Friday, December 7, 2007

Chickadee-dee-dee (Winter Bird Watching)

One of my favorite wintertime activities (well, not very active on MY part) is to sit and watch the birds. I especially love hearing the chickadees when I venture outside. Their little perky chirps fill me with joy. How can a heart not be lifted with their antics? Better than any anti-stress medication I can think of!

My HH (handy husband) built a beautiful high platform feeder outside my living room window so I can see them even while sitting down (which I do a lot of in the winter). This also helps protect the birds from the neighbors' lurking cats. I also have tube feeders in the front, outside my office window so I can see them while sitting at my computer. The frog is a funny "earthquake detector" that we got in Santa Fe one year. It sits atop the first feeder he made for me that includes a peanut feeder for squirrels. I don't feed peanuts any more because they destroy too many plants by burying them. As you can see though, they get their more-than-fair share of birdseed.

This shows the outside of the feeders.

Flicker antics.

I would love to have some Orioles and other beautiful birds I see in photos from parts way east of Colorado. Still, I do have a nice list of frequent visitors to my feeding stations:

Chickadees (of course), Flickers, Downey Woodpeckers, Juncos, many different Finches and Sparrows, Bushtits, Crows (not too excited about these), Starlings and a Robin or two who hang out with them, my VERY favorite Ringed Neck (Eurasian Collared) Doves, Blue Jays, and even a Hawk or two or possibly a Prairie Falcon. I so enjoy watching the doves strut back and forth. They are new to our area the last few years. Once in a while we also see a White Winged Dove too. In the summer we have the beautiful Goldfinches and Turtle Doves.

Ringed Neck (Eurasian Collared) Dove

This is the best photo I've been able to take of the doves. They frighten easily at the slightest movement, so I tried getting a photo through the shutters. Sometimes I have as many as 15 or more at one time.

Every morning (and more often during cold or snow) I take food out back (sunflower chips, a mix called "Chickadee Chew," consisting of black oiled and striped sunflower seeds, a couple kinds of millet, tree nuts and peanuts. I add to this a handful of hulled millet, which the doves love, and all the other birds are happy to leave for them. I also have a heated birdbath that gets MANY visitors, since a lot of people do not keep water out in the winter. When the Starlings visit I know that I must go out as soon as they have left and clean out the debris, as well as refill the now empty birdbath. I've had this heated bath for about four years and couldn't live without one. It really works well, and I feel so good knowing the birds have a source of water. Several suet feeders complete the menu.

These crows are okay in small numbers.
And here are some beautiful sunset photos that my hubby took the other evening.

Veggies put to bed for the winter.


Robin's Nesting Place said...

Bev, I've missed your posts. I've been birdwatching too. It sure does lift those winter blahs doesn't it?
I like your bird feeding station, and I like that it is close to the windows. A few of my feeders are too far away to really get good pictures or to watch and enjoy, but the birds are better protected there since they are close to my neighbors dense shrubs.

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Marie said...

Wonderful post! I just love birds! Beautiful photos!

Bev said...

Thank you for your comments, Robin, Wuttisak and Marie. I appreciate your "visit."

Bev said...

Thank you for your comments, Robin, Wuttisak and Marie. I appreciate your "visit."

Bev said...

Thank you for your comments, Robin, Wuttisak and Marie. I appreciate your "visit."

Bob said...

Enjoyed your site Bev. My wife Wilma and I live in Reno,Nv and enjoy backyard bird feeding also.It is so relaxing and comical to watch them especially the jays.
We get frustrated with the crows because they tend to bully the others take all the suet and fruit we put out and make the birdbath a dirty mess that has to be cleaned twice a day. We love them anyway because we know their all God's creations. We also have a beautiful hairy woodpecker with a swatch of red on the back of the head that just loves the suet. The cold of winter is sure a lot easier to deal with when we have our feathered friends around.

Karla said...

what can I feed my robins wintering over? They've nearly cleaned my crab apple tree and are looking cold and hungry.

Bev said...

Hi Bob, thanks for visiting! I agree about the crows. I'm especially challenged by the "God's creations" thought when the grackles visit.

Karla, I've never seen a robin at a seed feeder. I wonder about putting out some fruit or berries? I'm sure there must be some info on the internet.

Karla said...

I've been putting out dried cranberries and they are happy campers! didn't find anything on the net about these guys wintering over, you were the best source. It was so sad to see them just sitting in the birdseed huddled up an not eating!

love the photo of the flicker at your birdfeeder. I have one who does the same thing on my little tube feeder. They are gorgeous birds.

Thanks for the reply.


gailstrail said...

Hi Bev,

Ilove your bird sanctuary! Great pictures. I also live in Colorado Springs and have a web site I just started 'The Way of Animals'. I got to your site through Google Search. I have a concern about the birds that nest near and in 'Soderman Park'. You probably know the city is planing a road connecting Fontanero and Centenial. The road will run 200 feet from the creek that runs through Soderman Park and near by ajacent vacant land; land that deer, birds and other wildlife have used as habitat for who knows how long. Anyways, I feel for the critters and wish our tax dollars would not be used for developing this land. Sorry about rambling on, I see how much you love animals and this subject has been on my mind for a couple of years. I'm not a property my voice is small. Thanks for your care.

Bev said...

Karla, thanks for visiting and for your nice comments. I do love to watch the flickers because they are so active and fun.

Gail, that's great... another CS animal lover! I've read from time to time about the area you mention. They have been tempting to do this for years. Maybe it is progressing??? I hope not. I know what you mean about a small voice, but don't give up... good for you for speaking out.