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0 In Birds/ Feathered Facts/ Feathered Friends Backyard Guests/ Garden Videos/ Gardening/ Small Birds

Ovenbird Warbler Video





A short 15-second video that shows a picture of the ovenbird warbler and has the audio to hear what the bird sounds like.

✔ Feel free to share the video


What the Ovenbird Looks Like:

They have olive-brown upperparts and white underparts heavily streaked with black; the flanks have an olive hue. A white ring surrounds the eyes, and a black stripe runs below the cheek. They have a line of orange feathers with olive-green tips running along the top of their head, bordered on each side with blackish-brown. The orange feathers can be erected to form a small crest.

Additional Warbler Posts:

Warblers in Wisconsin
Video of Yellow Warbler Feeding Young
Gotta Catch ’em All

0 In Birds/ Feathered Facts/ Small Birds

House Finch

Facts about the house finch you might not know





House Finch

The house finch is a small passerine bird that is part of the family Fringillidae.  They are generally seen hanging onto the food source their eating from, perched or scavenging the ground for food.

 

Some General Characteristics

The birds are rarely seen walking.  They are known for their hopping abilities, they will place both feet together and hop from location to location.

The birds have rounder heads, forked or notched tails, conical bills for seed crushing abilities, they sing beautiful songs and are hardy cold-weather birds that may be seen in flocks foraging for food in fields, valleys, and woodlands.

Male House Finch

  • Bright red on forehead, throat, and breast
  • Brown wings and back
  • Brown streaking on flanks
  • Thick grayish bill

 

Female House Finch

  • Brown and streaked with brown and white
  • Thick grayish bill

 

 

Finch Feeder Favorites
Breadcrumbs
Crushed egg shells
Niger seed
Fruits 
Sunflower seed
Millet
Nectar 
Leafy Greens
Vegetables
Salt blocks

 




You can provide a wide variety of feeding favorites because the birds in the finch family eat everything from seed to dandelion greens.  

Leafy Greens – Provide your feathered friends with leafy greens.  They will eat dandelion greens, romaine lettuce, spring mixes, spinach, parsley, cilantro, mustard greens and collard greens. When feeding any of the choices be sure the greens are washed and free of pesticides.

Dandelion Greens - If picking dandelion greens from your yard make sure you are not using broad based weed killer to treat your lawn.

If picking dandelion greens from your yard make sure you are not using broad-based weed killer to treat your lawn.


Egg Shells
– Eggshells provide birds with calcium.  Calcium for birds is the same as humans, it builds strong bones.  But, many birds get enough natural sources during times when plant matter is in heavy growth.  A strong exception to this rule is during nesting season. Egg-laying females need that extra calcium to help form strong eggshells and they are busy building nests and doing double duty.  In this case, because I can, I provide extra calcium for them – being a female myself and all, I can relate 🙂

 

Art on Zazzle:

Going Buggy Childrens Room Poster Collection Black and White Dandelion Blowball Wall Art – New to my photography collection is this set of three stunning black and white dandelion blowball wall art pieces. Black and white images have a a surreal and almost dreamlike quality. The seed heads had water dew droplets on them and were photographed using a grainy, black and white process of textures. I was seeking something different, a fresh and artistic way to process this set. I believe you will agree; the prints have a timeless elegance to them. Daffodil Lemon Dandelion Print Collection

 

Fruits – Finch loves an assortment of fruits.  You can try apples, pears, grapes, pumpkin, and peaches as a treat to add on to your seed feeders.  Cut the fruits into small, bite-sized pieces and only add a handful at a time to keep them from overeating. You want to keep the balance in check for a 75% seed to fruit ratio.  Like us, some will choose more fruits and over-indulge.  You want to keep a healthy balance.

Salt Blocks – A finch loves a feeder that provides a salt block. Salt is a mineral that birds, deer, squirrels, rabbits and a few additional animals need to properly break down food into their diet. An animal will search out a salt block when it is lacking the element in their diet. Salt helps animals break down seeds and food so that they can digest their food more easily. It is not necessary to provide one  – but it is nice to offer them one on occasion.

Nectar:  It is not uncommon to see a house finch sipping nectar from a hummingbird feeder.  During the winter months, they actively seek out maple trees and will snack on the sap.

Nesting
The nesting habits of all finches are basically the same.  They will seek out anything they believe to be safe from predators.  The house finch, which is the most common type of finch will build nests of grass, stick, and feathers in anything from your hanging planter to old animal homes in hollowed out trees and even old bird nests if you leave them up from year to year. The female does the nest building and the shape in normally a cupped shape.

When Do They Breed?
In Wisconsin, the house finch will lay her eggs between March and August and house finch couples will successfully raise up to three broods a year.  They can try for additional, but for the most part, they are only successful in up to three attempts a year.

Day One Baby House Finches in the Nest

Day One Baby House Finches in the Nest

About the Eggs
A female house finch will lay between 3-6 eggs.  The eggs range from a blue-ish coloring to a greenish-white with black speckled spots on the large end of the egg.

Who Cares For the Nest & Feeds the Young
The female will sit on the nest until the eggs hatch and then stay a few days in the nest with the young.  During the first few days, the male will bring food to the mother and the mother will feed regurgitated food to the young. After the first few days, the mother will join the father in the hunt for food.

If you want to please momma and daddy house finch, leave plenty of plant-based, pesticide-free food at your feeders during the time they are raising their young.  House Finches are one of the only birds that exclusively feed their young a vegetarian diet.

 

 

The Little Vegetarians
I had no clue that house finches only fed a vegetarian diet to their young until they nested in my hanging basket on my deck last year. Right next to their “new” basket home was the planting containers I grew my parsley, a variety of lettuce, spinach, cilantro and collard greens.  Daddy didn’t have to go far each morning to get the kids fed.  He had a wealth of choice directly under the nest. SMARTY PANTS!

 

Day Four Baby House Finches in the Nest

Day Four Baby House Finches in the Nest

How Long Do The Young Stay
Generally, the young leave the nest after about 13-16 days. But, dad may still feed them for a few weeks after leaving. If you have nesting finches it is not uncommon to see the babies hopping around in the yard a few days after leaving the nest. They slowly gravitate to the trees.

Day 14 - Baby House Finch Getting Ready for First Flight

Day 14 – Baby House Finch Getting Ready for First Flight

Because of the heavy growth of conifers around our home – it never fails that I lose at least one hanging basket a year to raising a family of finches.  Last year I closely followed a family and momma and daddy were comfortable with me checking in every few days. It was a fun bird watching year.

Additional Posts: 

Using antiques as unique planters – Give items a second life by using antiques as unique planters and containers. Some picture ideas to get your thoughts cycling. Mostly antiques but some additional containers too. 10 Wildflowers that Attract Birds
Testing Soil for Lead Keep Ants Away From Hummingbird Feeder

 

0 In Birds/ Feathered Facts/ Small Birds

White Breasted Nuthatch

White Breasted Nuthatch





White Breasted Nuthatch

The white-breasted nuthatch has been one busy bird today collecting goodies from the feeder.

 

It has been extremely cold, so I really don’t want to go anywhere or do anything, but watch a feeder bird or two.

One of my favorite birds to watch are white-breasted nuthatches.  You can always tell when they are around because they have a unique voice.

 

White Breasted Nuthatch - One of my favorite birds to watch are white-breasted nuthatches.  You can always tell when they are around because they have a unique voice.

You can click on any photo to purchase a print

The white-breasted nuthatch is omnivorous.  They eat insects, seeds, and nuts, there is a listing below.

During the winter months in Wisconsin, nuthatches actively seek out seed, peanut and suet feeders. Feeders happen to be the perfect place to sit and spend a half an hour with my camera.

Nuthatch

(All my photography is fulfilled by a contracted company.  Read about this here. )

Today the Nuthatches are Caching the Feeders

Nuthatches will take extra seeds to hide so they can retrieve them at a later time.  This behavior is called “caching”.

Caching helps birds survive when food sources are low.  These birds store hundreds of seeds a day. They have several locations to store their seed and always seem to remember where they have stashed them.

Nuthatches will take extra seeds to hide so they can retrieve them at a later time.  This behavior is called “caching”. Caching helps birds survive when food sources are low.  These birds store hundreds of seeds a day.  They have several locations to store their seed and always seem to remember where they have stashed them.

Nuthatches are extremely fun to watch, whether at feeders or creeping headfirst down trees looking for insects.





How to Attract Nuthatches

The white-breasted nuthatches are common feeder birds. You can attract them to your feeders and in your yard by customizing your feeders and yards.

Foods Nuthatches Enjoy

  • Peanuts
  • Safflower Seed
  • Suet
  • Black Oil Sunflower Seed

 

The birds spend much of their time carrying seeds away to stash for later.

 

All About the Nuthatch

 

Trees That Nuthatches Enjoy

  • Oaks
  • Maples
  • Hickories
  • Pines
  • Spruces

 

Interested in setting up a feeder in your yard?  The Audubon North American Birdfeeder Guide off Amazon covers the best ways to attract, observe, and feed birds in your own backyard. Pair it up with a North American bird guidebook and you will have hours of fun.


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Common Ticks in Wisconsin 10 Wildflowers that Attract Birds
Repotting a Money Plant Boiled & Butter Beets Video
Make a Ton of Corn on the Cob for a Party in a Cooler Video Tricks to Keep a Bird Bath Clean

How to Keep Bird Bath Clean
Birds That Eat Oranges
This Bird Sounds Like a Cat

Page contains affiliate links if you want to read about this you can here.

Purchase My Photography Work: Fine Art HERE.  Budget-friendly designs HERE.   Image Licensing HERE Full-Service Portfolio HERE.

All images can be purchased on canvas, metal, paper, coffee mugs, tote bags, greeting cards and more using the links above. Need a breakdown of the places I sell?  Visit here.

0 In Birds/ Feathered Facts/ Gardening/ Small Birds

Birds You May Find in Your Backyard

Birds that you might find in your backyard





Birds You May Find in Your Backyard

A running list of birds that you may find in your backyard along with some interesting facts, and possible additional reading posts that may help you attract them to your backyard.

 

You Will Find 24 Different Birds Below
Read a little about each of the birds I find in my backyard.
Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole - (Icterus galbula) is a small icterid blackbird common in eastern North America as a migratory breeding bird. It received its name from the resemblance of the male's colors to those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore. Find plenty of Baltimore Orioles on the UWGB campus walking trails and along the berry trees that line my backyard every summer.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

Baltimore Oriole – (Icterus galbula) is a small icterid blackbird common in eastern North America as a migratory breeding bird. It received its name from the resemblance of the male’s colors to those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore. Find plenty of Baltimore Orioles on the UWGB campus walking trails every summer and along my berry trees that line the backyard.

Additional Posts:
All About the Oriole
10 Wildflowers that Attract Birds

 

Cedar Waxwing

The cedar waxwing eats berries and sugary fruit year-round, including "dogwood, serviceberry, cedar, juniper, hawthorn, and winterberry" with insects becoming an important part of the diet in the breeding season. Its fondness for the small cones of the eastern redcedar (a kind of juniper) gave this bird its common name. They eat berries whole. They sometimes fly over water to catch insects. Pictured is two cedar waxwings sharing a bug.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

The cedar waxwing eats berries and sugary fruit year-round, including “dogwood, serviceberry, cedar, juniper, hawthorn, and winterberry” with insects becoming an important part of the diet in the breeding season. Its fondness for the small cones of the eastern redcedar (a kind of juniper) gave this bird its common name. They eat berries whole. They sometimes fly over water to catch insects. Pictured is two cedar waxwings sharing a bug.


Eastern Bluebird

Female Eastern Bluebird - Eastern bluebirds are found east of the Rockies, southern Canada to the Gulf states, and southeastern Arizona to Nicaragua. The increase in trees throughout the Great Plains during the past century due to fire suppression and tree planting facilitated the western range expansion of the eastern bluebird[5] as well as range expansions of many other species of birds.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

Female Eastern Bluebird – Eastern bluebirds are found east of the Rockies, southern Canada to the Gulf states, and southeastern Arizona to Nicaragua. The increase in trees throughout the Great Plains during the past century due to fire suppression and tree planting facilitated the western range expansion of the eastern bluebird as well as range expansions of many other species of birds.


Male Red-bellied Woodpecker

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker - The red-bellied woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker of the Picidae family. It breeds mainly in the eastern United States, ranging as far south as Florida and as far north as Canada. Its common name is somewhat misleading, as the most prominent red part of its plumage is on the head.


The red-bellied woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker of the Picidae family. It breeds mainly in the eastern United States, ranging as far south as Florida and as far north as Canada. Its common name is somewhat misleading, as the most prominent red part of its plumage is on the head.

Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

Female Red-bellied Woodpecker - As with all animals, foraging becomes an important role in an animal’s ability to survive and reproduce. The red-bellied woodpecker expresses foraging behavior by catching or storing food.  The woodpecker uses its bill for foraging as a chisel drilling into bark or probing cracks on trunk of trees.  In this manner, the red-bellied woodpecker is able to pull out beetles and other insects from the tree with the help of its long tongue.


As with all animals, foraging becomes an important role in an animal’s ability to survive and reproduce. The red-bellied woodpecker expresses foraging behavior by catching or storing food.  The woodpecker uses its bill for foraging as a chisel drilling into bark or probing cracks on the trunk of trees.  In this manner, the red-bellied woodpecker is able to pull out beetles and other insects from the tree with the help of its long tongue.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpeckers are the smallest of North America's woodpeckers but there are many smaller species elsewhere, especially the piculets. The total length of the species ranges from 14 to 18 cm (5.5 to 7.1 in) and the wingspan from 25 to 31 cm (9.8 to 12.2 in). They love to eat suet from feeders in the winter. This little guy is currently winter feeding - eating my homemade suet. Enjoy little guy!




Downy woodpeckers are the smallest of North America’s woodpeckers but there are many smaller species elsewhere, especially the piculets. The total length of the species ranges from 14 to 18 cm (5.5 to 7.1 in) and the wingspan from 25 to 31 cm (9.8 to 12.2 in). They love to eat suet from feeders in the winter. This little guy is currently winter feeding – eating my homemade suet. Enjoy little guy!

Additional Posts That May Interest You:
Drying Sunflower Heads for the Birds
11 Birds that Will Eat Oranges at Your Feeder
Video – How to Make Hangable Birdseed Ornaments
Make Your Own Suet


Red Bellied Woodpecker

Red Belly Woodpecker Eating Peanut - Red bellied woodpeckers LOVE peanuts. I attract them in winter to watch them take peanuts, one by one. They are interesting to watch.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

Red-bellied woodpeckers LOVE peanuts. I attract them in winter by adding unshelled peanuts to the feeders.  I enjoy watching them take peanuts, one by one. They are interesting to watch.


Hummingbird

Hummingbird - They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, typically around 50 times per second, allowing them also to fly at speeds exceeding 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph).

They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, typically around 50 times per second, allowing them also to fly at speeds exceeding 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph).

Additional Posts on Hummingbirds:
Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds
How to Clean a Hummingbird Feeder
How to Get Hummingbirds to Nest in Your Yard
When Do the Hummingbirds Return?

Pine Warbler - Guess where he was found. In a pine tree, imagine that. lol

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.


Pine Warbler

Guess where he was found. In a pine tree, imagine that. lol

Additional Warbler Posts:
Warbler Season in Wisconsin
Yellow Warbler Feeding Young Video
Gotta Catch “Em All


Chestnut Sided Warbler

Chestnut Sided Warbler - It took me three years to find one in the spring - but I did it. Then of course you end up seeing them all summer after that. What a beautiful and quick moving bird.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

It took me three years to find one in the spring – but I did it. Then, of course, you end up seeing them all summer after that. What a beautiful and quick moving bird.

Purchase on Amazon:
The Warbler Guide
Warbler Assortment Boxed Notecards– Set of 8

Browse and/or purchase all the warblers I have been lucky enough to capture on camera HERE.


Acadian Flycatcher

Acadian Flycatcher - Well, for sure it is a flycatcher. I am thinking it is the Acadian? The flycatcher family is a tough nut to crack.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

Well, for sure it is a flycatcher. Am I thinking it is the Acadian? The flycatcher family is a tough nut to crack.

 

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker - They generally eat insects, seeds and berries. During the winter months I find them eating hulled sunflower seed, berries and suet from my feeders.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

Northern flickers generally eat insects, seeds, and berries. During the winter months, I find them eating hulled sunflower seed, berries and suet from my feeders.

Cool Stuff On Amazon:
Motion-Activated Bird Camera
Window Bird Feeder See Wild Birds Up Close!
Wireless Weather Station Temperature and Humidity Gauge, Rainfall, Wind Speed and Wind Direction

 

Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird - This guy was sassy! He tried to pull my hair tie out of my hair when I was photographing butterflies. Apparently, he thought he had a better use for it.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.




This guy was sassy! He tried to pull my hair tie out of my hair when I was photographing butterflies. Apparently, he thought he had a better use for it.

 

Red Eyed Vireo

The red eyed vireo is interested in picking insects off the undersides of your leaves and flowers.  You will not find them at the feeders, but might hear their beautiful song and quick motion when visiting tree to tree. Occasionally, you will find them sitting on a heavy stemmed flower in your gardens.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

The red-eyed vireo is interested in picking insects off the undersides of your leaves and flowers.  You will not find them at the feeders but might hear their beautiful song and quick motion when visiting tree to tree. Occasionally, you will find them sitting on a heavy stemmed flower in your gardens.

Goldcrest

Goldcrest - This kinglet has greenish upper-parts, whitish under-parts, and has two white wingbars. It has a plain face contrasting black irises and a bright head crest, orange and yellow in the male and yellow in the female, which is displayed during breeding. The goldcrest breeds in coniferous woodland and gardens, building its compact, three-layered nest on a tree branch.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

Goldcrest – This kinglet has greenish upper-parts, whitish underparts, and has two white wing bars. It has a plain face contrasting black irises and a bright head crest, orange and yellow in the male and yellow in the female, which is displayed during breeding. The goldcrest breeds in coniferous woodland and gardens, building its compact, three-layered nest on a tree branch.

 

Blue Jay

Young Blue Jay - Blue jays are predominantly blue with a white chest and underparts, and a blue crest. It has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest. Sexes are similar in size and plumage, and plumage does not vary from season to season.

(All photography can be purchased by clicking on photo and purchasing from my Smugmug Portfolio)

Young Blue Jay – Blue jays are predominantly blue with a white chest and underparts, and a blue crest. It has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest. Sexes are similar in size and plumage, and plumage does not vary from season to season.

Additional Posts That May Interest You:
All About the Blue Jay
Sound of a Blue Jay Video

 

Lesser Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll at Feeder

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.

Another fun feeder bird to watch. Around me, the redpoll birds attack the feeder in groups. Look for a fire engine red colored patch on top of the head and sometimes belly on the redpolls.

Warbling Vireo

Warbling Vireo - Warbling vireos forage for insects in trees, hopping along branches and sometimes hovering. They also eat berries, especially before migration and in winter quarters, where they are – like other vireos – apparently quite fond of gumbo-limbo seeds, though they will not venture into human-modified habitat to get them.

Warbling vireos forage for insects in trees, hopping along branches and sometimes hovering. They also eat berries, especially before migration and in winter quarters, where they are – like other vireos – apparently quite fond of gumbo-limbo seeds. Though they will not venture into the human-modified habitat to get them. I haven’t seen one at a feeder, yet. Although, I do see them pass through the yard.

 

Tufted TitMouse

Tufted TitMouse - The habitat is deciduous and mixed woods as well as gardens, parks and shrubland in the eastern United States; they barely range into southeastern Canada in the Great Lakes region. They are all-year residents in the area effectively circumscribed by the Great Plains, the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The range is expanding northwards, possibly due to increased availability of winter food at bird feeders.

The habitat for the tufted titmouse is deciduous and mixed woods as well as gardens, parks, and shrubland in the eastern United States; they barely range into southeastern Canada in the Great Lakes region. They are all-year residents in the area effectively circumscribed by the Great Plains, the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The range is expanding northwards, possibly due to increased availability of winter food at bird feeders.

Additional Posts You May Enjoy:
Dried Fruit Medley Bird Food Recipe
Keep Birdbaths Fresh & Clean

Gear for Bird Watching
Make Your Own Suet

 

American Goldfinch

Common feeder bird that enjoys eating sunflower and nyjer seed. During the late summer and fall, they enjoy eating the seeds off garden plants. The American Finch, Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins normally pack together for the winter months. The coloring of the American Goldfinch is a bright yellow during the spring and dulls, going into winter.

Common feeder bird that enjoys eating sunflower and nyjer seed. During the late summer and fall, they enjoy eating the seeds off garden plants. The American Finch, Common Redpolls, and Pine Siskins normally pack together for the winter months. The coloring of the American Goldfinch is a bright yellow during the spring and dulls, going into winter.

Cooper’s Hawk

Coopers Hawk - The backyard feeder birds are an easy target for hawks, they will stand back and watch the songbirds eat their fill and then strike them in flight as they leave.

The backyard feeder birds are an easy target for hawks, they will stand back and watch the songbirds eat their fill and then strike them in flight as they leave.

Male Common House Finch

Male Common House Sparrow - The house sparrow is strongly associated with human habitations, and can live in urban or rural settings. Though found in widely varied habitats and climates, it typically avoids extensive woodlands, grasslands, and deserts away from human development. It feeds mostly on the seeds of grains and weeds, but it is an opportunistic eater and commonly eats insects and many other foods.

The house sparrow is strongly associated with human habitations and can live in urban or rural settings. Though found in widely varied habitats and climates, it typically avoids extensive woodlands, grasslands, and deserts away from human development. It feeds mostly on the seeds of grains and weeds, but it is an opportunistic eater and commonly eats insects and many other foods.


Buy On Amazon:

Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America
The Backyard Birdsong Guide Eastern and Central North America: A Guide to Listening
Audubon Bird Call – Chirps and twitters to imitate bird calls

 

Grey Catbird

Grey Catbird - This species is named for its cat-like call. Like many members of the Mimidae (most famously mockingbirds), it also mimics the songs of other birds, as well as those of Hylidae (tree frogs), and even mechanical sounds. Because of its well-developed songbird syrinx, it is able to make two sounds at the same time. The alarm call resembles the quiet calls of a male mallard. The catbird makes a terrible sounding scream when you are close. They scare the crud out of me.

This species is named for its cat-like call. Like many members of the Mimidae (most famously mockingbirds), it also mimics the songs of other birds, as well as those of Hylidae (tree frogs), and even mechanical sounds. Because of its well-developed songbird syrinx, it is able to make two sounds at the same time. The alarm call resembles the quiet calls of a male mallard. The catbird can also make a terrible sounding scream when you are close. They scare the crud out of me at times.  Never heard one?  Here is a video / audio I took.

The birds will stay over winter if they have a well-stocked feeder with plenty of berries and seed.

Common Grackle

Common Grackle - The grackle looks black from a distance. Until you get up close and see the glossy-iridescent body. I think they are rather pretty but they can be bullies and travel in packs, cleaning out feeders in an instant. If you have issues with them, hang tube feeder with nyjer seed and feed safflower seed in hoppers. Crows, grackle and squirrels dislike safflower seed.

The grackle looks black from a distance. Until you get up close and see the glossy-iridescent body. I think they are rather pretty but they can be bullies and travel in packs, cleaning out feeders in an instant.

If you have issues with them, hang tube feeder with Nyjer seed and feed safflower seed in hoppers. Crows, grackle, and squirrels dislike safflower seed.

 

Female Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Grosbeaks in general eat the same food. Like visiting yards that have nut and berry trees planted on the grounds and for foraging for insects in and around the yard and gardens. At feeders they enjoy eating sunflower and safflower seed and raw peanuts. Once in awhile they will take a nip at suet. Some people have had better luck than I at having grosbeaks eat their fill of suet.


Grosbeaks, in general, eat the same food. Like visiting yards that have nut and berry trees planted on the grounds and for foraging for insects in and around the yard and gardens.

At feeders, they enjoy eating sunflower and safflower seed and raw peanuts. Once in a while they will take a nip at the suet. Some people have had better luck than I at having grosbeaks eat their fill of suet.

 

Order Off Amazon for Grosbeaks:
Kaytee Safflower Seed for Cardinals, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Grosbeaks
Classic Peanut/Sunflower Seed Feeder, X-Large
Kaytee Mealworms for Nuthatches, Grosbeaks, Robins, Chickadees & Titmice

 

Male Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak - The rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is a large seed-eating grosbeak in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). It is primarily a foliage gleaner. It breeds in cool-temperate North America, migrating to tropical America in winter. It will east sunflower and safflower seed at a hopper style feeder.

You can click on any photo to purchase a variety of products made from it.




(All photography can be purchased by clicking on photo and purchasing from my Smugmug Portfolio)

The rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is a large seed-eating grosbeak in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). It is primarily a foliage gleaner. It breeds in cool-temperate North America, migrating to tropical America in winter.

 

Additional Posts: 

Using antiques as unique planters – Give items a second life by using antiques as unique planters and containers. Some picture ideas to get your thoughts cycling. Mostly antiques but some additional containers too. All About the Nuthatch
Facts you might not know about the house finch How to keep birthbath fresh and clean

 

Additional Posts You May Like:
Planting Containers
Picture Site Navigation
Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly
Selecting Healthy Garden Bulbs

 

This page contains affiliate links read about it if you wish here. 

Purchase My Work: Fine Art HERE.  Budget-friendly designs HERE.   Image Licensing HERE Full-Service Portfolio HERE.

All images can be purchased on canvas, metal, paper, coffee mugs, tote bags, greeting cards and more using the links above. Need a breakdown of the places I sell?  Visit here.

0 In Birds/ Feathered Facts/ Gardening/ Nikki Lynn Design - All Posts - Cook, Craft & Travel./ Small Birds

Coopers Hawk in My Garden

The coopers hawk in my garden. The bird feeder birds are an easy target for hawks, they will stand back and watch the songbirds and strike.  





Coopers Hawk in My Garden

The Coopers hawk in my garden, he enjoys parking himself on my deck rail or the neighbor’s fence and watching over the yard.  The backyard feeder birds are an easy target for hawks, they will stand back and watch the songbirds eat their fill and then strike them in flight as they leave.

 

Common Names the Raptor is Called

Other common names for the Cooper’s hawk include big blue darter, chicken hawk, flying cross, hen hawk, quail hawk, striker, and swift hawk.

 

Coopers Hawk

Adult Coopers Hawk

Female Cooper’s hawks are larger than males.  Both female and male adults have red eyes and have a black cap, with blue-gray upper parts and white underparts with fine, thin, reddish bars. Their tail is blue-gray on top and pale underneath, barred with black bands.

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Immature Coopers Hawk

Immatures have yellow eyes and have a brown cap, with brown upperparts and pale underparts with thin black streaks mostly ending at the belly.



Their tail is brown on top and pale underneath, barred with dark bands. The eyes of this hawk, as in most predatory birds, face forward, enabling good depth perception for hunting and catching prey while flying at top speeds

 

The Cooper’s hawk has everything figured out.  Smart of them, terrible for my backyard feathered friends.

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Handfeeding Chickadees and Nuthatches

Handfeeding Chickadees and Nuthatches





Handfeeding Chickadees and Nuthatches

The calendar states it is spring in Wisconsin, so darn it, warm up already.  Instead, we have 34-degree weather, with tiny, snowflakes drifting down from the sky every once in awhile.  My teens are off for spring break and our family had decided between work schedules and additional commitments, we were staying home for spring break.  This is not our family, is it?

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0 In Birds/ Feathered Facts/ Small Birds/ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin

Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin




Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin

Normally, we start looking for Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin around March 12th. The weather has been pretty warm for this early in the season. It seems that many species of migratory birds I have been seeing anywhere from a week to three weeks ahead of schedule.

 

Since they are here earlier. Expect things like collecting nesting materials and mating to be a little earlier as well.

Nesting
The Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin collects mud to build it’s nest. It often nests on human structures such as bridges and buildings. Nesting activity may start as early as the first days of April. The nest is an open cup with a mud base and lined with moss and grass, built in crevice in a rock or man-made site; two to six eggs are laid. Both parents feed the young and usually raise two broods per year.

 

Feeding Habits
The Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin mostly insects and some berries. Insects make up great majority of their diet; included are many small wasps, bees, beetles, grasshoppers, and others. The bird is part of the flycatcher family and can catch the flying insects right in the air. Small fruits and berries are eaten often during the cooler months or when hanging out along creek beds that have berry trees and bushes.

 

Not to Afraid of Humans
Since the bird’s nest near humans they are not as afraid of human contact it seems. They will come pretty close to humans while collecting nesting materials.  Don’t get me wrong, they are afraid of you; but don’t mind sharing space.

Migration South
Expect to see the Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin until the first week of November.

 

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Blue Jays

All about the blue jay





Blue Jays

In Wisconsin, there are a few birds that when they visit your backyard, you know what they are.  Blue jays are one of those birds.

What They Look Like:
Blue jays are predominantly blue with a white chest and underparts, and a blue crest. It has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest. Sexes are similar in size and plumage, and plumage does not vary from season to season.

Young Blue Jay

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Crown of Feathers On Head Tells the Birds Mood:

There is a pronounced crest of feathers on a blue jays head. This crown of feathers may be raised or lowered according to the bird’s mood. When excited or aggressive, the crest will be fully raised. When frightened, the crest bristles outwards, brushlike. When the bird is feeding among other jays or resting, the crest is flattened on the head.

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What They Eat:

Blue Jays are mainly omnivores eating a variety of corn, grain, nuts, seeds, insects, and worms.  They are easily attracted to backyards that have feeders.

 

Information about Blue Jays. What blue jays eat, where & how they build nests, how long until eggs hatch, mating & migration. Photography prints available.

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The bird will visit trees, shrubs, and the ground for food sources.  Like squirrels, blue jays are known to hide nuts and seed for later consumption.

 

Peanut Feeder For Blue Jays - SONGBIRD ESSENTIALS Whole Peanut Wreath Feeder

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5 lbs Shelled No Salt Peanuts

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Nest Building:
It builds an open cup nest in the branches of a tree, which both sexes participate in constructing. Birds normally pick pines in our area.  Again, they are not all that picky.

They build their nests in much the same way that the American Robin does, which is why if they find a suitable and available nest already built, they will take it over.

 

Mating:
The blue jay pairs will bond for life. Mating season begins in mid-March, peaks in mid-April and extends into July.

 

Laying Eggs:

Blue Jay Nest

The clutch can contain two to seven eggs, which are blueish or light brown with brown spots. It typically takes about 17 days for the eggs to hatch.  The young take another 18-20 days to fledge (develop feathers and muscle to fly.)

 

Juveniles Leave Parents:
The juveniles will stay with the parents and forage together until early fall.  In the fall they will part their ways.  Next year, the young will be sexually mature and able to pick their own mate. 

Bad Habits:
1.) The blue jay is a territorial bird that will show aggressiveness at the feeder.  It chases away other birds until it has it’s fill. Only then, can additional birds feed.

2.) Jays are notorious for raiding nests of eggs. They will pick up and dump the eggs of other birds nests out onto the ground.

3.) Blue Jays are noisy.  They will scream if they see a predator within its territory.  If a hawk, owl or additional bird of prey is in the area, it will sound its alarm.  All additional small birds in the area will hide when this happens.  It is rather funny that the feeder bully is protecting those he bullies.

 

 

Migrating:
In cold weather climates the blue jay usually migrates in groups of 5-200 birds. Although, a few might stick around and over winter. It depends on weather conditions and how abundant the winter food sources are.

Closing:
Yes, the blue jay is an aggressive bird at the feeders. Many have a love – hate relationship with this bird. I happen to be on the love side. I enjoy watching them grab peanuts. I know that many of their vocal calls to action and screams are to alert all the other birds that danger is near. Plus, I just love to see the bold blue flickering through my backyard on occasion.

 

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Snow Bunting Birds

Snow Bunting Birds In Wisconsin they arrive in late fall to spend the winter with us until March or April.

Snow Bunting Birds

Today, I was finally able to capture snow bunting birds on camera. Snow buntings are birds of the high Arctic.

 

Snow Bunting

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When Do You See Them & Where?

In Wisconsin, they arrive in late fall to spend the winter with us, remaining until March or April. Generally, they are seen in flocks in farm fields, along lake shores, roadsides and once in awhile at a feeder.

The birds photographed are in non-breeding plumage.  Breeding plumage differs vastly.  Living in Wisconsin, I will never see snow bunting birds in breeding plumage.

Snow Bunting

Skittish Birds

They are most difficult for people to photograph because they are skittish birds. It is difficult to get them outside of a group.  Once the group spots you, then all scatter.

Thankfully, I believe they had all just arrived for the season and were tired. The snow bunting birds were foraging the rocky shoreline of the Bay of Green Bay. This afforded me the ability to finally get a picture.

 

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Wood Thrush

Wood Thrush Birds

Wood Thrush

The wood thrush is a medium-sized thrush, with brown upperparts with mottled brown and white underparts. The male and female are similar in appearance.

Wood Thrush - The wood thrush is a medium-sized thrush, with brown upper parts with mottled brown and white underparts. The male and female are similar in appearance. The song of the male is often cited as being the most beautiful in North America. The wood thrush is an omnivore, and feeds preferentially on soil invertebrates and larvae, but will also eat fruits. In the summer, it feeds on insects continuously in order to meet daily metabolic needs. It is solitary, but sometimes forms mixed-species flocks.

The song of the male is often cited as being the most beautiful in North America.

Eating Habits
The wood thrush is an omnivore, and feeds on soil invertebrates and larvae, but will also eat fruits. In the summer, it feeds on insects continuously in order to meet daily metabolic needs. It is solitary but sometimes forms mixed-species flocks.

 

 

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0 In Birds/ Midwest Photography/ Small Birds/ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

The Tree Swallows Have Arrived

The Tree Swallows Have Arrived

 

 

The tree swallows have arrived back in Wisconsin. They normally arrive mid-March through first two weeks of April. I was out scouting yesterday to see what animals were coming out of hibernation or back for the season.

The Tree Swallows Have Arrived

 

In the field, just down the street from my house I see the city put up some new birdhouses.  The houses have new tenants.  Droves and droves of tree swallows.  Plenty of head ducking was needed to get through that area.  They are everywhere.

Tree Swallow

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Mating Season Is Underway

Immediately following migration back to Wisconsin, it’s mating season for them. From what I have witnessed, the females will sit on to top of their boxes.  The male will fly over and sit next to her, and take a bow.  From there, one of two things can happen.  Nothing.  The male is trying to woo the female.  Sometimes the female is not impressed and doesn’t want anything to do with the male.  He has to work for it 🙂

 

Tree Swallows

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Other times, they take to flight. Fluttering around.  They might stop and mate at another location, or arrive back to the box.  The flutter-flight that the males do is fun to watch.

Immediately following migration back to Wisconsin, it's mating season for the tree swallows.

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Building the Nest:

The females start building nests before mating occurs.  After mating, the males will help collect the remaining grass and small sticks. They line the inside of the nest with feathers.

 

 

Laying and Incubating Eggs

About a week after mating, the female lays 4-7 white eggs. The eggs are incubated by the female for 13-16 days.


Who Feeds the Young Birds?

Both the male and female take turns feeding the young.

Tree Swallows - Arrive back in Wisconsin around March 25th. You can start looking for them. A few days later the barn swallows will arrive.

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When Do the Young Leave the Nest?

15-24 days after hatching the young are on their own.

How Many Broods?

The female can have 2 broods a year.

 

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Dark Eyed Junco Birds At Feeder

Dark Eyed Junco Birds At Feeder

Dark Eyed Junco Birds At Feeder

This month I thought I would change it up a little and give you something to look forward to each Friday. For the remainder of February, I will be posting a new bird that is at the feeder. This week’s Friday in February Dark Eyed Junco birds at the feeder.

What The Dark-Eyed Junco Looks Like:

Adults generally have gray heads, necks, and breasts, gray or brown backs and wings, and a white belly, but show a confusing amount of variation in plumage. The bill is usually a pale pink.

 

Dark Eyed Junco - These birds forage on the ground. In winter, they often forage in flocks. They eat mainly insects and seeds. They usually nest in a well-hidden location on the ground or low in a shrub or tree.

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Migration:

In our area of Wisconsin.  The dark-eyed juncos seem to arrive around the third week of September. They will stay for the duration of the winter.

Dark Eyed Juncos in North America

My grandmother lived in the country and I always knew when the Dark-Eyed Juncos returned for the Wisconsin winter; and again, when they left.

Grandma always said these winter birds came in flocks, stopping off around the farm fields surrounding her property, and then cleaned out her feeder in minutes. She thought they were passing through on their travels to the Sugar Creek area.

Junco - Although, Junco’s do enjoy wooded areas, they are also perfectly happy sticking around a feeder for the winter too. They generally enjoy feeding from the seed the other birds drop on the ground.  That is exactly what the group of Juncos I watching is doing. Going from the treetops to the ground under the feeder.

After a few winters watching the locations Junco’s like to hang out, I am sure she was right. Sugar Creek is heavily wooded.

 

What Dark-Eyed Juncos Eat:

They mainly eat insects and seeds.  Although Junco’s do enjoy sticking within wooded areas, they are also perfectly happy sticking around a feeder for the winter. They generally enjoy feeding on the seed that other birds drop on the ground. Occasionally, they will treat themselves to suet as well.

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That is exactly what the group of Juncos I watching is doing. Going from the trees to the ground under the feeder. A few even enjoying suet with titmice.

Breeding:
Their breeding habitat is conifers or mixed forest areas throughout North America. Breeding takes place mid-March through April.

Nesting:
Nests are a cup-shaped depression on the ground that is lined with fine grasses and hair. Well hidden by vegetation or other material. Occasionally, nests are found in the lower branches of a shrub or tree.

Dark Eyed Junco 2 - Their breeding habitat is coniferous or mixed forest areas throughout North America, ranging from subarctic taiga to high-altitude mountain forests in Mexico and Central America south to Panama. Northern birds usually migrate farther south; southern populations are permanent residents or altitudinal migrants, moving only a short distance downslope to avoid severe winter weather in the mountains.

How Many Eggs:
Juncos have the ability to lay two times during a breeding season.  Laying four eggs each time. The ability to lay twice during the breeding season is nature’s way to protect the species for these ground nesters.

 

What Do The Eggs Look Like:
Eggs are a pale blue or gray and splotched with brown, purple or gray coloring.

How Long For Eggs To Hatch:
The eggs are incubated by the female for 12 to 13 days.

 

When Do The Young Leave The Nest:
The young leave nest fairly quick after hatching. Between 11 and 14 days after hatching.

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What the Red Tailed Hawk Looks and Sounds Like Video

Red Tailed Hawk

You can find red-tailed hawks in every eco-system there is.  This raptor will hunt down voles, mice, rabbits, birds, snakes, and squirrels. You can find them sitting high in trees and on telephone poles watching for motion on edges of fields.  Once the hawk spots its prey it will swoop down and pick it up.

It is common to see red-tailed hawks visit a backyard because of the selection of feeding birds available.

 

If you would like to get a good feel for what the red-tailed hawk looks and sounds like, by watching the short 20-second video.