Birds

Birding Generals/bluebirds /chickadees/ yellow finches/ Purple finches /  tree swallows / bluejays/ cardinals/ downy wood peckers/ junkos/ tufted titmice/ Rufous-sided  Towhee/ great horned owl/ Red Winged Black Bird / Mourning Dove / robin / sparrow /MockingbirdGray Catbird Northern Flicker / Brown headed Cowbird/ mallard duck/Red Bellied woodpecker /   Carolina Wren / Canadian goose / ring neck pheasant /springtime tips / Suet Recipe/ Gardening for birds/ full site navigation bar/ birding books

click here----What kind of owl?

squirrels in my bird feeder help

If you want to see it all you can just scroll down and remember if you would like to see a picture larger just click on the thumbnail.Please note all these pictures I have taken myself in my yard would appreciate being notified if someone wants to use them. Also just so you know if you touch a baby bird a mother will NOT reject it. Birds that are in nest boxes must be checked regularly.

Bird Attracting Generals

Birds are pretty easy to attract to your yard. You will need three things to attract a wide variety of birds, these are food, water, and shelter or cover. You can provide both food and shelter by planting bushes and trees that produce fruit and berries. Some trees that birds like are Hollies, Dogwoods, Burning Bush, Cedar trees, Mulberry trees and Raspberry bushes. You may already have some of these growing on your property. Young trees and bushes can be bought from a nursery, the nurseryman can help you with which ones are good for attracting birds.

....Water, in a bird bath or a small, shallow pond is also very attractive to birds. They will use the water for both drinking and bathing so you should keep the water clean by changing it often. It is a good idea to wash the bath out once in a while with a mild bleach and water solution. In winter a heater should be provided to keep the water from freezing. By providing water for the birds you may get to see birds that usually do not come to a feeder. Bluebirds are one species that love birdbaths.

....There are many different types of feeders for birds. You should have a few different kinds of feeders to attract a variety of birds. Some birds like Cardinals, Juncos, Sparrows, and Mourning Doves are ground feeders, the type of bird feeder they like is called a platform feeder. Finches, Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse and others like to feed from an elevated or hanging feeder.(the photo at the top of the page is of my window feeder with a Tufted Titmouse at it)Woodpeckers like suet feeders. The type of food you provide is also important. Black oil sunflower is preferred by many songbirds. The seed mix you can buy in grocery stores usually contains some fillers and grains that most birds will not eat. They push these grains out of the feeder onto the ground. So it is best not to buy the premade mixes unless they are quality ones from a bird store.

Tree Swallows  are cavity nesters. They are really pretty and are almost a metallic blue. They have set up a nest in one of my bluebird boxes.Tree Swallows eat insects in the summer and berries in the fall. They like an open area especially near water. To attract a tree swallow you need to put up a nest box since they don't eat at bird feeders. They swoop down and fly really neat. I just got these pictures today 5/2/98

They have finished their nest but no eggs yet. This picture was taken today 5/15/99. Notice how they line their nest with feathers. There is  neat trick you can do when tree swallows are nesting . On a windy day if you go near their nest and let a feather fly in the wind. The tree swallows will swoop down and catch it and take it to their nest.

treeswallownest.bmp (22285 bytes)

5/21/99

They have layed eggs in the nest,they are a beautiful cream color

treeswalloweggs.bmp (27163 bytes)

A one week old tree swallow 6/10/99

babytreeswallow.bmp (16909 bytes)

6/20/99

treeswallow62002.bmp (5347 bytes) treeswallow62099.bmp (9097 bytes)

They are almost ready to fledge so this will be my last  picture

Carolina Wren

The caroloinia wren has such a lovely song. He loudly sings tekettle tea kettle all day. A pair  built a huge nest in my yard. It had two cups but had eggs in only one. They abandoned the nest and started to build another, because my Dad was working in that area of the yard. Here is a picture

caroliniawrennest.bmp (66470 bytes) carolinawreneggs.bmp (34642 bytes) caroliniawrensings.bmp (33671 bytes)

They eat mostly bugs and spiders. They love water . Their eggs are pinkish with lots of brown spots

Rufous-sided Towhee

rufoustowhee2.bmp (15731 bytes) This bird looks like a Robin except that it has white under its belly. They like to scratch  through fallen leaves. I also see this one under a bush that is near my bird feeder.

 


finch feeder1.bmp (7648 bytes) YELLOW FINCHES

Click the picture to see it larger. This is my finch feeder. These are yellow finches and I am not sure what kind of finch that is on the bottom center. They love my thistle feeder.  And sit and eat a few times a day. The males that are old are a bright yellow, the females are darker.If you haven't added a bird bath to your yard, do so today you will get so many more birds.

yellowfinch1.bmp (27527 bytes)


Purple Finches

purplefinch1.bmp (12868 bytes) purplefinch.bmp (14895 bytes)\

These purple finches have been back for about 4 weeks. They are much more timid than the yellow finches. I seem to frighten them more when they hear me. They love my thistle feeder although they have a sunflower seed feeder about twenty feet away.


What Kind Of Owl

click the thumbnail to see larger image

Hi Lindsay here.. I just had one of the greatest nature experiences. (3/17/99) I was riding my bike and I went exploring in a field . I came across this sleeping owl. He was in a tree only about 12 feet up! I felt like I could almost touch him!!I rode home as fast as I could and got my Mom with her camera. The owl just kept on sleeping in this tree, until that is my younger brother made too much noise!

Does anyone know what kind of owl this is?

Post your answer here Wildlife Forum

About these owls they are among the smallest owls, have two phases of color red and gray. They are found all over ,  open forests, wood lots , suburban neighborhoods and shorelines.  They are said to be fearless in protecting their nests and will attack just about anything that approaches it..

If you keep your" nature eye" open you too may spot one of these


bluebird on nest box

BLUEBIRDS

click the thumbnail to see larger image

Here is a picture of a bluebird box with a bluebird sitting on top of it. This is a neighbors box not mine. We have just made our own and put them up.I think these are the prettiest birds I have seen . They are very different from Blue Jays.

Attract a bluebird

You need to have nestboxes to attract these, bird feeders won't work. Although, they will visit mealworm feeders once they are attracted to your area by nestboxes and habitat. They are cavity dwellers and have lost a lot of their natural nesting cavities. They cannot compete with Starlings and House sparrows for nesting sites and need our help.

It is very important to clean out the old nest from last year to get the bluebirds to come back again

bluebird_eggs.bmp (7592 bytes)

Bluebird eggs in my nest box. 4 / 9/99

I am going to try and get a picture when they hatch!!! So check back!

They hatched!!!!!!!!!4/27/99  This is so exciting! You have to set up a bluebird box. I will be getting more pictures as they grow.

babybluebirds.bmp (44827 bytes)

Now they have feathers but they can't fly yet .They are very funny looking

5/7/99

babybluebirdhand.bmp (13543 bytes)

5/9/99

They are starting to get blue feathers now

babybluebird050999.bmp (15768 bytes)

I checked the box again today5/15/99 and they have fledged! I am a bit disappointed to have missed it . I still have some hope though my second bluebird nest was due to hatch 5/12/99. I  checked it yesterday morning and it was a bit cold here in NJ. I tapped the box before opening it nothing came out. I opened the box and the devoted mother bluebird wouldn't leave the nest. I couldn't see the babies. She was covering them to keep them warm. I quickly got this picture and I  left the devoted mother  to keep her babies warm despite me opening the box.. I couldn't believe it! She was so pretty and so brave. I think soon I am going to make a page devoted only to my favorite bird, the bluebird !

motherbluebird.bmp (29006 bytes)

Close up baby bluebird from my second nest 5/22/99. This picture is much better than the first picture

babybluebird1day.bmp (23645 bytes)

Here they are almost ready to fledge. 6/1/99 can you believe how much they have grown!!!!!!

bluebirdnest6199.bmp (53534 bytes) bluebird6199.bmp (17663 bytes)

A second bluebird nest 5/2/99. Bluebirds make their nests out of dried grass a good way to tell the difference between who is building a nest in your box

bluebird nest.bmp (65013 bytes)

instructions to build a nest box click here Bluebird Nestbox


mockingbird.bmp (29534 bytes) mockingbird1.bmp (27896 bytes)Mockingbird

Here is a mockingbird drinking from my birdbath. All the birds love to drink from it. Mockingbirds make the sounds of many different birds And even a dog barking. They get very territorial when nesting.These birds like our shrubs and usually can be found there.They sing both during the day and at night


Gray Catbird

graycatbird.bmp (38282 bytes)

I put this picture right after the Mocking Bird picture because they look a lot a like.The gray catbird has black on the top of his head though.They were frolicking in my birdbath today 5/15/99.They make a sound like a cats meow. I only see them at my bird bath. If you are new to attracting birds, get a bird bath you will see so many more birds. These cat birds are allow you to get very close. Sometimes I will be walking by the bird bath and they just stay and drink.


Black Capped Chickadee

click the thumbnail to see larger image

I got this great picture at my Feather's Feeder today 3/13/99. These are one of my favorite birds. They come and take one seed and fly away and eat it. I can always tell when it is a chickadee coming from a distance by the unusual way they fly. They tend to not fly in a straight line, more wiggling up and down.

A chickadee nest in one of my bluebird boxes. They usually make their nest out of moss and line the inside with fur.This nest shows both the moss and the fur, in this case it is squirrel fur. When the mother leaves to get food she covers the nest with the fur. The eggs are beige with light tan spots.

chickadeenestegg.bmp (55606 bytes) chickadeeeggs.bmp (51076 bytes) Chickadeegghand.bmp (26241 bytes)

chickadeebaby1day.bmp (31591 bytes)

The eggs hatched, 5/21/99 notice that some eggs still haven't hatched, I am not sure if they will.,but we will find out!

                       Chickadee Facts

These birds like mixed   forests and open woodlands and frequent residential neighborhoods in winter. You can train them to eat out of your hand!  They are one of the least timid backyard birds. I am planning on doing this during my summer vacation.


Tufted Titmouse

click the thumbnail to see larger image

We attract lots of these birds to our feeders . They look like a cardinal sort of but are smaller and have a grey back with a little red orange under their wing area. They eat from a feeder.

These birds are very social and sometimes hang upside down and eats bugs from branches. These birds stay with the same mate for a long time and the young of one hatch will often help take care of the next group of babies


brownheadedcowbird.bmp (12637 bytes)                                              Brown Headed CowBird

                            These bird are really neat. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds for them to hatch! So if you find a nest of a bird with one egg different it is usually a brown headed cowbird


 

Downy Wood Pecker

click the thumbnail to see larger image

Not the best picture but it was from my yard. I really like woodpeckers we have several downy wood peckers. They really like my suet feeders. I make my own suet. Woodpeckers love dead trees they peck at them to get the insects . Some people leave a dead tree standing for them to use others have even stood a dead tree up in their yard to attract  woodpeckers.

Downy woodpeckers are the smallest eastern USA Woodpeckers and they are abundant all over.

If you haven't seen one just open up your "Nature Eye"

male --he has red on his head

My Suet Recipe

click the thumbnail to see larger image

The recipe I use is one cup chunky peanut butter, one cup lard or shortening, three cups oatmeal, one cup of corn meal, 9 ounces of strawberry preserves and one cup of raisins. Melt the lard and peanut butter in a microwave, stir in the rest of the ingredients, cool and serve. The feeder the woodpecker is on is just an onion bag. I have two other suet feeders on Feather's Feeder, these are the wire type.

Female- they don't have red----She keeps coming back all day long

Red Winged Black Bird and a Mourning Dove

click the thumbnail to see larger image

I attract many many mourning doves just by scattering bird seed on the ground. They make a really great cooing sound.The females builds the nest but the male brings the materials, it takes 1-3 days. They sometimes reuse the same nest. Behind the Mourning Dove is a red winged blackbird. This was the first one I had ever seen. Red winged blackbirds are very territorial and can build a nest in 3-6 day.


Red Bellied Woodpecker

yellowbelliedsapsucker.bmp (20143 bytes)

This is another kind of woodpecker. He loves to eat from my suet feeder. They are larger than a downey woodpecker



Junkos in the snow

click the thumbnail to see larger image

They are ground feeders .. I have tons of them.. They hang around in my bushes all day long.. They have white feathers under their tail and they are called the "snow bird" There are different shades of gray for these birds and they once were called different names. Baby junkos can run before they can fly .Sometimes they will run away from danger .


bluejay.bmp (15869 bytes)

Blue Jay

click the thumbnail to see larger image

My bluejays eat from both the ground and from elevated feeders..Many people don't like bluejays because they chase smaller birds but I   love them because the bury many seeds and acorns and forget to retrieve them so they are "the tree planters".

bluejays facts

These birds like oak forests and neighborhoods where there are many oak trees

Bluejays are afraid of hawks and owls and when they see one make very loud squawks


bird55.bmp (13537 bytes)bird56.bmp (6833 bytes)

Northern Flicker

I got this picture today 5/30/99 , it is a Northern Flicker which is a kind of woodpecker. He was hopping along eating ants  in my backyard .He was really big larger than a pigeon.


cardianl.bmp (7030 bytes)

Cardinal

click the thumbnail to see larger image

These birds are ground feeders. The male cardinal will feed the babies of the first hatch while the female will sit on the eggs of a second nest. 

 

cardinal.bmp (14868 bytes)


Robin

robinredbreast.bmp (13658 bytes)

These birds are so much fun to watch in spring. They hop around along the ground looking for worms. They can actually feel the worms moving under the ground with their feet. Watch one hop along and see how many times he misses the worm. Hardly ever!!


Sparrow

sparrow.bmp (3422 bytes)

There are so many different kinds of sparrows. Sometimes it is hard for me to tell them apart


 

Mallard Duck

mallard.bmp (6468 bytes)mallardfemale.bmp (6094 bytes)

These ducks are found all over North America, where ever there is water. They don't mind living close to humans. If you have a pond and feed mallards they will get to know you and even will know what time you come to feed them. A trail of cracked corn will lead them to your duck feeding station. The Mallard lays 6-15 light green to tan eggs on the ground. The nest is lined by the females own feathers.


Canadian Goose

canadian goose.bmp (7006 bytes)

Almost everyone has seen a Canadian goose at their nearby park pond. They fly overhead in a V formation when they are migrating. They are very protective of their eggs and young. These birds are so common that many areas have banned feeding them because of pollution of the ponds.


Pheasant

ringneckpheasant.gif (52156 bytes)

To attract pheasants you need cracked corn, habitat and large open spaces. You usually can't attract these in a neighborhood although my Mom said she saw one once walking down the sidewalk in a suburban area


Gardening for birds

Plants that have berries are great for birds. In my yard I have many Hollies, Dogwoods and Burning Bushes. Honeysuckle and trumpet vines grow wild here and the birds love them. I have a wild strawberry patch as well as many evergreens, crabapple trees and black cherry trees too. Think about letting an area of your yard grow wild and natural with weeds that make seeds. The birds love tall grass and they even love dandelions

Most people remove all dead branches and fallen limbs form their yard. If you leave them there you will have a much greater chance of seeing a woodpecker.

 


Springtime Tips for Backyard Birders

Spring is here, it's a good time to take down those feeders and clean them. Use a solution of 10% bleach and water. Clean thoroughly, rinse, then let them dry completely before filling with seed and putting them back up.

Now is also a good time to add a squirrel baffle to that pole or above that hanging feeder. Consider moving the feeder farther from that tree the squirrels are using as a jumping off point.

Clean up seed hulls and old feed from under those feeders. A rake and a leaf vacuums works well for this job.

You might like to add a bird bath or a different type of feeder this season. Keep baths and feeders spaced 10 to 15 feet apart to attract more and different kinds of birds. Try not to crowd too many feeders into one area.

Get going on those bird houses! If you haven't cleaned out old nests, do it now. The same bleach and water solution will disinfect nestboxes. Some bar soap rubbed onto the ceiling will help to discourage bees and wasps. Put up new houses now, mount your nestboxes to metal poles to make it harder for climbing predators to get to the box. Metal poles can be polished with steel wool and Vaseline applied to further deter predators.

Put up those hummingbird feeders, you don't want to miss out on the early arrivals. If you are planting a hummingbird and butterfly garden start seeds indoors now. If you are new to attracting hummers, place feeders further away from the house and out in the open where the hummingbirds can see them easily. Once they have found the feeders you can then move them, in stages, to where you want them.


Squirrels in Your Bird Feeder Tips

  1. Keep  your bird feeders if they are free standing at least 15 feet from something the squirrel can jump from

  2. You can put Vaseline on the pole to help

  3. put a baffle on the pole

  4. Make the squirrel their own feeder of  corn, they like this better than bird seed, however be warned that house sparrows and starlings like corn too

  5. You can make a feeder for them out of peanuts they love these   but peanuts can get expensive

  6. Catch the squirrels in a havahart trap and remove them to somewhere else

  7. Don't hang your feeder in a tree it is impossible to keep them out

There are also tips on getting rid of other squirrel problems on my problems page if your answer is not found there just email my dad and he will solve it!


Bird Bibliography Books

Field Guide to Advanced Birding : Birding Challenges and How to Approach Them (Peterson Field Guide Series) by Ken Kaufman and Roger Tory Peterson Order Advanced Birding Today!

 

The Birder's Handbook by Paul R Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin and Darryl Wheye ( A great book for all sorts of bird information even like how they fly and why they are colored)

Order The Birder's Handbook Today!

 

 

I am just working on this page so check back because it soon will have more information and pictures too! Feel free to use any of my bird pictures as long as you give me credit and and put a link back to my site.