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> Bird Feeders, What do you feed, see, do?
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Dogshirt 
Posted: 20-Nov-2009, 02:51 PM
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Well, it's time to clean up my bird feeders and I was wondering who else feeds birds for the winter. What birds do you get?


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Patch 
Posted: 20-Nov-2009, 03:02 PM
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I do but when West Nile Virus hit here we lost most of the song birds. Mostly I get a couple of types of sparrows. We have some Perregine Falcons that look at my feeders as a buffet. I still keep the suet blocks, sunflower, thistle and mixed seed out in hopes of attracting other birds.

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Dogshirt 
Posted: 20-Nov-2009, 06:29 PM
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We have had a couple instances of West Nile in Wa, but as we have NO mosquitos here where I live, it hasn't affected us or the birds. One of the advantages of living in a desert. wink.gif
I have sparrows, house finches, purple finches, some red pols, chickadees, juncos and STARLINGS. Damned rats with feathers! I put suet cakes out for the little birds and they last about 2 weeks. When the starlings find them they last a day! I have pulled the suet for now and have been feeding the starlings lead. Haven't even put a dent in them. Seems like for each one I kill, 5 more show up. I don't know what to do about them. mad.gif
I also get the occaisional flicker or other woodpeckers at my suet. While the flickers are also very greedy with it, I like them for their bright orange color and the fact that they eat lots of ants.


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wdorholt 
Posted: 21-Nov-2009, 05:24 AM
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ZodiacIvy

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I started feeding birds a year ago and am fascinated by it. I use the same feed as Patch and I see pretty much the same birds as Dogshirt but will also get Pine Siskins, blue jays, and Cardinals. I had a lot of Starlings come into my feeders last winter and it may have been coincidence but they bathed in my heated bird bath and froze to death as the temperature was twenty five degrees below zero at the time. After about six or seven dead carcasses piled up, the rest moved on. The other species of birds seem to be smart enough to merely drink the water.

So do you guys have issues with squirrels? And Dogshirt, how lucky is it to not have mosquitoes? Is there a map to that place?


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Dogshirt 
Posted: 21-Nov-2009, 12:50 PM
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QUOTE
So do you guys have issues with squirrels? And Dogshirt, how lucky is it to not have mosquitoes? Is there a map to that place?


I have no squirrels here. Even if they lived in my area, I have a hyperactive dachshund with a VERY high hunting instinct that would keep them out of the yard.
As for the mosquitos, well, we pay for that with high winds for weeks at a time.
Around here it's just a breeze up to 35 mph, then the wind picks up. I have tallied 93 straight days of wind, starting March.
After the windy season it gets HOT! In the 55 years I've lived here I've seen it up to 114 degrees. And in the winter I've seen -48.
We also only get 4-6 inches of precip a year.
So as I said, we PAY for not having the critters. wink.gif


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Patch 
Posted: 21-Nov-2009, 01:05 PM
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West nile got many of our birds and many horses (somewhere around 30) but starlings and sparrows were unfazed. I do not waste lead on sparrows but I work on the starlings. I dig post holes in the flower beds and cover each with a board. Each day I throw in the starlings for that day and a bit of dirt. It is a good way to get some practice in, is a community service and I do not have to hose the crap off my sidewalks not to mention the fertilizer value. Two years ago I found starlings would eat rat poison and that helped cut down on the feral cats too as they ate the dead starlings. The dogs that ate the dead cats did not get enough warfarin to harm them.

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wdorholt 
Posted: 22-Nov-2009, 02:35 AM
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QUOTE (Dogshirt @ 21-Nov-2009, 11:50 AM)

I have no squirrels here. Even if they lived in my area, I have a hyperactive dachshund with a VERY high hunting instinct that would keep them out of the yard.
As for the mosquitos, well, we pay for that with high winds for weeks at a time.
Around here it's just a breeze up to 35 mph, then the wind picks up. I have tallied 93 straight days of wind, starting March.
After the windy season it gets HOT! In the 55 years I've lived here I've seen it up to 114 degrees. And in the winter I've seen -48.
We also only get 4-6 inches of precip a year.
So as I said, we PAY for not having the critters. wink.gif


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Okay, keep the map! You are one hardy soul Dogshirt! I'll just slap the mosquitoes.
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Dogshirt 
Posted: 04-Jun-2010, 11:13 AM
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I have decided to keep the feeders full all the time this year. Something I haven't done in the past. My hope is to attract a greater number of birds to the place.
So far this spring I have seen the following;

Western Bluebirds
Western Tanagers
Spotted Towhees
House Finches
Yellow Rumped Warblers
Chipping Sparrows
Robins
Brewer's Blackbirds
Barn Swallows

I also have had a pair of Western Kingbirds that have nested here for the last 10-12 years. Since I don't know how long they live, I'm not sure if it is the same pair, or if they are offspring of the original pair. But hey have nested within 100 feet of the house all these years. The first 2 years they nested on the window ledge of the small window over the shower. This gave us a great chance to watch them up
REALLY up close. We were eye to eye with momma every time we got in the shower.
A little further afield we have a pair of American Kestrels that have nested in a tree on the lower end of our property for the last 3 years, a pair of Redtailed Hawks about 300 yards down the canyon, and somewhere in the area there is a pair of Turkey Vultures. While I don't feed these birds, they do hunt my property and I see them daily.
I still have the damned Starlings, but not in the numbers I had through the winter.
And there are many Quail out in the brush and grassy areas.
The only birds that we usually have, that I have not seen yet are the Gold Finches and the Nighthawks. And I suspect they will be here when things warm up a bit.


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Rindy 
Posted: 08-Jun-2010, 09:38 PM
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The birds that I've had are pretty boring compared to all of yours. I feed fruit and nut, oiled sunflowers and just your general common bird seed.

European Dove, Gold Finches, House Finches, Red Wind Black Birds, Starlings sparrows and more sparrows. Night Hawks in the evening.

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Rindy 
Posted: 12-Jun-2010, 08:59 PM
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Had a Western Tanager today. thumbs_up.gif Something different..yay...

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Dogshirt 
Posted: 21-Jun-2010, 09:49 AM
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Friday morning I was out on the lawn with my coffee and heard an ugly "UCK UCK UCK". Looking around, I saw a raven, with both my western king birds dive-bombing it. Every time they hit his back and head they were pulling out feathers!
I bet he won't be back soon. The kingbirds are VERY territorial and fierce!


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Posted: 02-Feb-2013, 07:16 PM
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I have been feeding birds here on Vancouver Island for many years and now we get so many birds, we just had some rare visitors this last week, a white winged crossbill, a white throat-ed sparrow, red crossbill and a ruby crowned king-let....but we get so many other types too. Looking at yards that have no feeders, they look so empty and dull and then you look in our yard and there are litterly hundreds of birds at any time. makes the winter easier to live with. but remember, if you start feeding birds you must continue all winter, if you cut off a supply that they are used to getting, many of the birds could die.
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