

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BF896911-24B4-4C4D-B812-6E6817D39052.jpeg

26A41A1D-26EC-4BC6-AF74-153E0401428C.jpeg

48081DE7-74A1-4AF3-9BA3-BC8FCDDC445E.jpeg

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6 hours ago, PhilipNZ said:

Mornings at our house. They wait on the top of the tree using branches they have pulled bare for the purpose, watching. The food arrives and then it’s an hour of frenzy. Sparrows, goldfinch, yellow hammer, blackbirds, mynahs, nz wood pigeon, doves, fantails and the occasional Tui  Later the waxeyes will come for fruit and made up drinks.

Everyday

 

 

We used to see the NZ wood pigeons in Titirangi... We called them the B52 bombers

 

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To view at the front, the squirrels are no longer deterred by the mini-slinkies..:wacko:  They climb up the slinky, or just jump onto the feeders from the decks railing cap.  And our hunter cat Sunny has become useless at squirrel patrol.  But the amount of sunflower hearts has declined a bit for some reason?  

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I have warbling vireos nesting in the same birdhouse for the third year in a row. Very nondescript looking but their warbling is energetic and lovely. The house sits six feet from my family room door, which is frequently used. They don’t seem to mind as I have two rhododendrons there which gives them plenty of hiding space. 
They use white pine needles, primarily, and make a huge nest in the box. A chickadee pair had started a nest of moss in the box before the vireos arrived but the vireos just chased them away and threw all their nesting material out onto my porch. Can’t get a photo of them, they just refuse to sit still for a portrait. The attachment is of one warbling courtesy of YouTube.

 

 

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5 hours ago, view at the front said:

I guess that you have more innovative squirrels than I do.  Mine are still deterred.

 

I might get taller shepherd hooks and see if that works..Displaying IMG_0583.PNGDisplaying IMG_0583.PNG

 

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I love ospreys.  A few years ago I had an osprey dive and catch a sea-run cutthroat trout on the beach in front of my house.  As it lifted off the water a bald eagle dove on it, the osprey dropped the fish to escape, and the fish was picked up by the eagle.  

At the time I had the county shoreline administrator standing beside me, determining if I could get a shoreline exemption for construction work that I was planning.  He asked if I had ever seen that before. . . of course I said no, never.  I was hoping that the eagle would not land on my nearby Douglas Fir tree to consume his catch, but fortunately it flew across the bay.  I kept saying to myself. . . fly away, fly away, fly away.  If it had landed in that tree, it would probably have been considered a roosting tree, and would have complicated my application, and the timing of the work.

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16 hours ago, Ishmael said:

I have used a slingshot to the butt to hurry them along. I'm a pretty good shot, I want to sting them, not blind them.

paintball guns, and you can ID the repeat offenders.

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7 hours ago, nacradriver said:

We now have two owls in the tree...  must be a lot of varmits in the area...

 

 

DSC_1784[1].JPG

Not for long, the varmints that is.  Owls are pretty efficient predators. 

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1 hour ago, nacradriver said:

If only the coyotes would get the message.. 

heh. One summer night I was camped out on the upper Missouri river in the breaks area. As dusk fell, the cliffs came alive with coyotes yakking at one another. Hundreds of them clearly visible on a  cloudless moonlit restless night. I needed the Swiss Army but all I had was the knife.

I got the message.

 

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23 minutes ago, pbd said:

WTF is the beast on the other side of the fence?

That's Mama's wings.

She hopped off the wall right as I was taking the pic. She don't like the paparazzi.

Those are the three kids

 

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7 minutes ago, Dorado said:

That's Mama's wings.

She hopped off the wall right as I was taking the pic. She don't like the paparazzi.

Those are the three kids

 

Makes sense, I thought the kids were all hens so the size of the wingspan had me stumped. 

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Snaggy turned me on to "window alert" ultraviolet raptor window stickers, which have been working well. But, stupid me did not read the instructions and put them on the inside, not the outside as directed.  And they need to be 2 feet apart.  A short time ago, a yellowbelly woodpecker hit a window and went down stunned, onto the deck. Sunny the fat hunter cat can move very fast when she senses a kill, and she was on him in a trice, like white on rice!  I ran outside and she droppped him, and he flew away, thankfully!  Stickers are reinstalled now, per the directions on the package.  

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2 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

SAM_0436c.JPG

 

These guys are a nuisance later in the year, when they travel in packs and descend on the feeders.  I load the BB gun and when I open the sliding glass door, they scoot off to nearby trees.  I put a couple of BB's into the branches and they usually get the message..

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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 ospreys, but the ospreys have developed a new tactic.  An osprey would swoop down into the lake and grab a lily pad, and then take off to the other side of the lake, with the eagles in chase, allowing the other ospreys to fish without harassment.  So far it's working for them.

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1 hour ago, See Level said:

The eagles will learn soon enough that they're being tricked and quit following them.

That''s my guess also.  But we were at an eagle recovery center, and I talked with the curator and asked him about the intelligence of eagles. . . he said that they were about as smart as this table.  they can be fooled.

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"A North American species with a historic range from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico, the bald eagle is an Endangered Species Act success story.  Forty years ago, our national symbol was in danger of extinction throughout most of its range. Habitat destruction and degradation, illegal shooting, and the contamination of its food source, largely as a consequence of DDT, decimated the eagle population. Habitat protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act, the federal government’s banning of DDT, and conservation actions taken by the American public have helped bald eagles make a remarkable recovery ... By 1963, with only 487 nesting pairs of bald eagles remaining, the species was in danger of extinction. Loss of habitat, shooting, and DDT poisoning contributed to the near demise of our national symbol." https://www.fws.gov/midwest/eagle/Nhistory/biologue.html

We're about at 150,000 known individuals currently with some 20,000 in BC. Of course there are many times that in the US of A. just sayin". 

 

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On 6/24/2020 at 8:23 AM, Blue Crab said:

 

"A North American species with a historic range from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico, the bald eagle is an Endangered Species Act success story.  Forty years ago, our national symbol was in danger of extinction throughout most of its range. Habitat destruction and degradation, illegal shooting, and the contamination of its food source, largely as a consequence of DDT, decimated the eagle population. Habitat protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act, the federal government’s banning of DDT, and conservation actions taken by the American public have helped bald eagles make a remarkable recovery ... By 1963, with only 487 nesting pairs of bald eagles remaining, the species was in danger of extinction. Loss of habitat, shooting, and DDT poisoning contributed to the near demise of our national symbol." https://www.fws.gov/midwest/eagle/Nhistory/biologue.html

We're about at 150,000 known individuals currently with some 20,000 in BC. Of course there are many times that in the US of A. just sayin". 

 

 

We used to see them in winter, where they came south for open water to fish.  Every spring there was a nest across the river and we could see it from our house on South Cove sometimes with a telescope.  One time there were 3 of them chowing down on a deer carcass at the edge of the water on the island, when a Coyote came along and took over. Now they are seen here year round.

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On 6/20/2020 at 5:03 PM, pbd said:

WTF is the beast on the other side of the fence?

Guinea.

 I just set my 8 Guinea keets loose today.  They were ?(hopefully still are) about the size of city Pigeons, and screaming to get out of their cage.....

 They strutted around the garage a bit before venturing out into the great beyond..... Who knows with Guineas? I may never see them again, or they may hang around until nature dwindles the flock like last time...... This time though, I've let the neighbor know that his dogs will suffer gunshot woulds to their legs if I aim properly, if I catch them killing my birds.

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11 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

Guinea.

 I just set my 8 Guinea keets loose today.  They were ?(hopefully still are) about the size of city Pigeons, and screaming to get out of their cage.....

 They strutted around the garage a bit before venturing out into the great beyond..... Who knows with Guineas? I may never see them again, or they may hang around until nature dwindles the flock like last time...... This time though, I've let the neighbor know that his dogs will suffer gunshot woulds to their legs if I aim properly, if I catch them killing my birds.

This can't end well.