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Senior Contributor

songbirds

We always have a big group of yellow & red finches at the feeders.  Not so this year.  Don't know if it's the cold weather or what.  Anyone have these sweet little things at their house?

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8 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: songbirds

Do you feed them the thistle seed, Linda? I have always been told that is what draws finches. We are just starting to get our hummers, and that seems a bit late. This cold could be holding them back, I suppose.

I am hoping that the birds will like Jenna's garden. I fill a couple of feeders, hung a nectar feeder, and there are several houses put up around the garden, mostly on outbuildings. I am starting to concentrate on bee and bird plantings going forward.

Put in bee balm in one bed today...we have deer right at our door here, so have to look for " deer resistant" tags at the garden center.
I sure hope the rain we are forecast comes in early enough to substitute for my hose tomorrow morning. I would love to finish setting my last dozen perennials, than drag 175-foot of tht around this yard!
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Senior Contributor

Re: songbirds

I am wondering if all birds send scouts ahead of them in the spring like hummingbirds. I came across a map showing how far north the hummingbirds were and now they are in Canada. We have a pair of barn swallows here now for about a week but only the one pair. Last August we had a huge flock and I thought they were gathering for the trip south. We always seem to have several that nest here too. I have had my hummingbird feeder out for a few weeks but I have not seen any here yet. I saw a pair of finch about two weeks ago. They landed on a pole that looks like it would be a feeder but isn't and they moved on.

 

We are not to feed birds here near the poultry. I love to watch the barn swallows as they may be my favorite. More eagles are nesting in this area too. DS has seen them nearby but I am not out as much as usual so I have not seen them.

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Senior Contributor

Re: songbirds

Kay is right that the finches prefer thistle seed. We had a few early here in Northern Maine as the were heading north. Won't see the hummers for a while yet; they always appear when the dandilions begin to bloom. I believe that the hummers pass their knowledge on to their offspring or others of their "flock". When they come around for the first time in the spring, they always hover in front of the patio door in the exact location we have placed their feeder for over twenty years - even if it is not out yet. How do they know?
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Senior Contributor

Re: songbirds

Have put out thistle seed for years.  Gone through more feeders than I can count and this year all I've seen is the sparrows out there.  We also have cardinals at another feeder for their seed.  It can get pretty pricey but I really enjoy them.  I'll keep waiting for the finches.

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Honored Advisor

Re: songbirds

Linda, I Googled the question about cold weather delaying migrations this year, and it is pretty well accepted that it is slowing their progress north this year.

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Senior Contributor

Re: songbirds

not really a bird person here.  Don't put out feed for anything.  They say you shouldn't unless you are going to keep them all the time or the birds become too dependent and then if you forget or run out or something they can be in trouble.

 

I do love to hear the birds in the morning in the trees outside the house though.  Such a happy sound.

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Honored Advisor

Re: songbirds

Actually, we only put out nectar for the hummers, and nesting boxes or houses for other species. my pest control guy informed me that a typical bird-feeder is like a smorgasbord for snakes. They either want to eat the birds, or more likely, mice and other rodents that come to eat spilled and dropped seed.

That was enough for me....
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Senior Contributor

Re: songbirds

The hummingbirds arrived yesterday and one pair is so small I have to wonder how they do it and now the blooms are almost gone. They came in with the 80 degree temps yest but the forecast is for several rainy days and cool again.

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