If you plant it... they will come. Who's in your yard?

Jules(6 Ont)October 1, 2003

It's this time of year when you can smile and feel proud of all the shrubs, trees & flowers that you planted for the wildlife.

For the past week I've had more bluejays than I've ever seen; at least forty of them in my yard all day and especially congregating in my corn & winter wheat patch in the early evening.

Also watching at least eight woodpeckers, a few yellow bellied sapsuckers, thrushes, wrens & crowned kinglets.

Makes me think... I have to plant more fall berry shrubs!! (-:

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jabee

I have about 20 different bird species that either live in or migrate through my yard. Last weekend I was happy to see a migrating Ruby-throat hummingbird at a feeder. I have Black-chinned hummers who stay from March 'til November but the Ruby is a brief visitor.

Right now the salvias, acanthus, Turk's cap and rosemary are "humming" with activity and the milkweeds are awaiting the Monarchs soon to move through on their way to Mexico. I can't wait!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hill Country Gardens

    Bookmark   October 2, 2003 at 6:28AM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

My garden is at 27 degrees this morning. I hear Carolina wrens, chickadees, tufted titmice, cardinals, song sparrows, Eastern towhees, at the feeders and in the shrubs. There was a screech owl calling last night. I didn't hear the catbirds yesterday, they may have moved on.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2003 at 7:51AM
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John_D(USDA 8b WA)

My garden got down to 51ºF and the birds are getting the message: go where the food is. Right now, I have song sparrows, Bewick's wrens, house finches, house sparrows, spotted towhees, black-capped chickadees, chestnut-backed chickadees, bushtits, pine siskins, northern flickers, downey woodpeckers, Steller's jays, Cooper's hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, [black] merlins, gulls, crows, and [oddly] a kingfisher who lands on the power line and rattles at me while I fill the bird baths.

I haven't seen any of the snow birds yet. They're late this year.

The rock doves left after the Cooper's hawks started eating them (something they do every year, during fall migration).

I also get mammals: possums, raccoons, skunks, and an occasional coyote. (I used to get feral cats, but the coyotes ate them.)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2003 at 10:26PM
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LychnisLynn

We have wild turkeys visiting now..YEAH!!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2003 at 8:28PM
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John_D(USDA 8b WA)

Wild turkeys? Wow!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2003 at 4:29AM
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Elaine_NJ6

I have about a quarter acre, very thickly planted, in an old, built-up suburb. The catbirds are gone, as are most of the robins (they were flocking last week, but there are still some around). Mockingbirds, jays, woodpeckers, and cardinals are suddenly more noticeable, and goldfinches are having a wonderful time eating the seeds of the prairie plants. There were up to half a dozen at a time there all day yesterday. Several species of native sparrows are all over the place all the time. I think I've been seeing some type of wren lately, for the first time. The usual mammalian suspects--chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits (too many), raccoons, skunks, woodchucks--are all over the place. Even though it's been cool, the monarchs are still coming through--a steady stream yesterday enjoying the late asters.

Note that I NEVER "feed" the animals. No feeders, no suet, no nothing except the plants. The critters come to reap the fruits of my native plantings of trees, shrubs, forbs, and grasses.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2003 at 3:32PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

A great blue heron stopped by yesterday morning!!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2003 at 10:52AM
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TennSherri(z6 NashTN)

We have turkeys here too! I had to stop on my way to work yesterday morning to let four hens cross the road. We have a birdfeeder in the front yard that's kinda low and the turkeys eat right out of the tray!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wild turkey

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 12:36PM
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TennSherri(z6 NashTN)

More turkeys in the neighborhood...

Here is a link that might be useful: Turkeys

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 12:53PM
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TennSherri(z6 NashTN)

I couldn't get the pics to work right...

Here is a link that might be useful: Both turkey pictures??

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 1:09PM
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littlebug5(z5 MO)

Nice pics TennSherri. Turkeys here too. It's quite common.

I was driving down a dirt road one day on my way to work (I just go that way when I've got plenty of time) and a flock of turkeys saw me coming from where they were grazing a soybean field on the right. They all ran and took flight, right over my car. That was thrilling. THEN, I saw one who was apparently particularly excited -- he (or she) flew straight into a power line along the side of the road. Feathers flew. The turkey fell to the ground, then commenced running again, obviously just a little worse for wear.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2003 at 12:52PM
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Jules(6 Ont)

I don't think I've ever seen a turkey in the wild. I can't even imagine one flying.
Watched a band of broadwinged hawks pass over my yard. There must have been over two hundred of them circling.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2003 at 3:34PM
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jillmcm(z6 PA)

I'm jealous of the broad-wings - I saw a kettle of them once at the Cape May hawk watch - that's the only reason I knew what they were :)

We have lots of the summer birds still around, and have had a definite uptick in the cardinals and nuthatches which usually disappear during the summer. Haven't seen any of the fall/spring sparrows that usually pass through yet. The woodpeckers are starting to reappear as well. We've started hearing the great horned owl again, too. We have a major construction project next door right now, which may be keeping some of the usual visitors away. Grrr...

I've been enjoying watching the frantic last minute pollination going on at the asters, especially the A. erycoides I planted this year - it has been attracting lots of native bees, as well as honeybees. It has been interesting to note that my Solidago seems to be attracting bronze-green houseflies only, and lots of them. There was a large female mantis out there picking them off today.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2003 at 8:46PM
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stillmeadow(z9/7CA)

It definitely is transition time for the birds on my home front. I now have a family of Acorn Woodpeckers and a family of No. Flickers. Two barn owls instead of only one. At the feeders and on the ground I have Scrub jays, House finch, Gold finches, Titmice, Nuthatch, White capped and Golden crowned Sparrows along with the melodious Song sparrow, Lark sparrow, HOSP, Quail, Canadian geese. A Rufous Towhee & Blackbird were even interested in my feeder. I think the Robins are gone but still see Mourning doves, Kingfisher, Blue Heron, Great White Egret,Mallards, Red tailed Hawk,Blk. Shouldered Kite, No. Mockingbird,Brown Towhee, Black Phoebe's, Vultures and the Wild Turkeys have just appeared. I still have a few Anna's that I believe will stay. Of cours Opossum, racoons, Guinea Hens, Coyote and Deer.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2003 at 4:29PM
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steph_va(7 VA)

I'm getting a lot of feeder birds (about 15 species)in a backyard that was just grass and one maple tree when we moved in a year ago. After much sweat and labor, I've dug quite a few flower beds and was able to watch monarchs come through late this summer. I also saw hummers and a pair of goldfinch hanging on one of my sunflowers. I've never seen a goldfinch in a yard before, so to see it the first summer in my first yard made me feel really good. My goal was a wildlife friendly yard and it looks like I'm on my way!:)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2003 at 8:50PM
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TennSherri(z6 NashTN)

We had a pair of tufted titmice (mouses???), a few pileated woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, red-bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, mourning doves, cardinals, and blue jays this weekend. And some kind of HUGE carrion-eating birds were roosting in a dead tree in the field across from our house. I have found three Virgin Tiger Moths around the yard lately. They are just beautiful.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 12:51PM
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roseunhip(z5b QC)

Those huge carrion-eating birds have to be Turkey vultures. They have been spreading here in S-W Quebec in recent years to a point that's sometimes almost unbelievable. For instance, this last April, I could see them flying right over our house by the dozens, at a low altitude, and we live very near the city... Only to find them the same day, in the early evening, resting in mature trees in a suburbian agglomeration right near our place, and the passerbys from that quiet spring evening simply could not believe their eyes! I love those fascinating birds, but I am not entirely sure their vast amounts these days are such good news...

    Bookmark   October 14, 2003 at 8:54AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Since the cooler Weather, the population of Morning Doves visiting here has increased to twenty or more feeding on the birdseed on the driveway. The yard is full of the usual visiting winter birds such as Juncos, White Throated Sparrows and Songsparrows. The Blue Jays were around in flocks for awhile right after the acorns started falling. They were going nuts over the broken ones that would fall and be run over by cars in my neightbors driveway.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2003 at 1:29PM
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Bullnettle(z8b TX)

Today eastern bluebirds were eating on the poke berries, an eastern phoebe came up to the birdbath, and yellow-rumped warblers, ruby-crowned kinglets, and a Nashville warbler were eating wax myrtle berries. A cooper's hawk flew into one of the large pecans and surveyed the yard, looking for a meal, but left because all the birds had hidden. Two red-tailed hawks are in the back of the place, a male and female, and fly over the pastures looking for field mice. That explains why my backyard feeder has few takers. The white-winged doves are here, hiding from hunters (human type), I guess. Inca doves are eating mostly under the wax myrtles and rose bushes, which is different than their usual habit, which is to eat on the driveway, probably a result of the hawks. The usual influx of 100 goldfinches hasn't made it yet; I've only seen one, and will be disappointed if they and the red-winged blackbirds don't come and eat me out of house and home this year. Turkey vultures overfly several times a day, sometimes accompanied by black vultures. Downy woodpeckers hunt up and down the pecan trees, and red-bellieds are usually around, flying around showing off the pecans in their beaks. Chipping sparrows come and eat in small flocks, and sometimes field sparrows also flock into the feeders. American crows come and get pecans, screw with the squirrels, which is fun to watch, and mob the hawks, which is how I usually spot the hawks. A kestrel visits occasionally; it's funny to watch the white-winged doves fly away from the kestrel, which is smaller than they are. House sparrows are an abundance I could do without; they love the Mermaid roses, which are evergreen here, and which is where they hide from the hawks. Cardinals visit daily, for water mostly, but they do eat some of the feed as well. Squirrels are so cocky that they hide pecans in the ground only feet from my large dogs, and sometimes come onto the swing while I'm sitting in it. Now there are three deer that come onto the back of the place in the evenings, the first year that I've seen them in over 25 that I've lived here. I think that the growth of our town has left them with fewer places to go, so they come to our small place up off the creek. My small habitat brings me great joy, and the hard work and money expended is worth it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2003 at 8:19PM
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sowngrow(TX8)

Let's see. This past week I've had Juncos, E. Bluebirds, Cardinals, Bluejays, Red bellied Woodpeckers, a Northern Mockingbird, Turkey vultures flying overhead and the usual house sparrows.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2003 at 11:41PM
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TennSherri(z6 NashTN)

We still have wild turkeys here also, although they are not nearly as visible as they were 6 weeks ago. I usually see them now in the mornings in flocks of 12-15, mostly females. Still a few deer around and my red-bellied woodpeckers are prominent. Once in a while I see or hear a pileated woodpecker, but not often. I still see bluebirds going in and out of our nesting box and goldfinches are still eating the thistle. Not sure why this is, but I have seen a much larger number than usual of turkey vultures circling around. Maybe they are after the deer carcasses left by the hunters.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2003 at 4:39PM
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Jules(6 Ont)

The hawks are sure here. The usual; pair of red tailed, two sharped shinned and one red shouldered, but I had a new one feasting on a pigeon (about ten feet from my back door). I think it was a coopers. A tad upset as my neighbour saw one of the hawks get a cardinal. The circle of life.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2003 at 2:51PM
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kookwonk(z4 PA)

I've had A juvinile yellow bellied sapsucker, a pair of downy w.p.'s a pair of hairy w.p.s, a male red bellied w.p.,about 50 doves, a skunk amany house finches and goldfinches and slatecolored juco's as well as a couple origon junco's! (in PA. Alos cooper's hawk and two sharpshinned, a pair of whitebrested nuthatches, starlings and 4 bluejays, phew!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2003 at 5:29PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Still lots of Blue Jays and native Sparrows like white throats and Songsparrows. The juncos seem to have dissapeared although its not that warm here yet. This morning the Cardinal was singing to his lady.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2004 at 1:22PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Juncos are still here. I heard a Field Sparrow singing this evening. And I'm pretty sure I heard the Blue-headed Vireo this morning. I keep a record of when I first see/hear each returning or passing-through migrants every year. It's fun to look back and compare dates. I also keep dates of flowers, trees, etc blooming, leafing out, etc. Red-winged Blackbirds and Towhees are back. I expect Blue-gray Gantcatchers and Brown Thrashers within the next few days.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 8:34PM
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sunflower71(z7 NC)

Mostly the usual suspects as far as birds go in my yard (cardinals, woodpeckers, bluebirds, unidentified tiny birds, did see a lot of robins a few weeks ago). The robins focused on the worms in the lawn but the "regulars" enjoy the birdbath and pine & oak trees.

I am seeing a lot more insect activity recently--wasps, carpenter bees and "regular" bees are frequenting the holly by the sidewalk (not the best design I think to have a prickly insect magnet by the sidewalk...).

Umm, do slugs count as well in the plant it and they will come? :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 10:03PM
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robertmacgrogan(z7 GA)

Right now we're getting goldfinches, robins, blue jays, cardinals, Carolina wrens, towhees, mourning doves (lots of them!), sparrows of some kind (can't quite figure out the species), mocking birds, titmice, and nuthatches. Also, the occassional yellow-bellied sap sucker and northern flicker. And about a week ago we had a big flock of cedar waxwings in the tops of our trees.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2004 at 5:54PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

The Cardinals are making a nest in my boxwood shrub close to my window. The boxwood is untrimmed and about six feet tall. This is the first year I have seen where they are building their nest although I have Cardinals here every year.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 7:37PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Chicadees fledged little ones in one of my Birdhouses this year. Been seeing the usual Racoons and Possums plus lots of birds around.

Right now my Lavender is in bloom and its covered in visiting Cabage Butterflies all day long. Not sure that is such a good thing as they probably stop and lay eggs on my brocolli while they are here. But they love that lavender. Every year, when it blooms there are clounds of them flying about.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2004 at 5:52PM
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Allshade(z6 MA)

Newyorkrita:

I may have to plant a boxwood! Did you get to see the babies growing up? Is your boxwood in sun or shade?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 12:52PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Its in the shade. But honestly, boxwood grow so very slowly. This one is over 30 years old. There have been nests in it before but this is the first time I have seen the Cardinals nest there. Yes, I got to see the whole cycle from eggs to fledging time. Really neat!!!! :-)))

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 2:51PM
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dampflippers(Tyne & Wear UK)

I get pheasants, magpies, blackbirds, starlings, bluetits, dunnocks, great tits, coal tits, house sparrows, occcasional swallows flying over, green finches, chaffinches, frogs, wrens, rooks, jackdaws, pippistrelle bats flying over at night, neighbours's cats, occasional sparrow hawks, robins, goldfiches, bumble bees, wood pigeons nesting in my scots pine tree, collar doves. In the spring I had reed buntings for the first time.
Talking of bird, I'd better go and fill my feeders.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 5:52AM
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Linda_8B

It's so nice out. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, other birds. And of course there's skeeters, chiggers, fireants, 'coons and grasshoppers. We have to put up with the second list to enjoy the first list. That's just life, huh? But it's worth it, too!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2004 at 12:53AM
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Allshade(z6 MA)

We had daily visits from cardinals immediately after hanging our new birdfeeder this spring. Unfortunately, we also attracted all the neighborhood squirrels, english (?) sparrows, and rats! We gave up on the birdfeeder after the squirrels killed two plants underneath and pulled the birdfeeder down; it was a good try. Now our fountain attracts a pair of catbirds and the sparrows daily, the cardinals occasionally, and a pair of doves just recently. One of the pools in the fountain seems to be just the right depth for baths!

The rats seem to have moved in under our porch despite the removal of the feeder, where we piled some bricks and rocks from garden excavations. Apparently we need to clear it all out to convince the rats that not only will we not feed them, but we won't house them, either. Sigh.

Our campaign to attract birds continues, however. We just replaced some sad-looking lilacs by our porch (moved them elsewhere) with Black Beauty elderberry, which we are hoping will contribute to a bird feast this fall. We also just added a blue princess holly and her prince, and a couple of low-bush blueberries.

Susan

    Bookmark   June 30, 2004 at 8:05AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

This has been a great year for visiting Bluejays in my yard as small flocks of them come to feed everyday all summer long. Before my garden projects, Bluejays around here were very rare.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2004 at 12:30PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

It's neat to read a year's worth of "who's in your yard:-)" No unusual visitors lately. the blue-headed vireo is still singing . It's probably a different one as there were none singing for two or three days and then I heard one yesterday,

    Bookmark   October 24, 2004 at 7:21PM
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teka2rjleffel(z10FL)

Since the hurricanes, the birds can see my feeder better or they have been uprooted or something, but I now have the wild parrots (yeah) feeding at my feeder. They are also eating at something in one of the few remaining pine trees. This time of year the painted buntings arrive but I haven't seen them yet. First I need to figure out a way to get the squirrels to leave some food for the birds.
Nancy

    Bookmark   October 28, 2004 at 2:13PM
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leslie123(Z8 WA)

Bluebirds galore - the flock was bathing during the light rain in an old plant saucer (doing double duty as a birdbath). One little bluebird, apparantly low on the totem pole and impatient of waiting for his turn in the bath, decided to take his bath in the wet leaves of the rosebush ... at first I thought he was having trouble finding a roosting place due to the thorns, but then I realized he was actually splashing his wings against the dripping wet leaves, having a lovely bath. So much for the roses - yellow petals went flying.

What else ... there are turkeys in the neighborhood. I think they're so funny when they're all-out running ... but they do cover the ground pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2004 at 5:52PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

This morning its cold and windy, even if it's sunny out. A flock of Starlings has been eating the berries off the Evergreen Euonymus. Usually, the birds only eat these berries after everything else is gone but maybe Starlings just aren't as fussy about their food supply as the local Mockingbirds and Cardinals.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2005 at 12:23PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Chicadees are nesting in the same box they used last year. The babies just hatched and dad was very busy all day today bring them little green worms!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 5:45PM
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gardenmamma(z5 NH)

i HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTLEY BLESSED THIS YEAR
AMONG THE USUALS I HAD AN INDIGO BUNTING (IF ONLY FOR A MOMENT)at the window feeder and a scarlet tanger and many pairs of cardenals and a pilated wp makes the rain go away

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 9:00AM
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