Friday, January 29, 2021

The Joy of Bird Watching

Happy Friday all!  If you're a regular reader here, you probably know that we love to watch our backyard birds.  We used to have feeders hanging under the eaves of our screened porch, and we could see the birds through our kitchen window.  They were always fun to watch.  

   We knew that having the feeders so close to the house (actually attached to the house) wasn't the brightest idea in the long run.  Sure enough, the problems arrived in force a few years ago.  The squirrels were a problem from day one, but we just dealt with that as best we could.  Then, the raccoons showed up.  If you've ever dealt with raccoons, you know they can be vicious critters, as well as being far too clever with those little front paws.  I can assure you I wouldn't want to tangle with one.  They got into our feeders at night, chewed on them, and even carried a couple of them off to the woods.  We had a suet feeder hanging from the tree out front, and they carried that up to the roof and left it there.  Our son found it that fall when he was blowing leaves off the roof for us.  Sigh.   
The final straw was when the raccoons decided to ransack the screened porch, and they tore big holes in the screen and let themselves in and out.  After that, we took the bird feeders down.  I really missed feeding the birds, but I think Mr. Forest Manor was okay with taking a little break from it.  It is a bit of work to keep those feeders filled, and it can get expensive, too.  I'm happy to share today that we're back in business with the birds.  :)  
This is our new bird feeding station.  We decided to do things right this time and have a proper setup for the bird feeders.  This is the Advanced Pole System® from the Wild Birds Unlimited store near us.  We set this up about 15 feet from our house and surrounding trees.  The squirrels shouldn't be able to jump that far, but never say "never" where squirrels are concerned.  😏  The black tube on the pole is a raccoon baffle, and so far it's working well at keeping the raccoons and the squirrels from climbing the pole.  

The only new feeder we purchased was the cylinder suet feeder on the right side of the picture.  

We love this, and the birds do, too.  

You can see this feeder has the swirled arms around it, with "leaf" shapes to resemble a branch.  These all make good perches for the birds.  A post is attached at the center of the feeder, and the suet cylinder has a hole in the middle, allowing it to fit onto the post.  The green roof protects the suet, and the birds, somewhat from the weather.  
I have to tell you we've been amazed at the variety we've seen here since we put this up almost two weeks ago.  Yesterday and today have been the biggest days so far.  We've had Blue Birds and Blue Jays (jays on the ground only), northern cardinals, Carolina wrens, black-capped chickadees in abundance 😊 mourning doves (also known as turtle doves), juncos, mockingbirds, nuthatches, pine siskins, starlings (not happy to see them) tufted titmice, brown thrashers, and woodpeckers (downy and red-bellied).  I've seen all of these birds before in previous years, but yesterday, for the first time, I saw a brown-headed nuthatch.  He/she was adorable!  Such pretty coloring, and I happen to be particularly fond of nuthatches.  

Picture from All About Birds website

Here in our region, we have the white-breasted nuthatches and the brown-headed nuthatches.  Here are just a few pictures we took today.  They didn't turn out very well because we were shooting through two screens -- the one on our kitchen window and the one in the porch.  We're going to remove the one in the window for now and hope for better pictures.

This is, of course, the male cardinal.  Sorry for the blurry pictures.
In this picture, we have the female downy woodpecker on the cylinder suet and a black-capped chickadee waiting his turn on the metal "branch" behind the feeder.   
Brown thrasher on the suet cylinder, female downy woodpecker center suet feeder, and house finch on the far left feeder.
The feeder with green trim on the left is a Squirrel Buster.  This one came from my mom, and it has a mechanism that shuts off the openings if a squirrel gets on the perching ring.    
If you're interested in purchasing any of these products, you can shop for them online here, herehere, and here.  This is in no way a sponsored post -- just sharing some products that we've really enjoyed.  Do you like to feed and/or watch the birds?  Which birds are your favorites?  I'd love to hear from you!  If you made it through this long article, thanks so much for your visit today.  I hope you have a great weekend!!


  1. I love your feeder station. Those raccoons are cute but a huge nuisance. In the summer we have the usual birds but for awhile we will have and Indigo Bunting and an Orange Sided Rufus. In the winter my favorites are the juncos and tufted titmice.

  2. What a fun variety of bird feeders. I feel stingy with only one. Love the variety of birds you've seen!

  3. I like your new feeders! So glad you can now enjoy seeing the birds. I know you both enjoy it very much. Love you, Mom



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