Bird Watching

 

Most of my family knows that I love watching wild birds. My favourite vantage point is from right inside my house. I currently have 6 birdfeeders on the go, down from sixteen I used to have. I only use black oiled sunflower seeds to fill my four birdseed feeders because commercial mixed wild bird seed is wasted: the birds pick out the sunflower seeds and brush the leftover millet and corn onto the ground.

Northern Cardinal - Marty

Northern Cardinal – Marty

The variety of birds that come to eat include Nuthatches, Black capped Chickadees, Bluejays, Northern Cardinals, Mouring Doves, Sparrows, and Juncos. I used to get loads of Evening Grosbeaks, but sadly I haven’t seen any for over 15 years now. I also have several suet feeders hanging off the eaves of the house. I buy beef fat from my butcher and cut it to size when I get home, then freeze for use in my suet feeders. The Hairy Woodpeckers and Downy Woodpeckers especially love it. The local Pileated Woodpeckers stay clear of the house and find their sustenance from local trees.

Owl in our yard - Marty

Owl in our yard – Marty

There are lots of other birds that I have the pleasure of observing who don’t visit my birdfeeders. Last winter, we had a beautiful owl perch himself on a tree 25 feet from our house one afternoon. And of course, every spring we have a flood of Robins, Red Winged Black Birds, Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, and Northern Orioles.

This year, the ‘piece de resistance’ is the appearance of the Snowy Owl in my neck of the woods. There is a tremendous influx of Snowy Owls here this year because of a population explosion in their natural habitat which has forced them to come south. So the search was on to spot one of these beautiful rare birds!
Yesterday, my granddaughter Livi telephoned me to come with her and her Daddy to feed some wild birds along a nature trail. On our way there, we spotted a Snowy Owl sitting atop a telephone pole along the road! We stopped to observe and take a picture – check one thing off my 8 year old Granddaughter’s “bucket list” lol. It was the only snowy owl we saw all day…….

Livi feeding Chickadee

Livi feeding Chickadee

When we arrived and walked along the hiking trail a bit, we filled our hands with seeds for the birds and we weren’t disappointed! The little chickadees landed on our hands and picked out the sunflower seeds sometimes two at a time! We stopped many times along the several kilometer trail and filled our hand with seeds and the birds would come out of nowhere to feed from us. It was awesome! The only time I ever had a bird land on my hand was when we went for a hike on Mount Washington, Vancouver Island, British Columbia in Strathcona Provincial Park and the birds just landed on our outstretched hands – no seeds required. We hope to try the same thing on our front porch where the birds are already familiar with us and eating.

2014-01-18 14.58.16

 

 

 

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bet
    Jan 19, 2014 @ 21:49:13

    Pretty cool!!.. Birds eating right out of your hands!!… xo

    Reply

  2. thatoldschoolgirlagain
    Jan 20, 2014 @ 19:13:06

    wow

    Reply

  3. angelinahue
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 19:20:59

    Oh wow – first a snowy owl, then birds eating out of your hands, very nice!

    Reply

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