May 23, 2018
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When we moved to our current home ten years ago, I put up a post that was clearly visible from our dining room window and hung a bird feeder. In other places where we have lived that kind of feeder drew a variety of interesting little songbirds. Here it drew mostly magpies and grackles, noisy and greedy birds who scattered the seeds looking for the ones they wanted, and scared away the small birds. We stopped filling that feeder.
We had more success with a thistle seed feeder hung from the same post; we love to watch the goldfinches float down from the trees and compete for a spot on the feeder.
We put a hummingbird feeder on the other side of the house and it didn’t take long for the little hummers to find it. Occasionally an oriole would come and drink from it. I saw an oriole feeder at Canadian Tire – same principle as the hummingbird feeder but larger holes. It seemed like a great idea; I bought one.
The first summer it attracted wasps, who prevented any birds from coming near. Many of the wasps managed to crawl down the tubes to get closer to the nectar, and drowned. It turned out to be an effective wasp trap, but that hadn’t been our intention. This year we tried the oriole feeder again. Within a couple days there were a bunch of dead flies floating on the nectar inside. We took that feeder down and gave up on it.
Yesterday I took down the unused birdseed feeder, drove a spike through a scrap wood block and screwed it to the bracket the bird feeder had been sitting on. Then I impaled a half orange on the protruding end of the nail. It didn’t take long for an oriole to find it. They seem to be happy, and so are we.
May 31, 2016
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I want to report a victory in our battle with the invasive sparrows (see May 14 post). My wife opened up the birdhouse on our garage two more times and each time found and removed a nest the sparrows were building. They finally got the message and gave up. The swallows happily returned to build their nest again.
We now have three happy swallow couples preparing to raise their families in birdhouses around our house. Last week we heard a wren’s song and saw that they have returned to their birdhouse on our clothesline pole.
We hear the brown thrasher singing his repertoire morning and evening, we hear an oriole song from time to time and occasionally catch a glimpse of orange in the trees, goldfinches flock to our feeder and Chris even saw a catbird one day. Everything seems to be right with the world.