Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dumpster Diving Siskins

In the midst of replacing feeders for the new landscaping (not quite finished yet - one project to go before I unveil the "after" pictures), I've had the old feeders balanced precariously on a pole stuffed into a trash can of discarded sod. The birds haven't minded, and for the past two weeks I've been treated to the frugal and unfinicky behavior of my dumpster diving pine siskins, who have thought nothing of hopping onto the sod pile to take advantage of the spilled seed -- both nyger and black oil sunflower.

Unfortunately for the eager and undiscriminating birds, that trash can is now gone, and none too soon as rotting sod after rainy days is none too pleasant to have in the backyard. Still, some of the new feeders have been placed and they're getting a mildly welcome reception from the house finches, pine siskins, American goldfinches, and lesser goldfinches. A couple of modifications to the birdbath have been enthusiastically received by all, and other parts of the new landscaping are equally popular. I'm currently waiting on some parts before erecting the remaining new feeders, and I should have that phase of the project complete within the next two to three weeks.

The transformations to the yard have been outstanding, and I couldn't be happier with the work. That one last piece keeps getting delayed (twice already this week, perhaps it will be done tomorrow or perhaps on Monday) is frustrating, but it's a minor part of the overall work.

Frankly, I'm glad that May is nearly here - April has been too frenetic, work-wise, for me to spend as much time birding as I'd like. The Great Salt Lake Bird Festival is coming May 14-18, during which time I'll participate in three field trips, as possibly more as I consider the schedule. This year's spotlight bird is the snowy plover, which I'm very much hoping to add to my life list during the festival.

Spring is a beautiful time for birding, and I hope that everyone -- myself included -- can slow down to appreciate the birds that share this season in our backyards.


Jeff said...

Hi, Melissa.
Looking forward to seeing what your yard looks like when the transformation is complete.
I envy you the Crossbill. It's high on the list of birds I want to see when I visit SLC later in May.

Melissa said...

Hi Jeff!

Are you heading to SLC for the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival May 14-18, or will you be visiting at a different time? If you can attend the festival I highly encourage it, or if you'd like to connect up with me for some local birding, just let me know!