Archive for November, 2006

Feeder News

With the holidays approaching it’s a bit difficult keeping up the blog. Good news is that the store (IMHO) has never looked better. We’ve got lots of great backyard birding stuff as well as some really fun garden items so if you get a chance, please stop by.

At the feeder, it’s pretty much been the typicals - lots and lots of black-capped chickadees, white and red-breasted nuthatches, tufted titmouse, one very persistent hairy woodpecker at the feeder and a bunch of downy and hairy woodpeckers at the suet feeders. I haven’t seen the red-bellied again, but I’m always looking!

I think we also experienced our second mourning dove casualty at the feeder. It happens so quickly, but either a sharp-shinned or Cooper’s hawk tried to take out a mourning dove. I think it was successful but not 100% certain. In any event, I could feel that something was up out at the feeder. Whenever the ONLY activity you see at the feeder is a group of mourning doves and not one single songbird there’s something fishy going on.

Usually that means a hawk or another predator is around. Each time this has happened, there is a twinge of guilt, but hawks are going to hunt other birds whether they’re at our feeder, or out in the meadow. It’s an impressive sight regardless and allows for a close-up on a raptor you don’t often get.

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A new visit from an old friend

Feeding wild birds is certainly not like owning a pet. We can’t be sure that from day-to-day that the birds we’re feeding are really the same birds every day. But nevertheless we tend to talk about MY chickadees, or MY nuthatches, and to some extent they probably are mostly the same birds… Soooooo….

I’m proud to say the MY MALE NORTHERN CARDINAL came back to the feeder yesterday night. He always seems to come right at dusk, so it was hard to see, but sure enough he was there. I haven’t seen him in the morning, but again, he might be getting there before I get up. It was exactly this time last year that he showed up and stayed around for about a month, before leaving and then returning in the spring…. at least I think he was the same one!  :)

Happy feeding and don’t forget to join Project FeederWatch if you can! Here is some more information if you’d like.

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Red-Bellied Surprise

A few days overdue, but on Saturday, as I was getting ready to go to the store, in addition to the mourning doves that were startled by me coming outside, there was a silhouette up in the trees that was about the size of a mourning dove, but acting like a woodpecker. I almost thought it was a Northern Flicker, but after a quick run to get my binos, it turned out to be a male red-bellied woodpecker.

While certainly not a rare bird, they are uncommon up here. They continue to expand their range north. In Manchester there was a report of a breeding pair this past summer, though no chicks were seen. Hopefully I’ll get to see more of him this winter!

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