Welcome to Week #8 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #8 challenge is Birds at the Feeder. I did not set this challenge with myself in mind. We don’t put seed in our feeders during our summer months. Why, you ask? Well…it’s because the Swallow-tailed & Mississippi Kites are prominent in our neighborhood during the summer. Since they like to swoop in and eat small birds, chicks and eggs, we don’t advertise for dinner! I know they gotta eat too, but they can do it elsewhere….not on my watch! This was more about seeing what all you have going on in your neck of the woods. You may have seen some of these photos in other posts, but I’m going to have to go with what I have right now. Happy Birding!
Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.
The feature image is a pair of Carolina Wrens eating mealworms from our homemade driftwood feeder. There is a small bowl-like area in the middle of the wood piece where we place the mealworms and they go absolutely crazy when we drop them in there.
Brown Thrashers forage in wooded areas, mostly on the ground. They are similar to the Mockingbird in that they sing loudly in a string of different musical tunes they copy from other birds. They don’t tend to hang around in the same area for long. They are a friend to our backyard for short periods of time even though they live in the Southeast of the United States & Florida year-round. They breed throughout the middle to northeastern United States. They will spend some winter months in parts of Texas and New Mexico.
The American Goldfinch is the state bird of New Jersey. They are the only finch that molts its body feathers twice a year, once in late winter and then again in the late summer. The yellow on the male is remarkable and we don’t get to see them in their full glory. They are here for a few weeks in the winter during migration and then they are gone until around January the next year. Did you know these birds are strictly vegetarian? They will swallow an insect if it inadvertently gets in their beak. Can you imagine the face they make? YUK!
If you live in the Central to Eastern United States (North & South), parts of Canada & Mexico, you are likely to see the splendor of the Northern Cardinal. If you put out a feeder, you increase those chances. They enjoy sunflower seeds and mealworms. Mealworms (found at Wild Birds Unlimited) are expensive, but we have them as a treat for the Carolina Wrens and Cardinals when they have chicks in their nest. The Northern Cardinal, both male and female are a little defensive attacking their reflection in a window, car mirror or shiny bumper. They are very territorial but work together with the Carolina Wrens. It is almost like they communicate together and watch each others fledglings during that crucial time of teaching. At least, that is how they act in our yard.
Carolina Wren pigging out on Mealworms… Cardinal Swoops in! The wrens had babies about to fledge and the cardinals had eggs that had not hatched at that time.
The male Carolina Wren builds the nest. The female inspects it when completed. If she is not happy with the location or it isn’t to her fine standards, she will pull it out with her beak and toss it to the ground. We have witnessed this many times in our yard. Poor guy! But he learns to build the nest properly giving them a much higher survival rate for the chicks. This guy was enjoying the mealworms put out in the driftwood bird feeder made by my hubby.
Macaws are giant parrots.They have a powerful beak that can break anything that gets near it. In the United States, they are pets. This guy was hanging out at the clubhouse of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort that we visited last October, hence the pumpkin decor in the background. I would eventually love to see them in the wild.
Frank has built a fabulous 3 pole feeding system for our front yard. He has taken tree branches that have fallen from our vast number of trees in the backyard and created extra perches for the birds. He needs to do some repair, but with the possibility of Hurricane Isaias heading our way, it won’t get done in the next few days. Note: we have baffles on all three poles to keep the squirrels from eating us out of house & home. They get plenty when we have food in them that gets thrown to the ground. The birds love the perches year-round. The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds perch up on the branches as well. Haven’t gotten a photo of that yet or I would have shared.
Why we can’t have birds at the feeder during the Summer. More on this bird next week!
Until next week…Week #9 – Birds of Prey.