Ruby-throated Hummingbird on garden arborRuby-throated Hummingbird on garden arborOne of many ruby-throated hummingbirds in our garden rests on the garden arbor.

Welcome to our blog! It's all about our discoveries here in our Shady Oaks yard, a Sanctuary for birds and other wildlife. We began to restore habitat for wildlife here in 1996 and gauge our success by the diversity of species we observe and document with our photography. We hope you enjoy our images and come back often to see what's new! 

Bubbler Water Features for Birds - Part Two - Pondless Bubbler

December 13, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The following article was originally printed in The Gateway Gardener Magazine in March, 2012.  Our friend, Robert Weaver, is the editor of this St. Louis area magazine.  We collaborated with Robert on the installation of the Pondless Bubbler and the instructional video.  Here is a link to the video to preview the construction process.  The second video shows a filter modification that Robert did about a year after the initial installation. We include the modification in these revised instructions and have additional photos at the end of this post. Both systems require maintenance, as mentioned in Part One on the Bubbler Pond and Basin. You may find some tips in these videos that would be helpful in constructing either water feature.

 

https://youtu.be/x7K3hHAdgls

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUld39nkbuM

 

 

 

Build a Pondless Bubbler for Birds

by 

Margy & Dan Terpstra

March, 2012

 

 

One of the most rewarding aspects of having a garden is the joyous presence of birds. A surefire way to keep them coming into view all year long is to provide fresh moving water. It doesn’t take ‘Niagara Falls’ to get their attention. Their survival depends on water and they are tuned into the trickling, gurgling sounds they might hear at a natural spring or stream. Once a bird finds a safe place that provides cover, food, and water, he will not only remember it, but will pass this information along genetically to his offspring!

 

We’ve had great success in attracting many species of birds with a small bubbler pond we put in eleven years ago – 108 to date. It’s in our woodland, surrounded by native plants. Recently, we helped Robert Weaver, editor of The Gateway Gardener, build this small pondless bubbler. It’s in his garden, easily viewed from his office window. There are small trees, shrubs and perennials nearby for the birds to take cover in and it looks naturally placed. The bubbler also fits in a relatively small area and is less costly than a pond. 

 

Robert acquired all the necessary components and once we began construction, the new bubbler was up and running within 4 hours. It will operate all year, even on the coldest days because the heater we chose comes on automatically when the water temperature drops to 35 degrees F. 

 

List of Materials: (for an approximately 5 ft. diameter pondless bubbler):

  • Attractive ‘bubbler’ rock – approximately 8 - 10 inches thick (look for a rock with a natural depression in the top and channels for the water to run down)
  • Pond liner - 10’ x 12’ (40 mil thick) (Thinner material is available, but not recommended)
  • 5 Gallon Bucket with lid – clean and chemical free
  • 1 Gallon sturdy plastic bucket with lid to house the pump inside the 5 gallon bucket (This ‘fix’ was added and does not appear in the video)
  • Landscape fabric- 18” x 36” piece to wrap around the bucket and another smaller piece to wrap the 1 gallon bucket that holds the pump 
  • Duct tape (to hold landscape fabric in place while securing hardware cloth)
  • 1/4” or 3/8” mesh hardware cloth- 18” x 40” piece to wrap around the bucket over the landscape fabric
  • Sheet metal screws - 6 - #8 x 1/2”
  • Nylon “zip” tie - 6” (or other suitable non-deteriorating tie)
  • Small fountain pump rated around 170 GPH
  • Deicer or Pond heater - thermostatically controlled, plastic safe, and rated between 300 and 1250 watts (warmer climates may get by without a heater; if your ground doesn’t freeze in the winter, then a heater isn’t required)
  • Tubing - 3 to 5 ft. of ½” I.D. black tubing to run from pump up through the bubbler rock
  • One brick to set the pump bucket on - this raises it and also helps to keep small debris out
  • Lava rock - approximately 1 cu. ft. to fill around the bucket for the “bio-filter”
  • River Gravel in two sizes: Most material suppliers grade gravel by size.  Look for what may be called 3/4” gravel for the smaller size and 1-1/2” for the larger size.  Get twice as much 3/4 as 1-1/2.  (You’ll need approximately 8 - 12 cu. ft. of gravel or 800 - 1200 lbs.)
  • A ‘magic’ perching branch 

 

Tools Needed:

  • Heavy duty Hammer Drill
  • 5/8"-3/4” dia. X 12” Masonry Bit (to drill hole through bubbler rock)
  • 3/8” or 1/2” Drill
  • Hole Saw(s): 7/8”, 1-1/4”, & 1-1/2” diameter
  • Tin snips (to cut hardware cloth)
  • Scissors (to cut landscape fabric and pond liner)
  • Screwdriver
  • Shovel
  • 2’ Spirit level and 4’ - 6’ straight 2x4 (or 4’ - 5’ level and no board) to check level of bubbler edge

 

Step-by-Step Construction:

Note: The pump and heater require electricity so you will need to have an outdoor electrical outlet that is protected by a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupt) circuit.  Most local codes require professional installation by a licensed electrician.  The cords on the pump and heater are often only around 10 feet long so plan accordingly.  Check with local building authority and/or neighborhood organization for other rules that may apply to the installation.

 

Prepare the “bubbler” rock and buckets:

  1. Use the hammer drill to drill a hole straight through the chosen bubbler rock. You can determine where the hole should be by placing the rock in the orientation you plan to have it and trickling some water from a watering can or pitcher onto the rock where the hole is to be drilled.  See how the water runs off the rock and adjust the location to give a nice flow off of the rock.
  2. Prepare the buckets by drilling a series of 1½” dia. holes around the outside in a pattern of 3 rows of 5 holes each in the 5 gallon and 2 rows of 4  holes in the 1 gallon. Drill two holes in the bucket lids; one 7/8” hole for the tubing and one 1¼” hole for the electrical cord(s). 
  3. Wrap the 5 gallon bucket in landscape fabric and secure side seam and bottom folds with duct tape. 
  4. Cover the wrapped bucket with the hardware cloth, cut out around the bucket handles to fit, overlap the ends and secure with sheet metal screws at several places around the bucket.

 

Prepare the hole:

  1. At the chosen bubbler site, dig a hole approximately twice the diameter of the bucket and a few inches deeper than the bucket’s height. 
  2. Remove more soil to make a ledge around the hole approx. 5 ft. in diameter and a few inches deep, sloping toward the hole. 
  3. Build up a 3”- 4” high berm at the perimeter of the excavated area to help keep debris from washing into the bubbler basin.
  4. Position the bucket in the hole to check that the top is about 3” - 4” below the top of the berm.  Also check that the perimeter is level across the entire basin area using a spirit level and straight 2x4. 
  5. Remove bucket.
  6. Lay the pond liner across the excavated area and carefully work it down into the hole.  There will be quite a bit of overlap in the material as you work it into the hole.  Stand in the hole and work the material around the edges until it lays reasonably flat with the folds evenly distributed.  The liner should cover the berm and extend a few inches beyond it. 

Note: Wait until everything is in place before doing a final trim of the liner.

 

Complete the assembly:

  1. Place the bucket in the lined hole. Put in the pump with tubing attached and fill the bucket and hole with water just to the top of the bucket. Plug in and test the pump, adjusting the flow control so that the water spouts up 3” above the end of the tube when held at the height of the “bubbler” rock.
  2. Take the pump with tubing attached and place it inside the 1 gallon bucket.  Wrap a piece of landscape fabric around small bucket and pull it up around the cord and tubing.  Secure the fabric around the cord and tubing with a nylon “zip” tie.  (This protects the pump from any silt that may get through the other filter fabric and should allow a longer interval between cleanings) Place the brick inside the large bucket and put the pump bucket on top of it.
  3. Place the heater in the bucket where it will float above the pump. Feed the plugs and tubing through the holes in the lid. Secure the lid. Stuff a small piece of landscape fabric into the cord and tubing holes to keep gravel and debris out.
  4. Surround the bucket evenly with the lava rock.  Be sure it comes up above the holes in the side of the bucket.  The lava rock creates the biological filter.
  5. Place larger gravel on top of lava rock. Lower the bubbler rock over the tubing and position it where desired on top of the bucket. It’s also OK to place the “bubbler” rock to one side of the bucket and run the tubing through the gravel and then up through the rock.  
  6. Make sure the tubing isn’t kinked under the rock.  This may make access to the pump a bit easier if needed. Add smaller gravel under the bubbler rock until it’s at the level you want it. Fill the rest of the basin with a mixture of the two sizes of gravel up to the top of the berm. 
  7. Add water to fill the basin.  Decide where you want a “spillway” and make an “overflow” spot in the berm where the water will run out when it rains.
  8. Contour the gravel to make a few puddle areas for the birds to bathe in.
  9. Distribute mulch around the perimeter of the bubbler basin, covering the edge of the liner and up to the edge of the gravel.
  10. Position your “magic” branch where the birds can perch to check out the water and watch the birds come in!

 

Maintenance:

Water should be added as needed even in the winter. We highly recommend adding only natural microbial products such as Microbe-Lift Autumn/Winter Prep in cold seasons and Microbe-Lift/PL in the warmer seasons. They create a cleaner environment for the pondless bubbler, helping to break down the buildup of bird droppings and dead leaves. If algae becomes a problem, use their Oxy-Pond Cleaner. If the flow seems weak, first try to back-flush the tubing with a garden hose. If that doesn’t help, the pump will need to be pulled, checked and cleaned. 

 

For information on how a biological filter works and Microbe-Lift products, see their website at www.microbe-lift.com

 

Never add chlorine bleach.  However, a few ounces of 3% hydrogen peroxide added once or twice a month helps oxygenate the water. 

 

 

Pondless Bubbler Cost estimate 9-13Pondless Bubbler Cost estimate 9-13

 

Two more videos to show some of the birds that visited the Weavers' Bubbler in the first 48 hours and a week later.     

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2O8t0_d6zo

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh58Dd55ivQ

 

Here are a couple photos showing another type of small bucket bought at Lowe's to be used for the pump and filter modification.

 

 

Another idea that we have seen would be to use a strong, crate-like structure called Eco-Blox within the basin to be able to hold more water and allow for more beneficial bacteria within the basin itself. The pump bucket would sit next to it and they both would then be covered with gravel and be hidden.  Here's a link:

 

http://www.123ponds.com/ecoblox.html  

 

We have seen other styles of Pondless Water Features, some done professionally.  This Pondless type can be done in a smaller space since the finished size is about 5 feet in diameter.  If you add the Eco-Blox, it will need to be a bit larger. We hope we've given you enough information to consider a water feature for the birds in your specific yard situation.  We wish you success and the birds will thank you!

 

 

 


Bubbler Water Features for Birds - Part One - Bubbler Pond and Basin

December 06, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Back in May, I wrote on Simple Ways to Add Moving Water for Birds. It included a brief mention of our Bubbler along with a small fountain and a dripper on a birdbath.

http://hummerhavenunltd.com/blog/2016/5/simple-ways-to-add-moving-water-for-birds

 

It is time for a few more details on our Bubbler Pond, but before I start, the first concern before adding a Bubbler to your yard must be the health and safety of people and birds near your water feature.  Please review this list of considerations in planning your Bubbler!

 

1. GFCI electrical outlets for the pump and heater need to be installed by a properly licensed electrician.  This will protect anyone near the water from electrical shock.  It is not safe to use extension cords!  Check local codes regarding approved installation.  The cords on the pump and heater are usually ten feet long, so placement of the electrical service will have to be carefully planned to be near the pond.  

 

2.  It is critical that no chemicals, herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers are used near the water feature. The overspray or run-off could enter the water and cause harm to the birds and other wildlife.

 

3.  It is also important to keep the water feature clean and the pond (reservoir) topped off throughout the year with fresh water.  Even in winter, water evaporates and low water levels can cause problems with the pump. 

 

4.  Carefully consider the site where the Bubbler Pond will be placed.  

     a.  It should be in an area that is preferably shaded with small trees and shrubs nearby.  The plants will give protection to the birds if they must fly quickly to cover.  If you are planning a new area for a Bubbler with plants surrounding it, that idea will work, it just may take some time for the birds to get comfortable.

     b.  The Bubbler pond should be installed so that rainwater run-off will be diverted around it and not into it.  

     c.  The Bubbler should be easily viewed from a favorite window.  Proper placement will give many hours of enjoyment watching the bird activity! 

 

5.  Maintenance will be required on a regular basis to keep the Bubbler area clean and functional.

     a.  It is a good idea to hose off the surrounding rocks to clean off any bird droppings.  This may need to be done a few times a week up to twice a day depending on the activity.

     b.  Leaves will need to be cleaned out of the pond and basin areas so the birds can come in and to keep debris from accumulating in the pond.  

     c.  The filter will need to be cleaned on a bi-weekly to monthly basis as needed.  Bird activity will slow down if it is not clean!  We use hydrogen peroxide to help disinfect the water and powdered hydrogen peroxide (Green Clean) to control string algae in spring and fall.  

 

Overview:  Our Bubbler Pond for Birds

 

It was April of 2000- the foundation was being dug for our breakfast room addition, and the perfect Bubbler Rock was unearthed.  It was smooth enough, large enough, and had a very nice groove in it that ran off to one side, just right for a waterfall effect.  It was October when we began the installation of the pond.  

During the remodeling, an extra electrical line was run out to the approximate area where we would be putting the pond in, for the pump and heater.  We moved the rock to the desired position by the caveman method, with 2x4’s and rocks.  We purchased a 100 gallon preformed pond by MacCourt, the “Madeira”. Dan dug the hole and leveled up the pond in a bed of sand. We then rented a large hammer drill with a 5/8” masonry bit that was 16” long to drill through the rock. We purchased a recirculating pump and a mechanical/biological filtration setup, and filled the pond. The water is pulled into the pump through the filtration material, then back out through the tubing where we put in a “T”. This allowed half the water to pump up through the rock and bubble on top of the rock, and then trickle down the ‘waterfall groove’. The other half recirculated in the pond.  (We added a basin off to one side a few years later and the "T" was used for an additional Bubbler Rock there.)  We also bought a floating trough heater/de-icer to use through the winter to keep the surface water from freezing over.

On October 25, 2000, the bubbler was fully functional. I set the stage early that morning, hosing off the rocks, and sprinkling the blackhaw viburnum leaves. It seemed to add to the invitation to come, drink and bathe!  Birds did come down and we saw many species at the Bubbler in those first few years. 

 

Bubbler Rock 6-20-08Bubbler Rock 6-20-08Margy Terpstra

 

Here are some photos from the early days with a Ruby-crowned Kinglet at the 'Bubble' on the Bubbler Rock and a Mallard pair investigating the pond.

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet at the 'Bubble' 4-13-04Ruby-crowned Kinglet at the 'Bubble' 4-13-04

Bubbler with Mallard pair on 5-19-2003Bubbler with Mallard pair on 5-19-2003

 

Here is a two-dimensional diagram showing the basic components.

 

3-2021 Revised with new pump specs at 170 gph3-2021 Revised with new pump specs at 170 gph

 

Pump and Filter for Bubbler Pond 3-19-10Pump and Filter for Bubbler Pond 3-19-10Margy Terpstra

 

In spring of 2004, we added a basin off to the side for more room for birds to bathe.  The "T" was used for additional tubing that pushes water through this second Bubbler Rock.  The original graveled basin area was approximately 15" x 18" x 2" deep.  The gravel helps the birds see the bottom of the basin.  Birds don't have very good depth perception and 2" - 2 1/2" is the maximum water depth needed for them to bathe safely.  

 

6-20-08-1598 Basin area approximately 15"x18"6-20-08-1598 Basin area approximately 15"x18"Basin next to our bubbler pond

 

Here is a Magnolia Warbler on the Bubbler Rock with 3 Tennessee Warblers behind it in the Basin. Birds are quick to use both areas.

 

Magnolia Warbler on Bubbler rock and 3 Tennessee Warblers in Basin 5-21-08Magnolia Warbler on Bubbler rock and 3 Tennessee Warblers in Basin 5-21-08Margy Terpstra

 

This photo shows the different parts in winter.  The total area taken up by the pond, basin and rocks is roughly ten feet in diameter. 

 

Bubbler Pond components 1-2-10Bubbler Pond components 1-2-10Margy Terpstra

 

One more change was made in November, 2011 when we enlarged the basin area using some leftover Pond Liner from the Pondless Bubbler Project.  (More on that in the next post.)

 

Bubbler with enlarged basin 3-23-12 (changed 11-5-11)Bubbler with enlarged basin 3-23-12 (changed 11-5-11)

 

The Bubbler Basin is now 18" x 24" which is over half again as large as the original area.  It is the same 2" - 2 1/2" depth as the original basin. This "bird's eye view" gives an idea of how the birds approach the water using the stepped perches.  

 

Overview of Bubbler basin 18" x 24" 11-21-16Overview of Bubbler basin 18" x 24" 11-21-16

 

This front view should help to guide in the placement of various sized branches for various sized birds. 

 

Bubbler Basin 4-23-16Bubbler Basin 4-23-16

 

The encircled areas show small puddles of different depths.  A branch across the width of the basin is a perch but also a divider of sorts for smaller birds to come in and feel safe behind larger birds that may be in the front areas.

 

Bubbler Basin puddle areas 4-23-16Bubbler Basin puddle areas 4-23-16

 

We hope this information helps you to imagine and plan for a Bubbler in your own shady setting.  You could easily simplify and have a basin area like this recirculating into a pond and not worry about finding a large boulder.  Check local pond suppliers or hardware stores for tubing, gravel and other components.

We believe that our continued efforts to restore our habitat with native plants has increased the attractiveness of our yard to the birds.  Native plants provide shelter, attract the insects the birds feed upon and provide nesting places.  Once fresh, moving water is added, how can the birds resist!  "If you build it, they will come!"  At this point in sixteen years, I have recorded 116 species plus one hybrid warbler at the Bubbler.

 

Here are a few helpful links:

 

MacCourt Pre-formed Pond Products:

http://www.maccourt.com/products/ponds.html

 

MacCourt Pond Installation:

http://www.maccourt.com/products/ponds_install.html

 

Note:  People often want a pond for fish and plants and six hours of sun is needed for that purpose.  However, that is not our intent with a Bubbler Pond.  We have had fish in the past, but this pond is too small to provide caves and hiding places for the fish to escape mink and raccoons.  

 

Lowe's comparison of pumps of two different sizes:  

https://www.lowes.com/LowesProductComparisionCmd?catalogId=10051&langId=-1&storeId=10151&NeParam=4294937087&NParam=4294857980&NttParam=&pcompitems=3036184,50125821&returnShoppingUrl=https://www.lowes.com/pl/Pond-pumps-Ponds-Garden-decor-Outdoors/4294612844



A simple Pond Filter example:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Total-Pond-Universal-Pump-Filter-Box-MF13010/202278958

 

The heater or Floating Pond De-Icer that we use is this one:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=5509&cmpid=11cseYY&ref=6195&subref=AA&cmpid=PLA_G_6195&gclid=Cj0KEQiA6_TBBRDInaPjhcelt5oBEiQApPeTF_XxTNc71yuOBLG3sUCLVRNRB56fjvN31By47cOpa4oaAh248P8HAQ

 

Be sure to look at the post next Tuesday on the Pondless Bubbler design and installation.  There will be links to videos to watch with that one and they may help in visualizing how to build a basin area or drill the hole in the Bubbler rock, for example.  We wish you success in your own project to benefit our native birds!

 


12/1/16 Coming soon - Two posts on Bubbler Water Features for Birds

December 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Check back soon for two informative posts on our Bubbler Pond and a Pondless Bubbler that you might plan for your yard!

 

Bubbler Area 4-13-16Bubbler Area 4-13-16

 

 

 

 

 


First week of November 2016

November 07, 2016  •  1 Comment

Yesterday was 'Fall Back' Sunday. We've lost 4 hours and 11 minutes of daylight since the Summer Solstice, by my reckoning. Dan spotted the first young white-tailed buck of November as it walked through the woodland at 7 a.m. and it was chilly at 37 degrees. It finally felt like November. 

 

We have had visitors this week. Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Orange-crowned Warblers were still around on Wednesday with the record warmth. Their dull fall plumage provided camouflage as they blended in with the gray bark and yellowing ribbed leaves of these young American elms (Ulmus americana)

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Elm 11-2-16Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Elm 11-2-16 Orange-crowned Warbler on Elm (Ulmus americana) 11-2-16Orange-crowned Warbler on Elm (Ulmus americana) 11-2-16

 

A bit of the orangish crown was visible on this warbler once it got wet!

 

Orange-crowned Warbler 11-2-16Orange-crowned Warbler 11-2-16

Orange-crowned Warbler 11-2-16Orange-crowned Warbler 11-2-16

 

We finally got a good 2" of rain on Wednesday and early Thursday as a cool front moved through. In the late afternoon on Thursday, several species of birds really made a fuss. I suspected a Barred Owl was the reason for the ruckus but could not locate it in the tree canopy.

 

Friday, one of the healthier looking foxes strolled along the 'Bubbler trail' early in the morning.

 

Healthy Fox 11-4-16

 

It was kind of quiet for most of Friday with the usual suspects around. I looked out to check the bubbler about 5 p.m. and saw one of the owls nearby. The bird was hunched over some prey, which it would soon reveal and quickly devour.

 

Barred Owl pounces on prey 11-4-16Barred Owl pounces on prey 11-4-16 Barred Owl mantles its prey 11-4-16Barred Owl mantles its prey 11-4-16 Barred Owl mantles its prey 11-4-16Barred Owl mantles its prey 11-4-16 Barred Owl flies to perch with prey  11-4-16Barred Owl flies to perch with prey 11-4-16 Barred Owl with prey - field mouse 11-4-16Barred Owl with prey - field mouse 11-4-16 Barred Owl with prey - field mouse 11-4-16Barred Owl with prey - field mouse 11-4-16 Barred Owl digests its food for 45 minutes 11-4-16Barred Owl digests its food for 45 minutes 11-4-16

 

The appetizer was a field mouse, brought closer to the surface by the rains. The owl perched in the small hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) for over 45 minutes, digesting its food. 

 

A flock of American Robins arrived on Saturday and their preferred food was American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). The lemony leaves accent the magenta berries in a bewitching way this time of year, signaling to the birds that the fatty fruits are ready for their taking.

 

American Robin eating Beautyberries (Callicarpa americana)  11-5-16American Robin eating Beautyberries (Callicarpa americana) 11-5-16

 

Yesterday, while Dan was cleaning the leaves off the driveway, I watched the little mangey fox come in for a long drink. One can see by the kinked white tip of a tail that it is not the same fox as the healthy one that came by a few days ago.

 

Mangey Fox 11-6-16

 

In the afternoon, I went out to the gazebo to photograph American Goldfinches that were in the garden. The fading sun shone on this one as it was eating the seeds of Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa).

 

American Goldfinch eating seeds of Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 11-6-16American Goldfinch eating seeds of Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) 11-6-16

 

Just as I was about to finish, a Barred Owl flew right in front of me, navigating around the gazebo and between it and the Pond Cypress (Taxodium distichum var. imbricarium) that is barely 6 feet away. I could have touched its wing it was so close! It swooped up to a favorite perch on a leaning Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) in the swampy thicket. 

 

Barred Owl with vole 11-6-16Barred Owl with vole 11-6-16

 

The owl had caught a vole and was caching it in the crook of the tree for a later meal.

 

Barred Owl with vole 11-6-16Barred Owl with vole 11-6-16

 

The owl's presence had caused much commotion with all the birds fussing about the situation, including one of the Carolina wrens brought into focus just in front of me.

 

Carolina Wren fussing at Barred Owl 11-6-16Carolina Wren fussing at Barred Owl 11-6-16 Barred Owl leaves vole 11-6-16Barred Owl leaves vole 11-6-16

 

The owl had been harassed enough and flew off to denser cover. 

 

Cooler weather does tend to increase hunger and activity. It has been a good start to the new month. 

 

 


Happy Halloween! Wrap-up on October 10-31-16

October 31, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

It's the last day of October. Birds like this American Goldfinch are now coming to the hummingbird feeder for a sip. The ruby-throats have left and from this point on there is a chance of seeing a rarer hummingbird species. A long shot maybe, but it still is possible. Our feeder is ready and waiting. 

 

American Goldfinch 10-24-16American Goldfinch 10-24-16

 

Leaves are coming down and it's pretty darn dry. The bubbler has also been a busy place for thirsty birds. A family of Cedar Waxwings have been coming in and this one was brave enough to get a drink between groups of robins.

 

Cedar Waxwing 10-25-16Cedar Waxwing 10-25-16

 

Waiting nearby was a young bird, the first I've ever photographed. What a scruffy little guy!

 

Cedar Waxwing juvenile 10-25-16Cedar Waxwing juvenile 10-25-16

 

By spring, the young one will be as beautiful as this one! Their fine feathers look like a velvet cloak to me.

 

Cedar Waxwing 10-28-16Cedar Waxwing 10-28-16

 

There have been several days lately when Ruby-crowned Kinglets have been in the mix. The little ruby crown is visible on this bird, though not as obvious as it was in the breeding season.

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10-25-16Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10-25-16

 

We've had regular visits from Orange-crowned Warblers.  Young birds like this first year female are still coming through.

 

Orange-crowned Warbler 10-25-16Orange-crowned Warbler 10-25-16

 

Both the 'crowned' birds got in together for a 'royal splash'.

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Orange-crowned Warbler 10-25-16Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Orange-crowned Warbler 10-25-16

 

The Golden-crowned Kinglet showed up a little too late to join them and preferred the Bubbler rock.

 

Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-25-16Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-25-16

 

What a gorgeous, tiny bird!

 

Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-25-16Golden-crowned Kinglet 10-25-16

 

Last Friday, the first of the season Red-winged Blackbird landed on one of the feeders and chowed down some black-oil sunflower seeds.

 

Red-winged Blackbird 10-28-16Red-winged Blackbird 10-28-16

 

It was hanging out with this Common Grackle, perhaps they were scouting together for their mixed flock which may be swirling in soon.

 

Common Grackle 10-28-16Common Grackle 10-28-16

 

The young male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has been here on several days to feed as well. 

 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 10-29-16Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 10-29-16

 

Dark-eyed Juncos arrived here last Sunday and this female came to the bubbler.

 

Dark-eyed Junco  10-30-16Dark-eyed Junco 10-30-16

 

White-throated Sparrows are also making themselves here at home for the new season.

 

White-throated Sparrow 10-29-16White-throated Sparrow 10-29-16

 

More Orange-crowned Warblers came in yesterday, early and later in the day with a whoosh of cooler air.

 

Orange-crowned Warbler 10-30-16Orange-crowned Warbler 10-30-16

 

Well, it's time to say bye-bye to October!

 

Orange-crowned Warbler 10-30-16Orange-crowned Warbler 10-30-16

 

 Trick or Treat!

 

Trick or treat! 10-30-16Trick or treat! 10-30-16

 

To see all the photos from the past week, begin here on this page:

 

http://hummerhavenunltd.com/p712853024/h3777fde5#h3777fde5

 

 

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