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Feeder Watch

Author: Tom Driscoll

I have been putting out a lot of mixed seed containing peanuts, sunflower, and safflower seeds for most of our birds. Most birds, like the sparrows, jays, and cardinals have strong bills to crack the sunflower seeds. I put out nyjer seed for the American Goldfinches and the House Finches, and millet on the ground for the ground feeders. During the winter, I only saw one Pine Siskin (unlike 2015 when I had many coming every day). I also did not see Purple Finches or Red-breasted Nuthatches at my feeders; although others have reported them.  Did you see these birds at your feeders?

White-throated Sparrow – by Barbara Driscoll

Our normal winter visitors, such as the Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, and Hermit Thrushes from the north will be leaving soon. We also have been seeing a Brown Creeper and Yellow-rumped Warblers at our feeders. Our resident birds, such as the Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, and Eastern Towhees, are eating a lot of seed, especially during the recent re-visit of winter weather.  We have also been seeing Song Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds coming to the seed feeders, especially during the coldest weather and snow. Others have reported Pine Warblers and Ruby Crowned Kinglets on their suet feeders competing with the woodpeckers and Eastern Bluebirds, and also have seen Brown-headed Nuthatches making quick snatches from hulled sunflower feeders. Did you have any new birds show up at your feeders this winter?

Yellow-rumped Warbler – by Barbara Driscoll

Migrants are already being reported south of here and will be here soon. Included with the migrants will be Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, so it is time to get out the hummingbird feeders and clean them out. I usually put out my hummingbird feeders around March 25.  I use one part sugar to 4 parts water, and I boil the mixture for a few minutes.

In addition to molting into breeding plumage, birds have been checking out nesting cavities and sites. I’ve seen chickadees and bluebirds looking into the nest boxes in our yard. If you haven’t done so yet, please clean out your nest boxes and put up any new ones as soon as possible. The New Hope Audubon Society sells nest boxes for bluebirds and nuthatches for $15. 

Red-winged Blackbird -by Barbara Driscoll

We deliver these boxes as well! You can order them from our website at: https://www.newhopeaudubon.org/shop/

Although I discuss the birds I’m seeing and that you may see at your feeders, I’m hoping to receive reports and questions about the birds you are seeing. This will make the articles more interesting. If you have ideas about topics to discuss, want to report on the birds you are seeing, or have questions about the birds you are seeing, please send me an email at: [email protected].

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