1-13-22 Ways to help winter birds

January 13, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

We've gained 13 minutes of daylight since the solstice! 

 

The big news is that the Eastern Bluebirds have figured out where food is for them on cold days when the insects aren't as easily found. Yay for the bluebirds! Feeders helped the breeding pair get through last winter when snow covered the ground for days. They've brought in the whole brood. With several inches of snow predicted for Friday night and Saturday, we will probably have birds at all the feeders.

 

1-6-22 Eastern Bluebirds1-6-22 Eastern Bluebirds
1-11-22 Eastern Bluebirds1-11-22 Eastern Bluebirds

1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird, House Finch and American Goldfinch1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird, House Finch and American Goldfinch 1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird female1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird female

 

There's a hanging tray feeder, a couple window feeders where at least one bluebird took a mealworm, and this setup on the deck. I've dubbed it the "Grab 'n Go" bar.

 

1-10-22 Bird Food Table 'grab-n-go'1-10-22 Bird Food Table 'grab-n-go' 1-10-22 Eastern Bluebird mix1-10-22 Eastern Bluebird mix

 

Main food items for these feeders are dried mealworms, Bark Butter Bits (Wild Birds Unlimited product) and fine sunflower chips. A suet cake could be broken into bits, too. These foods are also popular with a lot of other bird species like House Finches and American Goldfinches. Here are a few more.

 

1-5-22 Tufted Titmouse1-5-22 Tufted Titmouse 1-8-22 Blue Jay1-8-22 Blue Jay 1-11-22 Northern Flicker1-11-22 Northern Flicker

 

Tufted Titmice, Blue Jays and Northern Flickers come in and quickly grab a bite, then head back to the trees and shrubs for cover.

 

1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird 1-11-22 Eastern Bluebird at the fountain1-11-22 Eastern Bluebird at the fountain

 

The birds will rest in trees near the feeding stations and this male is in a Spicebush (Lindera benzoin). The birds are coming to the fountain often for water, which is on the deck railing. The white framework supports a plastic cover and a wool blanket as insulation to keep the water from freezing up on bitterly cold nights.

 

 

Again this year, our neighbors shared their Christmas tree with us after taking it down. It still has great fragrance and the sparrows and juncos took to using it right away for cover. We staked it southeast of the stump, which blocks the northwest winds. Now, the bark butter log had not been getting much traffic so Dan took off the hardware cloth cage and made a new one with this vinyl mesh. Small birds should be able to get through, larger birds can come up from underneath. Hopefully, the starlings will still be deterred.

 

Now, we have seen some new birds for the year. 

 

1-7-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker1-7-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1-7-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female1-7-22 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female

 

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been coming in to drink and bathe at the Bubbler. An immature male has been seen more often, the adult female has the white throat.

 

1-9-22 Song Sparrow1-9-22 Song Sparrow

1-12-22 Eastern Bluebird and Song Sparrow1-12-22 Eastern Bluebird and Song Sparrow

 

Song Sparrows are seen at different times of the year in our yard, but often in the winter. This bird saw the Christmas tree and stayed there a few days, hardly seen outside of it. I caught it trying to sneak in a bath with the bluebird yesterday.

 

1-11-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler1-11-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler 1-12-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler1-12-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler 1-13-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler1-13-22 Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

A Yellow-rumped Warbler was first seen in the pond cypress on 1-9-22. It has come in to get some bark butter and bathe the last couple days. What a splash artist!

 

1-10-22 FOY Pileated Woodpecker1-10-22 FOY Pileated Woodpecker 1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker 1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker and Brown Creeper1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker and Brown Creeper

1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker1-11-22 Pileated Woodpecker

 

The magnificent Pileated Woodpecker came to the suet feeder on 1-10-22 and the next day, it took to the bark butter as all the other woodpeckers have done. The male has the red 'moustache'. Either sex can reach 19.5" long compared to the Brown Creeper at 5.5".

 

1-12-22 Brown Creeper1-12-22 Brown Creeper 1-11-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch1-11-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

We are still seeing Brown Creepers and Red-breasted Nuthatches every day. It's winter, and soon their tolerances will be put to the test! 

 

1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird1-6-22 Eastern Bluebird

"Queedle, Queedle and Turalee!"

 

 

 

 


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