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Winter Visitors

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Project by Iris43 posted 1305 days ago 1614 views 1 time favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been thrilled to have both the male and female Red-bellied woodpeckers visiting my feeders this winter. They must like my offering. I made the suet block from beef drippings, peanutbutter, oatmeal, cornmeal and a mixtures of BOSS, safflower seed and some niger seed. I think I threw in some stale peanuts too.

I have shelled peanuts in the tower feeder that has attracted the Bluejays. The Cardinals especailly like the safflower seed in a separate feeder for them. BOSS is in my other caged feeder for the small birds like the Chickadee, Goldfinches and Purple finches.

While the squirrels keep trying to get to the feed I put out for the birds they are not very successful but seem satisfied with the pickings off the ground. I love watching them all.

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Goldfinches, Purplefinch and acouple sparrows…..

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Female cardinal…..

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Female downy woodpecker…..

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Two little goldfinches…

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Female downy….

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Male downy….

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-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'



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Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

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winter birds in the garden sw on zone 5

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36 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2575 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1305 days ago

oh wow
wonderful visitors!!! and fantastic photos.

I could sit here all day and watch them!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1305 days ago

Thanks, MsDeb. Unfortunately, sometimes I do…....spend all day watching them, that is. LOL

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View jroot's profile

jroot

5047 posts in 2205 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1305 days ago

Great shots, Iris43. So fortunate to catch them “at the right moment”.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2575 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1305 days ago

and you should!
(spend all day watching them)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1837 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1305 days ago

Oh Iris, those are such lovely bird photos! You have created such a wonderful winter refuge and you catch them with such skill using your camera. Thank you for the photos; I enjoyed them very much and also shared them with my sons. The squirrel is cute too. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1305 days ago

Thanks for looking at my pictures, :) and for your appreciation of these beautiful birds.

RFG, I love watching the squirrels. They can be so cheeky. Sometimes I have four greys, I think from the same litter. They play tag and chase each other around the back yard, leaping and dangling from the branches of the birch trees. They look like they are having so much fun. I have some black squirrels visit too. But not often and usually only one at a time.

As much as I hope I am providing a refuge for the birds to come to, the last few days they have been more scarce. I think a hawk is hanging around. My neighbour just a block away says she has seen one frequenting her feeders. The small birds hide out in dense bushes until the hawk goes somewhere else to hunt.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1837 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1305 days ago

Do you have any crows, Iris? I have found that crows are very good at squacking loudly when the hawks go by, giving the little song birds (and my pastured chickens) plenty of warning to get under cover. I enjoy watching the squirrels, especially when the heartnuts are ripe because they are so energetic and interesting as they gather the nuts. I wish black squirrels lived around here; I think they are beautiful. Having penty of places for the birds to hide is a great idea; they can safely wait until the hawk passes.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1305 days ago

RFG, I don’t have many crows, blackbirds or starlings, none as a matter of fact. The feeders that I use don’t encourage their feeding. So if they are around, they must go somewhere else to feed. The bluejays and the squirrels also sound the alarm for the smaller birds.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Gooseneck's profile

Gooseneck

599 posts in 2207 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1305 days ago

wow, lovely birds and fabulous photos!

-- Toronto, Ontario

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

882 posts in 1672 days
hardiness zone 4a

posted 1305 days ago

wow, what an avian zoo! great shots – I just realised that this is one of the advantages of having a winter! I could never get so many birds attracted to one place because there is always food elsewhere. Enjoyed the pics, thanks!

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

View Gooseneck's profile

Gooseneck

599 posts in 2207 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1304 days ago

Iris, you should use one of these striking bird as your avator!

-- Toronto, Ontario

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2355 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1303 days ago

Loved your bird photos Iris.Thanks for sharing them with us.I love to sit and watch them at my feeders too.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View Nick's profile

Nick

13 posts in 1442 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 1301 days ago

It’s been a harsh winter in the UK to date so I’ve been keeping the feeders filled up, finally turned to metal ones as the squirrels were getting fat!
You have had some fantastic birds feeding and I envy the variety.

If you like birds you may find my sister’s site of interest, she saw the light and emigrated to Canada decades ago http://www.jeaniron.ca/

-- Peonies, http://www.exquisitememorybox.com

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1301 days ago

Thank you, Nick. I visited Jean’s website just briefly and had a wee taste of her wonderful pictures. I will return to it to savor and enjoy her expertise identifying so many species and her talent in photographing them.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1281 days ago

The milder weather has brought a resurgence of birds at the feeders.

A little goldfinch looking for a drink..
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And here’s a sparrow having a winter bath..
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But most sparrows like to combine drinking and bathing as a social event..
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I haven’t had many doves at the feeders this winter, but acouple have found the safflower seed..
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The cardinals always make a pretty picture..
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The starlings have now found the suet and about 6 of them come every morning to bully the other birds until they have their fill.. They are bullys but as you can see, very interesting to observe in their speckled winter feathers.
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It’s hard to catch the little chickadees, they are so quick…
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This fellow was taken in my backyard but at Wyndyacre, where he terrorizes the songbirds daily…...
Sharp-shinned Hawk taken by my DD’s partner..
Sharp-shinned hawk

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2575 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1281 days ago

OOOH WHAT WONDERFUL PHOTOS!

your birdbath reminds me of the fun we had last year watching the birds in our pond. This year, the new heater, has less wattage and just melts the area around the heater, with none to spare so the birds don’t have access to the water. I miss them.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1281 days ago

Thank you, MsDeb. Bird-watching is a wonderful past-time, that leaves you with such a happy feeling. I’m glad the pictures reminded you of your own visiting birds.

I have a cedar hedge across the front of my property and a pine, a large redmaple as well as two birch clumps in the backyard, so perhaps I woud still have visiting birds. But by putting feeders out, I’m sure to have more variety and more opportunity for photographing them. The birds not only bring colour and song to my yard, they clean up weed seed and bugs from my gardens.

I meant to say the photo of the sharp-shinned hawk was not taken by me in my yard but by my DD’s partner at their feeders at Wyndyacre.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1281 days ago

After my last post re. the pic of the hawk, I went outside on my way to pick up the mail. Looked up and there was this bird in my birch trees. I couldn’t believe it! I knew there was a hawk around but I had only got fleeting glimpses of it. This guy sat right there wheile i went back into the house and got my camera. I believe it is a female, sharp-shinned hawk. But if anyone knows better let me know.

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Here’s where the cardinal was while that hawk was visiting….
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-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2575 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1281 days ago

how wonderful that the bird sat there to give you time to get a picture.

if you are interested: Animal Totem:
Hawk is the messenger, the protector and the visionaries of the Air.
It holds the key to higher levels of consciousness.
This totem awakens vision and inspires a creative life purpose.

A Hawk totem is filled with responsibility
because Hawk people seek the overall view.
They are aware of omens and spirit messages.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2287 posts in 2395 days

posted 1280 days ago

stunning

I hope she misses the cardinels and all thier friends and has a few nice meals of starlings:)

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2355 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1280 days ago

Wow really nice shots Iris.Lucky you to see all these birds all the time.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View jroot's profile

jroot

5047 posts in 2205 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1280 days ago

Great shots, Iris43. How fortunate for you to see these majestic birds. I agree with Greenthumb on this one – save the cardinals !

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1837 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 1279 days ago

Iris, I get so much pleasure from the bird photos you post. Thank you so much for sharing the photos and creating such a beautiful place for the birds to eat and rest. I think hawks and falcons are magnificent, even when they make off with one of my chickens. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 1279 days ago

I’m so glad everyone is enjoying the bird pics…..I so enjoy taking them!

RFG, I’m sorry to hear the hawks manage to capture any of your pretty little chickens. :( I know they have to eat too, but they need to stay with the wild game! Can’t you reason with them? :) I hate to see them even getting any of my little song birds why can’t they stick to crows and starlings…..there is an abundance of them.

Yesterday, I was at a coffeeshop in the city with my friend, when I saw a hawk chase a small bird into a dense decorative cedar. (right beside a busy city street) We watched to see what would happen, and the bush exploded with small birds flying out of it in all directions. The hawk must have been trying to get them amongst the twigs and such inside the bush…we couldn’t see it because the bush was so dense. Eventually the hawk flew out of the bush after a small bird into another near-by cedar. What a show!

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

24 posts in 1837 days

posted 942 days ago

Those are beautiful Iris.

Here are some shots of our annual winter visitors. They are cedar waxwings stopping by for some crab-apples on the way from Canada to the winter range in the southern US and Central America.

-- "...and the flowers bloom like madness in the spring."

View sharad's profile

sharad

1622 posts in 1792 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 942 days ago

Iris, I was fascinated to see the pictures of the birds and squirrels. You have captured them so nicely. I am wondering how I missed this post earlier.
ChuckV I was happy to see the birds feasting on crab-apples.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 942 days ago

Thanks, Chuck, I’m glad you enjoyed the pics of my backyard birds. I certainly enjoyed seeing your cedar waxwings. I very seldom see them here. I have some high-bush cranberries growing in the yard now so maybe the cedar WW will visit.

Sharad, I’m glad Chuck brought this year old post to the top again so you could see the birds that visit my backyard. You will notice in the background of the pictures the piles of snow we had at this time last year. What a difference a year can make. It has been raining for several days and the temperasture well above freezing. Not a snowflake in sight! Consequently, the birds have lots to eat in the wild so they are not visiting the feeders in the numbers I had last year. I’m sure this will change once the snow arrives.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View sharad's profile

sharad

1622 posts in 1792 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 941 days ago

Yes Iris, I can see the difference in the weather. Does the rains indicate that snowfall is around? I liked the picture of sparrows bathing. This was a common sight here a few years back but the sparrows are disappearing from the cities.

sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2575 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 941 days ago

beautiful birds. beautiful photos.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 578 days ago

2012, December 30th.

MsDeb’s posting today re. the birds at her new feeder reminded me of this thread I started two years ago. I have a couple new pics to add with our recent abundant snowfall.

Can you find 6 male cardinals in my birch? The females were on the ground feeding.

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I hung one of the suet feeders in front of my large, livingroom windows and this greeted me after our snowfall. The cardinal does not peck at the suet to feed but wait for other birds to knock chunks off which they will then pick up.

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This is the first year I have noticed this tiny visitor to the feeders. A red-breasted nuthatch. There are several around and they are not as nervous of humans as their white-breasted cousins.

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A pretty female cardinal..

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Male red-breasted woodpecker

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Purple finch, male

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Little downy woodpecker
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These are just a few of the birds visiting my feeders recently.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14675 posts in 2575 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 578 days ago

fantastic photos.
I really should take the screens off of my windows so I can take some photos of my feathered visitors.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1837 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 578 days ago

Oh Iris, your photos are such treasures! The birds do love the habitat you have created for them. SIX male cardinals, all at the same time! They are so lovely against the white snow and bark of the paper birch….. Thank you for sharing the lovely, lovely birds that visit your garden.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View sharad's profile

sharad

1622 posts in 1792 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 577 days ago

Iris, very exciting to see these photographs from your garden. I was specially happy to see the red-breasted nuthatch. It is nice that you have revived this thread. Here is a link to Listen to the wild bird sounds and calls of North American birds. Listen to them to identify birds visiting your garden.
http://www.almanac.com/topics/birding-fishing/bird-sounds

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2287 posts in 2395 days

posted 575 days ago

What sweet photo’s.

Things I miss,……… winter song birds

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3799 posts in 2204 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 575 days ago

Thanks all for coming to see ‘my’ pretty birds. I’m glad to share them as I enjoy their visits so much.

@ MsDeb, I can imagine the great photos you would get if you set your camera next to the window. You have such a talent and imagination for seeing your subjects in a different light than the ordinary.

@ Robin, The cardinals made the birch look as if it had been decorated with bright red Christmas ornaments. I also was fascinated watching the heavy wave of snow hanging off edge of my neighbour’s roof….do you see it in the background? LOL It is still there now..several days after this picture was taken.

@ Sharad. I thought of you as I posted these pictures. You always show an interest in seeing what we have in this part of the world, and our birds are definitely one of the nicest parts of our local.

And thank you for the link to the Almanac’s Bird Sounds. I am often alerted to the presence of certain birds long bf I see them by hearing their calls as they sit hidden in the trees. It definitely helps to spot them and id them if one’s recognizes their calls. Another helpful hint for identifying birds is to make note of their flight pattern.

Hi Greenthumb. I imagine you probably also miss the snow (unless you can go up to the mtns). Ontario is beautiful now with a blanket of white snow…...that sparkles like diamonds in the sunshine…..if we get any sunshine. lol I’ve been in BC for a rainy winter season….....

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2287 posts in 2395 days

posted 575 days ago

Yup, sometimes I miss the snow but I’m in central BC, surrounded by mountains of it. The highway through hell come winter, a nail biter adrenaline pumped drive where meeting your maker stalks every turn.

Love the photos

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

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