I have written before about our house in Harlincin Ct., Franklin, MI. We had the privacy, the flowers, and the fauna. And the fauna I liked the best were the birds that came to visit our back yard. Mind you, they were not coming to keep me company, or to listen to me bitch about any of the hundreds of things that annoy me about life. No, they came for the feeders.
Note, all the photos on this post (and associated SmugMug gallery) are from January of 2004. All but a few are shot through the double-pane picture window of our then living room. Yes, I kept that particular window very clean.
The above is the winter arrangement of the feeders. Normally out in various locations of the yard, in the winter I used to move them all in on the patio for easy refilling, cleaning, and maintenance. Nuts, various small and large seeds, sunflower hearts, whole sunflowers, all to satisfy as many birds as possible. I used to buy a few hundred pounds of assorted birdseed per year. The rewards were many.
These guys are relentless visitors to feeders. It might have looked like ten or twenty different birds, but from what I could tell there was usually only one or two keeping up a constant stream of flights between the feeders, where they would grab a morsel, and nearby trees, where they would go and perch to snack on their bounty.
Finch were by far the most frequent winter visitors. Probably summer as well, but the overall number and diversity was greater in the summer, so they did not stand out as much.
The next two photos are not of great quality, but they are posted here because I remember the reason for snapping them.
I had just read Junkos did not perch or feed on feeders themselves, and fed strictly on the waste that fell to the ground. Obviously, the junkos that visited my feeders had not read that.
I used to put out suet year-round. Not the processed kind with the bird seed embedded in it. I used to place orders for 25 pound boxes of beef suet, and had three feeders I filled regularly (the suet was stored in the freezer). It’s great energy food for birds in the winter.
The suet feeders were hung from a tree by the shed, and the most frequent visitors to the suet feeders were woodpeckers. All sorts of woodpeckers. . . hmmm . . . I should do a post just on woodpeckers. We had a constant year-round stream of them as well.
What follows are some of my favorite Northern Cardinal shots. We do not have Northern Cardinals where I now reside . . . hence the “Northern” part of the name.
I don’t have many pictures of Cardinals because they are not very friendly. The males seem to be a bit like me . . . distrusting of anyone wanting to get too close.
These are not great shots because they were shot hand-held through glass, but two of these are nonetheless hanging framed on the wall of my office. The shot above, and the last one below of the Lady Cardinal.
As far as I remember, whenever I saw a male Cardinal, a female was not far away. I want to say they travel in pairs, but I do remember occasional threesomes (two males and one female), probably early in the mating season. Once they pair, they are monogamous for the season.
Judging by that look, were I a male Cardinal I would think twice about stepping out on her.
And here it is. One of my most favorite shots ever.
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