Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy Monday! My Winter Hobbies.

It is the first full week of 2014 and I thought I would start the blog off on a relaxing note.

Tomorrow, we are expecting the "Arctic Vortex" to make its way to my area. That got me kickstarted into my winter hobby, feeding my local birds. I wish I could feed them year round, but it has not worked out that way yet. However, whenever our area is set for a big period of cold weather, especially if there is a chance for snow, I always remember to grab the bird seed!


I love to watch the birds come to my feeders and look forward to seeing which species will arrive! So on Sunday I set up my feeding station. I bought four new feeders since the squirrels destroyed some of my old ones last fall.

Here is a picture of my new setup.



The top feeder, pale green feeder, and the feeder in the back are all filled with premium bird food. This feed includes a mixture of millet, sunflower, and safflower seeds.

The long skinny feeder in the front is a cedar finch feeder. It has tiny slits for finches to retrieve seed, and is filled with a mixture of nyjer (thistle) seeds and chips of sunflower hearts. 

And the dark green round feeder on the right is a mesh sunflower feeder. It is filled with black oil sunflower seeds only. 


So about 2.5 hours after setting up my new feeding station, I started seeing birds at my feeders. Not bad for the first day out. I thought I would share the species  I spotted at my new feeder station on Sunday. All links go to information pages about these species, just in case you catch birding fever :)

Carolina Chickadee
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Carolina_Chickadee/id

Northern Mockingbird
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/id
Dark-Eyed Junco
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Dark-eyed_Junco/id
Northern Cardinal
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/PHOTO/LARGE/northern_cardinal_glamour.jpg
Purple Finch
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Purple_Finch/id
Pine Siskin
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pine_Siskin/id
White-Breasted Nuthatch
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/White-breasted_Nuthatch/id
Downy Woodpecker
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker/id

All photos are from AllAboutBirds.org which is a website dedicated to bird identification sponsored by Cornell University's  Ornithology Lab.

If you are into feeder watching, please consider participating in Cornell's Feederwatch Program. It is a wonderful way to engage kids in biological sciences by studying the birds in your own back yard.  I have done it in the past, and hope to do it again in the next few years when I can get my son interested in it. :)

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