Saturday, February 28, 2009

Color during the cold months

Even though the trees and flowers are sleeping in my Georgia garden, I still have plenty of color during the cold months of winter. Click the video to see the activity we have at the backyard bird feeders.

The Cardinal are popular birds at backyard feeders of North America. Here you see both male and female Cardinals eating the black oil sunflower seed. The male is the bright red guy to the left. Ah, if only in the human world the man had to be the pretty one. Then getting ready each day would not be such a task for me. Giggle...

The female Cardinal is also pretty, just look how her crown stands up when defending her eating spot.Here you see the Cardinal with male Purple Finches.

Female Purple Finches are near by the males.

The Wren prefers to eat the peanut butter nuggets in the butterfly bush island rather then the backyard feeder. The next few pictures were snapped back when we had a yard full of blooms and I was patiently sitting on the swing nearby. I don't have such luck with capturing the wren at the big feeder in the backyard during the winter. They along with the...Chickadee... Titmouse... and brown-headed Nuthatch, are so quick with taking a seed or mouth full of suet that I cannot catch them. They remind me of the fluttering butterflies when trying to snap a picture of them. Darn near impossible!

The Finches dominate the feeders during the winter. Here you see the Gold Finch wearing their winter coats.

Here is a Gold Finch starting to put on his spring feathers.

A Pine Siskin eats with the Purple Finches.

Mr. Blue Jay is a bit of a bully at the feeders. He or she (they both look the same) like to scatter the seed below while eating.

But none of the seed on the ground goes to waste as this furry critter is always nearby waiting for the opportunity to indulge in some treats! We have the feeders blocked from the Squirrels and Raccoons with baffles.

The Hawk's are also an opportunist and they take advantage of our bird feeders even though they do not eat seed. A lot of people don't like the hawks in their gardens and yard but I am okay with them thus far.

The Hawks favorite meal is the dove as they eat from the ground. If only the hawk would eat more squirrels and voles instead of my beloved birds. Sigh...

Here is a bird that people don't care to see in their gardens. Some even put out deterrents in the form of Scarecrows to run off the big black crows. I don't mind them in our yard as they have never bothered anything other then maybe steal a bird egg from a nest. I do try to live in harmony with all the wildlife around us.

This little Pine Warbler is our guest only during the winter months. He shows up and loves to nibble on the suet cakes. This one flew into a sun-room window and was getting his thoughts together before he took off again.

Another of our guest that mainly show up during the winter months is the ground feeding Flicker. A woodpecker that loves to eat grubs from the soil. He is my friend as he can have all the grubs he would like from my garden!

Grubs mean Japanese Beetles and I don't like them in the garden at all.

Soon the red Breasted Grosbeak and Cedar Waxwings will be Coming Through then I will know Spring is officially here!

Even though winter can be a dreary time for us, we can look out our window and still see COLOR DURING THE COLD MONTHS, In the Garden...


  1. Hi there :-)

    What a wonderful and colourful posting of the birds in your garden. I loved seeing them especially as they are so different to mine in Scotland. I am guessing all their individual characters are even more colourful :-D

    Wishing you a colourful weekend! I'm going out in search of expanses of white in woodlands! No, not snow but snowdrops :-D

  2. skeeter, thank you for posting these bird pics and info. Your georgia garden is a real sanctuary for birds. I am inspired and plan to find out how to attract more birds. I also find it impossible to photograph the tiny fairy wrens that dart around. And other birds like brightly coloured parrots are so high up I can't seem to get a clear shot. But tackling these challenges are so fun! seeya, and hi to Tina, catmint

  3. What amazing pictures! You either have a huge lens of a lot of skill - or both ;)

  4. Your video clip may qualify as a feeding frenzy. The variety of birds in your garden is amazing. They are all pretty, but I particularly like the fliker, and my favorite bird in general is the hated crow. I love how they live in gregarious groups and are constanly talking to each other, they are scary smart as well.

  5. Wonderful photos of all the birds visiting your feeders and gardens.

  6. I love watching the birds and you really got some great photos of them. I especially like the hawk photo.

  7. Just wonderful, I love all birds. The crows bother my husband, a lot!

  8. Skeeter, I love winter flowers but the birds really are the best! You've captured shots of my favorite birds...even crows are fun to have visit the garden! have a good day...are you getting all the rain and then the cold weather? Yikes. gail

  9. Wow, thunder storms in Georgia today. I doubt I will be on here much as I dont want to loose the computer!

    Shirl, Good luck with snowdrop hunting!

    Catmint, Black Oil Sunflower seeds, thistle and suet cakes attracts plenty of birds in our yard...

    EB, I have a 10X Optical zoom on my digital. Luckily, the feeder is near the Sun-room windows...

    Les, I too find the crows fascinating creatures to observe. It is a feeding frenzy for sure and a costly hobby as well...

    Crafty Gardener, thanks!

    Janet, we have a hawk family which lives in our woods and they are fun to spot when perched...

    Darla, We love all birds too and even the crows even though a bit eerie to some...

    Gail, we have 1 and 1/2 inch in the rain gauge as I type and more falling with thunder off in the distance so I am off for a while....

  10. Awesome bird pictures! What a nice variety and you do capture great pictures. Mine would be a blur of something as I snapped, lol. Boy 1 has to play piano today at the college --he is being graded --I'm a little nervous since soccer has been consuming most of his practice time. Good luck with the storms --it's raining here as well.

  11. Great photos, Skeeter! I have tried and tried to get some decent photos of birds, but I think they are even more difficult to capture than the butterflies. They seem to sense me and my camera from 10 feet away:)

    You have so many different species of birds. Could you send that ground-feeding Flicker my way?:)

  12. So many different kinds of birds. You are so lucky to have those visiting you. I only get 2 or 3 types flying around. I wish I have more ...

  13. Great pics Skeeter. Very good enjoyment for us all.

  14. I am so impressed with that multi bird feeder. Especially like the middle. Most don't look like that around here. Wish I could find one. The photos of the birds are wonderful. Can't get enough of the birds!

  15. Great photos!

    We have the same bird friends. Their relatives are up here. Judging from all the Waxwings coming through, you'll soon see them in your garden.

    Have a great weekend! We've got snow in tomorrow's forecast (oh, no).


  16. Good morning and hello to all!

    Awesome pictures! I remember all those birds in your backyard. I was amazed and do love that special bird feeder and the other one on the tree too. I'm like Rose, send me that Flicker. Better yet, send me some big hawks! Voles are busy at it again! Have a great weekend everyone, I'm busy with projects-finally!

  17. Skeeter, you've got more garden color going on than most of us! We have a pile of bird species in the county, but the colorful ones are pretty rare. The cardinal is one that's never made it out this way--too bad...

  18. Wonderful bird photos Skeeter. Those Purple Finches look like they've been dunked in raspberry juice. Such beautiful color.

    We have a lot of Pine Warblers here too -- I love their song.

  19. Wow! You have alot of color with the many birds. BTW-the blujays have it figured out, even though they screech and bully others, once they figure out the feeder and scatter the seeds for everyone they become the most popular bird on the block! I have a dozen! Chubby ones.

  20. Wow Skeeter - your feeders are alive! You must have the most popular yard in the neighborhood. You captured some wonderful bird shots!

  21. Wow Skeeter you've got a bunch of birds! I hope the grosbeaks venture back our way again this year. They're nice to look at. That ground feeding woodpecker should come over here too. I wonder how effectively he aerates your soil? Great pictures!

  22. You have a great bird feeding station and a wonderful variety of birds!

  23. Fantastic Skeeter, I really enjoyed your post of the beautiful birds. Living in town there is not that many. I do treasure what few I do have & try to encourage more.

  24. This is a post after my own heart:)

    I love all of these birds and your photos! So nice to see all of them. I too, love having them visit and try to capture them on camera when possible!

    As for the cedar waxwing, that was one I did just see, and just posted it! The others I am planning to post as ongoing upcoming posts. There is always so much fun in our gardens, isnt' there!!

  25. Your birds are beautiful. I moved in withe Chris and had several feeders. He has since taken to tending and filling them. We have lots of birds I watch in the morning. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

  26. The video of your bird-feeding station was amazing. What a colorful variety of birds you have visiting your garden. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful photos of your feathered friends with us today Skeeter. :)

  27. I love seeing the birds. I can't believe the activity at your feeding station! What a great assortment of birds and pictures. Thanks for sharing all that color!

  28. Fabulous shots of the birds, you certainly have some very different ones than we are used to seeing here in the UK.
    I am particularly enchanted with your purple finch - is it really that colour?!

  29. I would LOVE to see a red breasted grosbeak. Waxwings were plentiful in Alaska. I need to do more birdwatching - thanks for the reminder.

  30. Hello everyone! Flood warnings all over town as we are getting way too much rain. Funny me saying that when we are in a 4 years drought! lol, maybe this will get us out of the 2009 drought and back on track.

    Thank you for all the wonderful comments on the birds! This is just a sampling of the 56 different types of birds I have documented in our yard, not counting all the different sparrows which are too difficult to identify. I do hope you all enjoy the birds in your back yards and gardens as they do provide a service for all gardeners. I will ask the Flicker if he will head to other gardens to pluck grubs, arerate and also send the hawk for Vole patrol!!!

    My parents gave the Saint the main bird feeder and pole as a birthday gift. From "Wild Birds Unlimited". We added more poles and features over time.

    Back to my indoor projects now....

  31. Gosh! I've learned something today. What you call chickadee in the US, we call tits in the UK. blue tits, great tits, willow tits, long-tailed tits.. amazing!

  32. What a lovely post of all your bird friends. I don't mind crows (which stop by occasionally) or hawks (which I haven't seen), either. Circle of life and all that. Cedar waxwings are supposedly in Michigan all year, but I've never seen one! Same goes for pine siskin, which we also supposedly have. I love squirrels, but dislike mourning doves. It's funny how we all have our "pet" animals! :)

  33. Hello Everyone, Just now getting back to the computer...

    My mom sent this to me and I thought I would pass it along as I found it interesting.


    The Health Department investigated calls about dead and floundering birds, cedar waxwings to be exact. The birds were crashing into buildings in the Peabody Place area.

    The Commercial Appeal traced the problem to berries from nearby holly trees. Recent freezes ruptured berry cells, allowing the wild yeast to convert sugars into alcohol.

    The birds apparently got tipsy from consuming the fermented berries.

    Health officials say they don’t know how many birds died from flying intoxicated.

  34. Hi Tina,
    This was an awesome post! I love the way you kept saying you were willing to co-exist with all kinds of creatures. I wish we had more kinds of birds around here, but soon, we'll have more.

  35. love all the colours in your garden. it is so neat to see all of your visitors.

  36. Nice birds Skeeter. It seems we have many of the same winter visitors. We have hawks visit the yard too. I have not seen them catch a bird yet but if they do I guess that is just natures workings.

    How does that Droll Yankee finch feeder with the metal guards perform? I have been thinking about getting this model as my finch feeder leaks to much water into the seed.

  37. Sue, Skeeter posting on the birds, we confuse at times, sorry. We do try to live in harmony with the animals. I think that is better then fighting them as they usually win in the end anyway. lol...

    Marmee, thanks, we do enjoy winter color from our backyard visitors...

    Dan, we have seen the hawk grab a snake off the ground and take it to the woods to eat. Now that was pure nature in our backyard.

    We really like that finch feeder! It does not get wet and clump up like our old ones did. Fairly easy to take apart and clean also. I say go for it as you should enjoy it...

  38. Oops, Skeeter, Thanks for letting me know. I normally check to see whose post it was so I address the right person. I should have realized after your deer post. LOL

  39. WOW, drunk birds. I have wondered about that with the berries when we have a late freeze. So in fact, it could be harmful for the birds to eat frozen berries. More the reason we put feed out for our feathered friends. I keep it out all the time.

  40. Sue, Sorry to confuse you. I try to post only on Weekends to give Tina a chance to spend time with her family but some times such as today, the “To Do” list fell on Sunday so Tina took today. We do try to keep to the schedule but we mix things up a bit at times. :-)

    Lola, I have heard of the Waxwings doing this before. A big group of them were flying drunk in Chicago a while back and flew into tall office building windows killing a lot of them. Sad thing for a bird to be flying drunk! If only they had bird police in the sky. We keep the seed out year round as well. They dont rely on it as much during growing season but it is there when they need it. The Cardinals always show up for treats first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening....

  41. Hi Skeeter, better late than never, right? I so enjoyed your birds, similar to mine but we have no warblers. I gave up on the suet since the squirrels eat the whole thing in one sitting, little piggies they are, but you already know that! Our little Carolina Wren loves the nuggets too. That feeder is hanging right next to the glass doors on the hook that the hummingbird feeder goes on in summer so I can see them better. The wren is living in the mess under the deck, a good excuse not to clean up under there, right? HA

  42. Wow, you really do have some colorful birds! Enjoyed the pictures.

  43. I love seeing all the photos on this post. The birds are so colorful. Do you take those photos? We are a long way off in getting our Spring garden started, probably not for 3 more months.

    I also love the pink tree. Nicely done,

  44. What a variety of birds, Skeeter! I'm so envious of you and glad they visit your garden so at least I get to see them through your lens. I love eagles and hawks too though most don't. I even fancy having them as pets!

  45. Frances, I am behind on visits to everyone as well. So much going on lately hard to keep up. :-) We have our peanut butter nugget feeder hanging with the hummingbird feeder also! Ha, we do think a like at times dont we? lol. We put baffles on all the suet feeders and it keeps the squirrels at bay. We made one pole just for suet. Hum, I should post on that some time as it was very easy and works great for the woodpecker type birds...

    Dot, Thanks! We do enjoy the colorful birdies in our life...

    Pam, Thanks, I do take all of the pictures you see on my post unless mentioned within the post. I was lucky to capture these pics as most were taken through the glass of the window of our sun room...

    Chandramouli, I too enjoy all the birds around us. I am not so crazy when the hawk eats a song bird but they must eat as well. That is nature at work and we must refrain from getting too upset. They do provide a lot of enjoyment for us year round though...