Author Topic: Bird Feeders and Backyard Critters  (Read 31818 times)

Offline Something Fishy

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Bird Feeders and Backyard Critters
« on: May 04, 2020, 12:28:25 AM »
Anyone else here into this? I've been feeding wild birds for a couple of years now and gotten a few DDFers hooked. I've also spoken to people recently who've wanted to get started now that they're stuck in quarantine.

The main thing I've found is to attract the biggest variety of birds you need to put out a variety of foods. That generic mixed bag of bird seed has its place, but most birds prefer certain types of food and have a preferred way of eating. The more you cater to their whims, the more birds you'd get.

At the moment my feeding station consists of 5 different feeders plus a bird bath, and I've observed 24 different species to date:

3 kinds of finches (american goldfinch, house, and purple)
4 kinds of sparrows (chipping, house, tree, and white-throated)
3 kinds of woodpeckers (downy, hairy, and red-bellied)
American robin
Black-capped chickadee
Blue jay
Carolina wren
Common grackle
Dark-eyed junco
European starling
Gray catbird
Mourning dove
Northern red cardinal
Northern mockingbird
Pine warbler
Tufted titmouse
White-breasted nuthatch


Here's my current setup:


(For the record, this is a composite photo of around 8 pictures from last Friday.)

1: Hopper feeder at top right, filled with seed mix. For sparrows, titmice, cardinals, and a little bit of everything else.
2: Perching tube feeder in the lower middle (with the yellow), filled with thistle seed. For goldfinches, house finches, chickadees.
3: Tray feeder just to the left of the tube, filled with safflower and whatever random thing I want to experiment with. For juncos, cardinal, wrens, bluejays, catbirds, doves, and more.
4: Suet cage (straight on top of the tray), filled with suet cakes. For woodpeckers, nuthatches, grackles, and starlings.
5: Oriole feeder all the way to the left, with orange halves and grape jelly. For orioles and warblers.

This entire thing is in a corner of my deck and positioned right outside my main kitchen window. A bit off the the side is the bird bath, which is clamped onto the railing:



I cannot recommend this enough. You don't have to go all-out - start with a basic hopper feeder and mixed seeds and you won't believe how many birds come. And yes, even in the city.

It is ridiculously entertaining to just sit and watch them. I've seen a cardinal couple bring their fledgling twins and show them how to crack open seeds, I've seen fights, courtship and everything in between. You'd hear a hawk calling and instantly all birds run for their lives, but they don't know that it's actually a bluejay doing a perfect imitation. A second later the bluejay soars out of the trees and has the place all to himself. You'd notice that the larger the woodpecker, the more scared he is of his shadow. I've even recognized individual birds who come back to my feeders season after season.

Most of all though, you'd just enjoy having that little slice of nature all to your own.

Any questions? Ask away!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 01:16:45 PM by Something Fishy »
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2020, 12:28:56 AM »
Some random pictures, taken at my feeders or the nearby trees - and all taken through my kitchen window.

Male American goldfinch - my personal favorite:



The above picture is their summer plumage - in the winter they're more drab. There are ten of them in the picture below, two shy of the all-time record (which happened on a Shabbos, of course):



Red-bellied woodpecker - the largest woodpecker we have here and the most skittish. You as much breathe heavily in the house and he takes off:



Downy woodpecker - the smallest one we have, and has no problem with you walking right up to him:



Black-capped chickadee:



A northern cardinal teaching his son how to crush seeds:



Common grackle - dark and drab in the shade, but has a beautiful iridescence in the sun:



Tufted titmouse:



Gray catbird - this guy shows up every summer for about a week, hangs around on the same spot on top of the feeder, and then moves on:



The bluejay brigade:

« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 11:57:20 AM by Something Fishy »
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Offline yesitsme

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2020, 12:37:28 AM »
did you try a windshield?

I just stuffed the hole in my steps with spray foam, How can I give those poor birds your address?

Offline EliJelly

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2020, 12:40:02 AM »
How about "Birds Of Paradise"?? kidding..  But no feeder for Hummingbirds?

Offline Dan

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2020, 12:41:23 AM »
It is ridiculously entertaining to just sit and watch them.
@CheskyGold, this man needs his B&H job back.
ASAP ;D
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2020, 12:42:18 AM »
But no feeder for Hummingbirds?

Not very many in my area, and keeping the feeders clean is a massive pain. I have a feeder but don't use it anymore, just not worth the effort for me.
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2020, 12:42:42 AM »
@CheskyGold, this man needs his B&H job back.
ASAP ;D

LMAO
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Offline EliJelly

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2020, 12:42:50 AM »
Btw big shout-out for @ExGingi for initiating this thread! :)

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2020, 12:44:04 AM »
Btw big shout-out for @ExGingi for initiating this thread! :)

?
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Offline EliJelly

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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2020, 12:45:53 AM »
https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=116131.msg2242130#msg2242130

Wasn't this the final push?

Ah, lol. I actually had this half written up for a while now though so no.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 01:01:54 AM by Something Fishy »
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Online Yehuda57

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2020, 12:54:18 AM »
Cool stuff! If I had somewhere other than the fire escape of a Brooklyn apartment, I'd definitely get into this.

As a kid, there was a little while that my father put food out in our yard and attracted dozens of birds. It was awesome. But then we were told that it makes the birds become too dependent on humans and we should stop. Is that a concern?

Surely your deck must be covered in, well, deposits. How is it dealing with that?
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2020, 01:00:55 AM »
Cool stuff! If I had somewhere other than the fire escape of a Brooklyn apartment, I'd definitely get into this.

I have a friend in Boro Park who I got into this. He put up a feeder a week ago and he's already had woodpeckers, house finches, goldfinches, cardinals, and tons of others.

You'd be surprised.

As a kid, there was a little while that my father put food out in our yard and attracted dozens of birds. It was awesome. But then we were told that it makes the birds become too dependent on humans and we should stop. Is that a concern?

True for most animals, but not for birds. There have been countless studies that have shown that if a feeder disappears, a bird has no issue getting food by himself right away. There's a reason you'd find bird feeders in places like national parks and so on, where they are otherwise extremely strict about not getting the wildlife dependent on humans.

Surely your deck must be covered in, well, deposits. How is it dealing with that?

There is surprisingly little. Sometimes I'd hose down underneath the feeders once a week or so, but typically it's just not an issue.
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Online ExGingi

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2020, 01:01:06 AM »
Surely your deck must be covered in, well, deposits. How is it dealing with that?

I've heard that in certain circles, the male spouse refers to the female spouse as מײַן דאָס (might be an urban legend). Seeing this in English is a first!
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Online Yehuda57

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Re: Bird Feeders and Backyard Birding
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2020, 01:04:51 AM »
I've heard that in certain circles, the male spouse refers to the female spouse as מײַן דאָס (might be an urban legend). Seeing this in English is a first!
If it was me who put up the feeders, מיין דאס would not be the one cleaning anything.
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