"If you are small and on a search, I've got a feeder for you to perch on..."
-The Eels, I Like Birds
This is my very first year being in a house where I have been able to put up a bird feeder in my backyard. I wish so much that I had been able to put one up years ago! With this new addition to my backyard, I also signed up for Project FeederWatch. This is a fantastic citizen science program that runs from November until April of each year. Participants watch their feeders twice a week and record all birds within your feeder area and submit their data.
If you are interested in joining (which I suggest you do!) click here: http://feederwatch.org/
I started FeederWatch this year in mid-November and have been switching between my home in Chatham and my home in Peterborough, depending where I am that week. I'll try to seperate my sightings so far based on location!
This is the first year that my parents had decided to put up a feeder....I think I have given them the birding itch! There was a nice variety of birds here in Chatham while I was home over Christmas and then again over reading week in February. I saw my first flock of House Finches while I was here, along with Blue Jays, Cardinals and the odd Junco. House sparrows were of course all around, although once February hit I noticed more American Tree Sparrows visiting the feeder! The crows were always more of a nuisance bird around the feeders....although in a place like Chatham you can't expect to get anything other than crows! The local Coopers Hawk made his appearance every time I was home. Mike and I were very amused watching a flock of almost every neighbourhood bird fly by with him trailing in pursuit.
The Peterborough house had a completely different set of birds at my feeder! Throughout the beginning of the count (November - mid-December) I only saw Juncos, Chickadees, and American Goldfinches.
January was a completely dull month, I don't believe a single bird actually visited my feeder for the entire month. Finally by the beginning of February the Juncos and Chickadees finally started coming back!
I had one really lucky instance for a photo when two Juncos landed on my feeder, a male and female side by side! In the photo (below) you can see both of them. The male, the junco on the right that is a dark charcoal colour, is sitting right beside the lighter, more brown female junco on the left.
At the beginning of February I decided to add some suet to my backyard, in addition to the typical feeder seed. It brought out a new little guy, a White-breasted Nuthatch! It seemed to love both the feeder and the suet. I always love when it sits on the feeder because it slowly just starts to sink until finally, it flips upside down and falls off! I guess that's what happens when you are used to being upside down!
A Cardinal finally came out to the feeder yesterday, but today I think was the highlight of the feederwatch! I was sitting doing some work this morning (awkwardly while I was brushing my teeth) when I noticed something amongst the Juncos. I almost spit out my toothpaste everywhere I was so excited...when I noticed they were...Redpolls! Common Redpolls to be exact. The first time I ever saw these cute little guys was on the Cambridge Christmas Bird Count back in 2012...so a long time ago, making today when they showed up a very special treat.
There is still exactly two months left for feederwatch counts and I can't wait to see what else shows up at my feeder!