Saturday, January 2, 2010


While the past few months have been hectic and work-filled, I've still managed to make some time for the birds, though closer to home. One of my most successful efforts has been leaving our patio table out this winter rather than storing it in the garage. I've put my platform feeder on the cross supports beneath the table, effectively shielding it from snowfall, wind, and other inclement weather. The ground below also gets less snow thanks to the table's cover, giving ground feeding birds more of a chance to enjoy the seed.

While it took a day or two for the birds to really discover the feeder's undercover location, it's been more successful than I'd ever hoped, and daily there are hungry, feisty flocks of house finches and house sparrows taking advantage of the shelter and seed. Occasionally the dark-eyed juncos will join them, though the American and lesser goldfinches prefer the nyger feeders and the Eurasian collared doves prefer the more open hopper and platform feeder out in the yard.

It just goes to show that even if you can't make it out into the field, you can certainly enjoy the birds close to home. Too often we forget the fun behavior and colorful personalities of our most common birds, but they can be just as entertaining and amazing as any new lifer or rare vagrant.

Enjoying the backyard birds more is just one of the birding-related resolutions I've made for 2010. I do also want to travel more, acquire more lifers, and continue renovating my landscaping for a better bird habitat. Of course, more frequent blog posts will be a part of all this! Whatever your New Year's bird-related resolutions may be, I wish you very happy birding!

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