Gardening for the birds!

Lilyfinch z7 mid tnMarch 29, 2014

Hi all !
Things have been kinda slow here as we wait for spring to bless us with her presence ! Here in tn some trees are blooming ( my favorite is the pink magnolia I think called jane?) just beautiful ! And daffodils are peaking. Still I wait to see the pink tree in our front yard bloom ( no idea what it is! ) and tulips on the way too. The neighbors blue bird boxes have attracted some beautiful bluebirds and the mocking birds are all over the place! They are very entertaining to watch , as they seem almost territorial . I've noticed a lot of hawks and yesterday I saw a field full of turkey's! I really enjoy how a nice garden can attract so much wild life and it adds to the enchantment ( kinda like a Disney movie ! ) .
Still haven't found the right house yet so I am starting to think about what I can do here to make our Back yard a small haven. I have bought sunflower seeds but I'm unsure , because at the latest ( assuming we find a house) we will be moved by end of July ( hope sooner! )
Do you think they will grow well in pots so I can take them with me? Will they be too tall ? Of course they are the giant ones :)
Do you have any favorite seeds for birds to reccomend ? I may do some zinnias too and Cleome for hummers. I hope it isn't hard to move them if we move!
One last question, I saw a beautiful blue glazed birdbath that I thought would be so nice. Does anyone have a glazed bath? Do the bird use it ? It just seems so slick and slippery I'm not sure if they prefer stone ?
Do you plan on putting up some feeders or houses this spring? I'm lucky to have a neighbor who really attracts a lot so I can enjoy them. I have 2 feeders up in the back but without a garden surrounding it , it seems kinda blah.
Id love to hear and see pics of your birds and gardens ! :)

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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Just to throw some pics out there , these are all from my old garden in pa. I sooo miss having my own dirt to dig in ! I still have this bath and love it .

This one I gave to the neighbor when we moved , it's a common design I can get again! I loved those tulips!

This green beauty my brother bought for me for Christmas one year. He tricked me by only giving me the top, and when I asked where the bottom was he acted like he had no idea it was 2 pieces! I didn't want to embarrass him so I tried to act like the top was all you needed , no big deal! Haha he gave me the base as we were leaving hours later.

Well that's all for now. I wish I had more pics and I can't believe I don't but it's all I could find! Now your turn ! Baths , feeders , birds, plants, animals , anything you want to share , let's see ! :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:57PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

One of our feeders...

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:07PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Our birdbaths have a duel purpose. I'm sure I have more pictures, this is the only one I can find at the moment.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

What a beautiful feeder ! Is that a clematis climbing it's way up?
There is a similar feeder at a local nursery I have my eye on! Makes me want it for sure.
I love the cat in the bath! So sweet!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:24PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Yes, clematis 'Guernsey Cream' one of my favorites. Here's a closeup of the flower.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 3:10PM
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I put a feeder out this year but have only seen one bird on it but I started putting seed on the driveway back in February when the ice storm hit. The birds seem like eating there better so I still put it out for them. Got a flowerbed started by the feeder just no plants in it yet. I have to do raised bed in the front

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 4:58PM
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I have three seed feeders, three coated wire mesh suet feeders & two birdbaths. Summer before last the robin came every afternoon around 4 o'clock and had his bath. I have pictures but no longer have a way of uploading them--sorry.

I get bird seed from a local pet & garden center--thistle for the finches, safflower for the cardinals & partially-shelled sunflower seed for everybody else. The robins and blue jays have been in to feed the past couple of weeks along with all the varieties that stay through the winter.

My neighbor put up two bluebird houses in my garden, one attached to the trunk of a mature dogwood tree and the other on a metal pole.

My entire garden is planted with birds, bees & butterflies in mind, along with one or two things that also please my own eyes & nose. Here are a few lucky shots from 2012:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 5:57PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Beside the feeder in the picture above we keep a suet feeder up year round as well as one or two for the Humming Birds, the Anna's stay all winter here.

The only seed we feed is shelled black oil sunflower. We get numerous birds, to name a few Chickadees, Bushtits by the flock, several Sparrow species, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, a Pileated Woodpecker shows up from time to time, both Rufus and Anna's Humming birds, Flickers, House and Purple Finches. We used to have 3 different Swallows nest in our yard Violet Green, Tree and the messy Barn but not in the last few years, when the House Sparrows showed up the Swallows disappeared. For some reason Gold finches will not visit the feeders in the garden, if we hang a feeder in the laurel hedge outside our fence they will come to that but not the one in the yard. We also have California Quail go after the laurel berries later on.
The last few years we've had Eurasian Ringneck Doves in the garden, they prefer the neighbor's feeder to ours as do the Red Winged Blackbirds he feeds a mixed seed.
We don't seem to get the amount of butterflies that we used to we will be lucky if we see 3 or 4 Swallowtails in the season, one or two Louquin's Admirals and the odd different one. I got a picture of this Blind-Eyed Spinx on one of the iris, rather pretty.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 6:56PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

A Pine White, I think???

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 7:04PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

....and a slightly bedraggled Western Swallowtail.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 7:09PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

...a Loquin's Admiral, these guys can get rather cranky at times, they'll dive bomb you LOL.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

What lovely pictures! Today I saw an orange something fluttering around , prob a moth of some sort but it was encouraging!
I also only use sunflower seed. Considering a finch and thistle seed feeder but the finches eat the sunflower so I may wait. I noticed a pattern here, where similar birds feed at the same time , then move alongm for another type to come. And cardinals come but they wait patiently nearby and hop in when they can. I love the doves too ! They are so pretty.
Garden weed, is that turtleheads plant? I've never grown it but the new sure seems to love it!
Wyndrose, just wait til that one bird tells her friends and you'll be in business!! It seems to take a few days for the birds to catch on , I think .

I have a bird house up but still no takers ! Saw one investigating it but no action since. Maybe too early?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:13PM
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I have a bird feeder in the backyard that I have to fill almost everyday.I fill it with black oil sunflower seed which I get at walmart,40 # for 18.97,and they have a 20# bag of the same thing for 1 dollar less.Soyou know which one I get,i make my dollars go as far as they can.

In the front yard I have a humming bird feeder,that stays up all year long.I have tons of flowers in both yards as well.

The neighbor across the street had those ring neck doves in a cage,and one day they got out,so now spend most of their life over here.I wish they'd move somewhere else though as they crap all over everything.

We have a bird house on a plant shelf on the patio that host a family of finches every year.They, are taking care of it now,so there should be another family in there in a few weeks.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:29PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Talking about birdhouses I went to a seedy saturday up island a few weeks ago, saw the most amazing looking birdhouses for sale. This gal makes them out of driftwood she collects on the beach. I'm thinking of buying one of her works of art for my garden room, if the birds use it, bonus.

I grabbed one of DH's rejects (he's a wood turner), it sits on a shelf in my garden room. A little wren makes her nest in it every year, pic below.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:12PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Wish I had a gorgeous "reject" like that Annette! The cat is soooo cute in the birrdbath.

We've tried lots of seed over the years and found that black oil sunflower really brought in a great variety of birds. But, we went through so much of it and the shells were so messy, and if you have the feeder in a garden they'll kill the plants. So, we switched a couple years ago to a woodpecker mix of nuts and seed and it's a clean mix with no shells. We weren't sure if we would lose the bird variety, but they ALL still come to the feeders or feed beneath the feeders where we throw it on the ground. DH and I both agree that the goldfinches appear to like this mix better than the thistle we used to put out for them. We've been really happy about this seed, not so much the price though. We have lots of birds and go through a lot of seed year round so it's a bit of an expensive hobby to feed the birds, but we love them. We used to put out a lot of suet, but all of our feeders/cages are near the house so squirrels cant get to them, and the woodpeckers woudl flick suet off their beaks and our cedar siding was gettting all greasy! we had to stop the suet. We especially like helping them out in a winter like this one where it was so frigid, and I'm so glad we installed a heated birdbath before the winter set in. Well worth it.

I have a few glazed bird baths and the birds all generally go in them. I usually put a large rock in one or two of them because I do feel like the little birds could use a hand in and out.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:06PM
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oh I love bumble bees. just adorable little things. I have tons of these creatures and I never use insecticides. They

Anyway, I wanted to add that my naughty finches loved my kale garden and so i would like to recommend planting kale near where your bird feeders are.

Annette, love the little wren house. I would like to see photos of the driftwood birdhouses you are referring to. I do wish birds would populate the bird houses I put out.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 5:16PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Ianna, if I manage to get my hands on one of her driftwood birdhouses I'll post a picture. I'm going to contact the gal that makes them, see what she has available. These birdhouses are fairly big, more of a decorative item then functional but you never know. A lovely rustic art piece is the way I see them.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 5:24PM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

I love gardening for critters! We have a number of bird baths and feeders around the yard. But my absolute favorite were the hummingbirds last spring. Last year spring up here was cold and very late, when the hummers showed up nothing was blooming, and we had days and days of cold dreary weather. The DH and I put out a number of hummingbird feeders, and managed to get some video. This particular feeder was drained empty everyday for a week straight.

I put the You Tube link below.

Jenny P

Here is a link that might be useful: Humming bird picnic

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 12:57PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Jenny , thanks for posting that! How fun to have so many buzzing around. It's almost time to put ours out I think. I have florida honeysuckle coming from brushwood that I plan on potting and I'll add a hook to climb on and a hummer feeder there. They are so beautiful , and fast!
Thyme , thank you for mentioning your glazed baths being ok. I think I'll pick one up then. Can't have too many !
Annette , that is such a great wren house! :)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 2:35PM
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