For the Birds

Some Returning Favorites

Although I love the fall season, I have to admit I am not happy with the late appearance of the sun each morning. As I have said in my earlier posts, Steve, Nicholas (our cat) and I spend most mornings watching the birds. But now with the late sunrise, I must instead go to work. (Nicholas is not happy either.) Now I shouldn't complain. If you have been in my office I have just as good a view to watch birds (with Trixie the cat at work) but I do feel the need to work when I am at work. So I have been less inspired, I'm afraid to blog about my bird watching. I can tell you a litlle about what I have been seeing -- on the weekends anyway.

Many birds have passed through. Eastern Towhee, Eastern Phoebe, Rose-breasted Grosbeak. But they're just on their way somewhere warm. What's exciting is when birds migrate here. Last week we spotted our first set of white-crowned sparrows. What's more exciting was that they had four juveniles with them. Notice the adults have a defined white stripe on their head-- the juveniles have a tan stripe. White crowned sparrows are ground feeders. Either place food directly on the ground or let your other birds throw some out of your feeders for them. This time of year we start putting some Coles Blue Ribbon Blend on the ground. It has just the right amount of white millet for the white crowned sparrow and eventually the white-throated sparrows and juncos when they arrive soon.

Adult White Crowned Sparrow

Juvenile White Crowned Sparrow

We've seen many other birds come back that are here all year but just weren't in our yard this summer. Our favorite is the Red-Bellied Woodpecker. If you're not familiar with the's a little confusing because you really don't see the red belly, you see the red stripe on its head. But the Red-headed has an entirely red head not just a stripe. 
It's fun to watch all the woodpeckers and nuthatches snatch a piece of food and look for just the right spot to hide it in our maple tree. I wonder how much of that food really gets found and eaten! We use Wild Delight Woodpecker and Nuthatch food for the Red-Bellied and Nuthatches. Of course most of our birds eat it also-- but the red-bellied and nuthatch love the peanuts and pumpkin seeds.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker -- Female.
The Male's red stripe extends all the way to the beak whereas
 the female has a gray spot on the top of her head.

Have you seen any returning favorites in your yard this season? Let us know--comment on this post. We would love to hear!

--Written by Cool Ponds staff member Staci


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