Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

Do you remember the Hummingbird post from a couple of weeks back?  One of the birds already had a band on her foot, you know, the barely visible band with even less visible teensy numbers and letters etched on it.

We received a post card about her:  

“The hummingbird you adopted last Saturday at GCBO was originally banded at GCBO last fall on September 11, 2013.  This is a significant recapture, because we get very few of the same from year to year.  Congratulations on your very special bird!  Just think how many miles she has flown! “

The children clamored to look at a map of North America, did some quick head math.  Wowza.  That’s 20 miles per day with a 500-mile non-stop trip across the Gulf of Mexico…at least twice.

She’s no WyldStyle.  That chick earned a new name from her young sponsor:  Magellan.

We are now down to maintaining one feeder (of the three kept during fall migration).  Though the swarms and “Hummer Warz” are gone for the year, we still watch a migrant here or there, happy to find a feeder all to himself.  By December, we’ll begin hosting some of our cold weather variety, like the Rufous Hummingbird from Christmas which started it all.

Do you maintain any bird feeders?  

Do you keep nectar feeders up during the winter?

4 thoughts on “Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

  1. I’ve tried a hummingbird feeder multiple times, but they never seem to find it. As for other feeders, I’ve thought that doing so would encourage more birds to the yard, who would then be in larger numbers to eat more of my tomatoes…

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    1. We also used to put out feeders (during the non-migrating times) with no luck on hummers. It wasn’t until last winter that we actually started seeing regulars — 2 to 3 that just hung out for several weeks to a couple of months.

      As for bird seed, we are using only black oil sunflower seed, suet and thistle; gave up on the garden store “song bird” blend (which attracts more of the NOT song birds). The squirrels (except one really smart one) and rogue birds stay off. When the blackbirds abound in the spring, it’s actually fun to watch them trying to pull out seeds from the mesh. Entertaining little guys.

      We have many, many birds, and only the cardinals and mockingbirds hang out in the garden — eating caterpillars. It’s the squirrels that eat out maters, and they seem to like the big green ones. They and the bugs left the cherry variety alone this year!

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      1. We mix chicken scratch and wild bird seed from the feed store in a large trash can. That is what I feed the regular birds.We get a lot of blue jays, red birds and doves.A few of the smaller tiny birds. Often times the Grackles and crows will invade as well as the black birds. We also use hummingbird feeders I think they like our flowering plants better but I enjoy doing it.

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      2. And you get quite the reception for that menu, judging from your photos! A lot of people I know don’t like feeding the grackles, black birds, and other opportunists. I don’t mind them so much — I just try to give them their own feeder (so they don’t bully out the smaller birds). Keep up what you do over there, Neighbor!

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