Friday, July 1, 2011

My Noisy Backyard

American Robin

I have a very noisy backyard. Peaceful, but certainly not quiet, it is full of the sounds of birds singing and squirrels chattering. I love it! We live in an older neighborhood with mature trees of many different species.  Looking west from my back patio it is hard to believe you are in Kansas. In the summer the sun only makes to the ground in about 1/3 of my backyard and 1/4 of my front yard. I love the shade and the birds love the trees. Add to that a small pond, birdbaths, and a tangle of honeysuckle in one corner, and you get lots of birds checking out the area. Then of course there is the food.

Just off our patio there are seven bird feeders and one squirrel feeder. I can sit in my family room and see all of them through the large sliding glass doors.  The feeders are all different types and all contain different feed. They overhang an area that houses a maple tree and they have no grass below them, so the ground feeding birds love the area too. Here is a look at the birds who have visited so far this year. These pictures are not mine. I haven’t gotten good at catching them on film through the glass door. They are just representative of my neighborhood birds.

House Sparrows, Female & Male

The house sparrows are one of my most frequent visitors. They eat mostly the songbird blend.

House Finch ~ Male & Female

My next most frequent visitors are the House Finches. They come in small flocks to eat almost anything I put out. They seem to prefer the safflower seeds, which surprises me. They don't even go near the finch blend I put out! 

Northern Cardinal ~ Female & Male

The Northern Cardinals are my favorite feeder birds, and they are here year round! They love the black oil sunflower seeds best.

Brown Thrasher

The Brown Thrasher likes the dogs water bowl! Primarily an insect eater, like the Robins they don't use the feeders, but they do hang out on my patio a lot!

Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpecker doesn't hit the feeders often, but will show up about once a week for some black oil sunflower seeds. They hang off the feeder as seen in the photo.


The Wrens are my smallest visitors, as I didn't get my hummingbird feeder out in time to attract any Hummingbirds this year. They generally eat the song bird blend.

Common Grackle

My least favorite feeder birds are the Grackles! Loud and obnoxious bullies, they can drive away all the other birds, even the Jays and Squirrels! The only feeder they can use now contains safflower seeds, which they dislike, so they mostly eat off the ground now, which helps.

Blue Jay
The Blue Jays are pretty, but bossy and loud! They love peanuts in the shell! Of course they have the Grackles and Squirrels to compete with for these.

Mourning Dove

The Mourning Doves keep busy cleaning up under the feeders. I love the cooing sounds in the morning.

Next year I hope to have a Oriole feeder and to get my Hummingbird feeder out early enough to attract those species. As the summer progresses and fall comes, I usually see a few more feeder birds. One nice thing about all the birds...we have practically no mosquitoes!

Have a wonderful day! ~Marla

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