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      Cardinals, robins and sparrows, oh my     
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04/04/2020 06:20AM
The cardinal outside my window this morning has a wonderful sound. Seeing the robins combing through my backyard in search of worms has a calming feel. We also have a feeder for the finches and this year I'll be putting out a hummingbird feeder. Pretty excited about that.

And, for the last 6-7 years the sparrows have taken to building their nest in the bow of my upside down canoe hanging from my garage ceiling.

I build a relationship with this pair. I wait until dark to close the overhead door and promptly lift it at daybreak for them. They learn to know I'm looking out for them and will become quite tame by mid summer. Then, after their litters are gone I must take down the boat in July to start my training for my Sept. Quetico trip. I hope they understand and I like to think it's the same pair that comes back every fall to build anew for the winter.

Any other folks like to see and hear the local birds?
 
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04/04/2020 06:55AM
We have some feeders and a couple bird houses (wren house, bluebird box).

Right now we are seeing juncos, cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, and several sizes of woodpeckers. Oh, and red-wing blackbirds!

Haven't seen any finches yet, or bluebirds, but we will have them, too. Spartan1 won't buy the expensive bird seed, so we don't have too many finches, usually. Every summer we have at least one family of bluebirds hatched out in the box.

Robins are all over the yard.
 
Unas10
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04/04/2020 07:04AM
I always look forward to the return of the sandhill cranes. I heard my first about two weeks ago.
 
04/04/2020 09:01AM
You should see what I get at my bird feeders.

 
Pinetree
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04/04/2020 09:10AM
We always get 100's of junco's in our yard and they arrived about 3 days ago. Quite often I have to close the picture window otherwise we have dead junco's hitting it when frightened.
Ducks are also showing up and yes deer ticks are out.
 
jhb8426
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04/04/2020 11:29PM
I have juncos, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, several sizes of woodpeckers, and red-wing blackbirds. Also attracting starlings, grackles, squirrels and crows lately. The latter 4 are cleaning out the 3 feeders daily so I'm going to stop filling them for a bit hoping they will find a new home. The squirrels have been a regular nuisance and the starlings and grackles are somewhat seasonal and will be gone in a month or so. The crows are a new group of visitors and are getting annoying.
 
Bearpath9
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04/05/2020 03:23AM
Try some safflower seed in your feeders. Starlings and grackles don't like that, and they will stop showing up.
 
analyzer
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04/05/2020 09:36AM
TomT: "
And, for the last 6-7 years the sparrows have taken to building their nest in the bow of my upside down canoe hanging from my garage ceiling.

I build a relationship with this pair. I wait until dark to close the overhead door and promptly lift it at daybreak for them. They learn to know I'm looking out for them and will become quite tame by mid summer. Then, after their litters are gone I must take down the boat in July to start my training for my Sept. Quetico trip. I hope they understand and I like to think it's the same pair that comes back every fall to build anew for the winter.

"


Love that story.
 
analyzer
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04/05/2020 09:39AM
awbrown: "You should see what I get at my bird feeders.


"


Love this.

God sure created some beautiful creatures. I didn't know they had all white fans.
 
Savage Voyageur
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04/05/2020 09:45AM
I have 7 bird feeders out but only have Black Capped Chickadees so far. I have seen Bald Eagles, seagulls, Tundra Swans, Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers, and Goldeneye this week.
 
04/06/2020 12:25PM
Last summer we had an eastern phoebe that built a nest under the bow seat of our upturned Grumman at the lake cottage. The canoe was on a rack. When we wanted to go canoeing, Spartan1 just lifted the nest out and set it on the ground, and then he put it back after we were done. It raised at least two families of little ones.

I am hoping it won't return this year, but I suppose that is a forlorn hope. So many birds seem to be characters of tradition. :-)
 
04/07/2020 06:24AM
analyzer: "TomT: "
And, for the last 6-7 years the sparrows have taken to building their nest in the bow of my upside down canoe hanging from my garage ceiling.

I build a relationship with this pair. I wait until dark to close the overhead door and promptly lift it at daybreak for them. They learn to know I'm looking out for them and will become quite tame by mid summer. Then, after their litters are gone I must take down the boat in July to start my training for my Sept. Quetico trip. I hope they understand and I like to think it's the same pair that comes back every fall to build anew for the winter.
"


Love that story."


Thanks. Two winters ago during the Polar Vortex I found one of them dead on the floor right under the nest. I doubt it's the same birds year after year but I wonder if it could be the offspring coming back? There's usually at least 2-3 "litters" every spring. That's the best part, just hearing the "peeps" of the newborns when an adult returns with food.
 
04/07/2020 08:18AM
Cardinals and chickadees are here (metro area in MN) year round, and it is nice to see the sparrows and goldfinches back. I have a couple of suet feeders that attract downy, hairy and red bellied woodpeckers all winter; they are my favorites! The occasional pileated makes an appearance, but not very often.

Now that I am teaching from home, I can spend more morning hours watching the birds. And that is a good thing!
 
x2jmorris
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04/07/2020 08:27AM
Just checking to see if my comments are working
 
QuietWaters
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04/17/2020 03:13PM
Taken this AM.
What The ???? Where are the worms??



It's now 52 degrees and the robins are happy.
 
04/17/2020 03:18PM
We have a pair of finches, probably house finches, that are driving me nuts! Especially the female. They are attacking our house--that is, the slider and half-round above it in our living room. Probably a dozen times a day she flies against the window and taps with her beak, "tap-tap-tap". Over and over and over. Fluttering up against the window and tapping on the glass.

This didn't start today, but began about two weeks ago and has been every single day since. One day she moved to a different window, but evidently that one didn't have the right tap, as she was soon back to the living room.

I have asked my favorite bird expert and he says we need to hang streamers outside the window and see if it helps. Perhaps once the snow is off the porch tomorrow I'll try that. Closing the curtain doesn't help and tapping back at her doesn't discourage her either.

A small annoyance. I usually like watching birds but I have come to call this one "bird-brain." The sound is quite noticeable, I can hear it two rooms away.

 
jwartman59
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04/17/2020 03:52PM
My wife and I were sitting on our deck last week enjoying the beautiful day. We noticed two pelicans high in the sky directly above us. Then we here something crash through the branches of our oak tree. That pelican poop missed me by a foot. Pelicans are enormous birds. Consider that.
The first of the Warblers showed up yesterday. I’m not concerned about them.
 
sedges
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04/17/2020 05:57PM
Birds stopped coming to the regular mixed seed feeders, so I dumped them out for the mourning doves. The thistle sock is still covered up with gold finches and it is a joy to see them turn blotchy yellow and then brilliant. Takes a couple of weeks.



We are waiting for the first wood thrush to be fluting around. Whip-poor-wills have been here for a month or more already.
 
04/17/2020 07:11PM
An eagle got the muskrat that was tearing up my neighbor Joan’s shore by her dock. It was interesting seeing them eating it out on the ice. Soon the loons will be back. Good to hear the woods coming alive with birds again.
 
Birdknowsbest
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04/17/2020 09:33PM
I found putting out a bird bath, close to your feeders, greatly increased the amount of birds. I had one plugged in all winter (never froze) MN, and the birds that were still here used it quite a bit.
 
Podunk
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04/18/2020 06:43AM

Down at my pond
 
04/18/2020 11:12AM
I live across the road from a wetlands preserve, so I have the thrill of seeing all sorts of great migratory birds. Right now, there are flocks of cranes and pelicans.

 
gravelroad
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04/18/2020 06:29PM
Spartan2: "Last summer we had an eastern phoebe that built a nest under the bow seat of our upturned Grumman at the lake cottage. The canoe was on a rack. When we wanted to go canoeing, Spartan1 just lifted the nest out and set it on the ground, and then he put it back after we were done. It raised at least two families of little ones.


I am hoping it won't return this year, but I suppose that is a forlorn hope. So many birds seem to be characters of tradition. :-)"


John James Audubon was the first person to recognize that Eastern Phoebes habitually return to the same nesting locale. He saw it happen at the door to his residence, caught the birds and tied colored yarn to their legs. Next year they showed up at his door, and the practice of banding birds was launched.
 
04/19/2020 06:22PM
Ruby Crowned Kinglets migrating through my yard today.
 
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