Friday, May 3, 2013

Bird of the week

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song.”
Maya Angelou
I started to spiel about the many birds that I have been seeing this spring.  Then I decided to go back a few months and first talk about winter birds because they are ever so cute.  Winter's white snowscapes and bare trees make birding easier for beginners.  As my son sat peering over my shoulder he says, "why don't you do a bird of the week?"  By George, I think he is on to something.  Though many sites offer a bird of the week.  As a matter of fact I have listed my two favorite bird sites for your enjoyment. 

What is birding?  Put simply it is the hobby of watching birds.  Why you ask?  Put simply because.  There are many reasons to become a birder. 
  1. It is fairly inexpensive.
  2. You can do it any time of the day.
  3. No two times are ever the same.
  4. Birds are easy to study.
  5. Birds are everywhere.
  6. It is relaxing and enjoyable.

How do you attract birds to your yard?
  1. Provide food.
  2. Provide nesting boxes.
  3. Provide water.
  4. Provide natural habitat.
Go to any nature center section of a store and you will find 10 different seed mixes.  What you buy depends on what you want to attract or should I say not attract. Let's start with the cheap.  Corn and seed mixes. Cardinals, Jays and Grosbeaks all love corn.  Unfortunately so do house sparrows, cowbirds, starlings as well as deer and raccoons.  I started watching birds with it.  It was cheap but everything eats it so you go through it fast making it not a wise choice for many reasons.

The best choice is plain old single note sunflower seeds.  There are two types, striped and black oil. Black oil has a thinner shell for cracking but a high fat content.  Striped has a harder shell so is harder for house sparrows and cowbirds.  They are usually a bit more but only by a few dollars.  I use black oilers and I have the occasional sparrow but they are deterred easily. The only downfall to sunflowers is that squirrels also love them so if you have the money invest in a baffle for your feeder. 

I use to also use a finch sock but I have downsized to only having one feeder for orioles and hummingbirds and a sunflower feeder for all other birds and the finches love it too. 

The bird of the week is the Indigo Bunting. I saw three of them at my feeder today. Although they like small seeds they will stop by a sunflower feeder to nibble.  I started with them because once you spot one it is like taking a piece from the deepest bluest sky and setting it on a branch. They are brilliantly blue, small and fast.  They migrate so in Indiana they are only here for the summer.

I may have to put my finch sock back out just for these little guys!
I have these two feeders right now.  I like the Sunflower feeder because it is easy for birds to pick out and it holds enough to last a week.  I like the oriole feeder because hummingbirds also use it.  The perches make it easy for them to rest.  It also holds the orange through the handle so it stays put.  There are also 4 indentions on the top that hold grape jelly that the orioles go crazy for!

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  1. Thank you for sharing on the Weekend Whatever!!

  2. I started out with several kinds of feed (and LOTS of $$ spend on seed!), but have also narrowed it down to sunflower seeds, suet, and a hummingbird feeder. Blue jays love whole peanuts in the winter so I always throw a few of those out for them. Bird watching is a lot of fun, isn't it? My favorite book that I started out with is The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bible.

    1. I will have to check out that book Stacie. Do you put the peanuts in a feeder or just on the ground? I love suet for the woodpeckers but our squirrels eat it up in a day. How do you keep them out of it?

  3. I only feed the birds in the winter because we have some feral cats in the neighborhood and I don't want the birds to go MIA with place to hide in the summer. Sheila@The Frugal Exerciser

    1. OH! Spring and summer they do have enough without supplementing but they are so pretty. Thanks for stopping by Sheila.

  4. How pretty! I really want to have an area in our yard for the birds. Thank you for sharing at the Home Acre Hop! Look forward to having you back tomorrow;