I tired very hard to resist but it seems my collection of bird feeders keeps growing. While is they haven’t attracted any new species, it seems to have increased the total number of individual birds I am seeing. Sunny days are nice, but…
They already had a nest built there last year when I first arrived at this house. While it was fun to watch the birds fledge, it soon got quite messy with droppings, a situation I would like to avoid now that we are living here, and cooking and eating outside!
I find it quite interesting that there are very few House Sparrows in this neighborhood and the ones I do see are very wary and hide out on roof top pipes where they can quickly duck into my neighbor’s roof tiles if they feel threatened. Only once in a while do I find any bold enough to come down to my feeders or into my yard.
Of course, with the winter birds come the winter raptors. While I most often see Cooper’s Hawks, sometimes I see sharp-shins or even kestrels. I had a Sharpie in the yard one day, then two days later I had a Cooper’s Hawk!
Sometimes the Cooper’s make several visits in one day swooping and diving down into the yard or through the trees. It is quite magnificent to see! So far I have not seen them catch a bird, but sometimes I do find evidence of a kill in the yard and i have noticed that the pigeon population has dropped from about 50 birds in the autumn to around 25 or less now. Most morning I count less than 12 around my yard. So far I have not had a pigeon in my yard but I have had them land on my rooftop. I avoid feeding any type of seed that will attract them, like corn or milo. I mostly feed thistle seed, suet and nectar but I have experimented with hulled sunflower and safflower seed lately. It will be interesting to see how it is once the White-winged Doves return.
These are the species of winter birds in my yard:
- Red-tailed Hawk-occasional
- Cooper’s Hawk-regular
- Sharp-shinned Hawk-occasional
- American Kestrel-occasional
- Mourning Dove-regular
- Anna's Hummingbird-regular
- Costa’s Hummingbird-occasional
- Say’s Phoebe-regular
- Gila Woodpecker-regular
- Common Raven-regular
- Yellow-rumped Warbler-regular
- Orange-crowned Warbler-occasional
- House Finch-regular
- Lesser Goldfinch-regular
- House Sparrow-regular