Saturday, May 25, 2013

Backyard Birds

I never thought I'd enjoy birds so much - but since moving to this house 8 years ago, I've fallen in love with the bluebirds we get, and have started noticing all the different birds more and more.  

May 2013 Bluebird

I noticed right away when we moved in that the bluebirds are sweet little birds, perching anywhere they can find something to hold on to.  They perch on the corner of the house, the deck, the boat, the tops of trees, signs, etc., seemingly watching the world go by.  They seem forever happy and content - thus the name of my blog. 

We learned that if we don't have more than one bluebird house, the swallows take over.  We now have a trail of 4 bluebird houses, and have pairs of bluebirds in at least 2, maybe 3 of them.  The swallows have been chased to the 4th and farthest away house, much to our pleasure since they dive-bomb us (and the poor dogs) every time we get near their house!  This was not enjoyable when they took over the house closest to our deck and patio :)

We do have large hawks in our area too, so the prettiest birds are somewhat scarce.  We enjoy their presence when we do see them, and lately we've been enjoying the Baltimore Orioles.  They don't stick around all summer, but we keep them as long as possible with oranges.

Male Baltimore Oriole

Female Baltimore Oriole -(Queen of the Orange, perhaps?)

We watched the bluebirds relentlessly chase this large pileated woodpecker away from their home this morning.  The only time the bluebirds are at all aggressive is when they protect their home and/or their babies.

Pileated Woodpecker

We wish we'd see more of the Grosbeaks and less of the Cowbirds!
Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Cowbird

No good shots of the yellow finches or cardinals yet this year, but it's fun to see the color when all of them choose to gather on the deck at the same time.  

So, the birds (along with my alcoholic beverage of choice) inspired this week's crafty project:

Wine bottle bird feeders
Now I just need to get one filled with bird seed and out into the back yard!


  1. Your photos of birds are mesmerizing. I see a mated pair of Cardinals daily from my kitchen windows, but the other birds are mostly a motley crew of finches. Oh, and when the Cooper's Hawk(s) don't prey on them, we have the sweetest Morning Doves. Love to hear them coo!

    Your wine bottle bird feeders are great! Where does the bird seed come out?

    Thank you for sharing this post today. I live just south of Baltimore but have never seen a Baltimore Oriole before. LOL!

  2. What lovely pictures of your birds...many that I never see here. I, too, love "my" birds...they bring so much pleasure to watch! That being said, I should go out and about filling my feeders...I fear they are close to empty :-) Your new ones are lovely, I am also curious as to how they work?

  3. We see robins, cardinals, killdeer, finches, and red wing blackbirds. A hawk will swoop by every once in a while. I've never seen a bluebird or an oriole... maybe some day.

  4. The wine bottles have a hole drilled in each side about 1-inch from the bottom. (I know that bottom inch of seed won't be able to get out.) The plate will catch the seed and provide the perch for the birds.

    Isdihara - I can't believe you don't have Orioles in your back yard living so close to Baltimore. That made me chuckle!

    1. And the more I thought about that, I realized I never saw a bluebird for the 20 years we lived just 10 miles south of here.

  5. Love this post. You are so lucky to have these beautiful wee souls visit your garden.
    Fox : )

  6. Very pretty birds. I have never been able to get Bluebirds here. We do have Wrens, Red Wing Blackbirds, Yellow headed black birds, Crows, Grackles, morning doves, Barn and Cave Swallows, Blue Jays, several types of woodpeckers and Pheasants, Turkeys, Hawks, Owls and Bald Eagles all are frequent fliers here. Plus the robins, sparrows, cow birds, pigeons, blackbirds and other common birds

  7. How do you drill the holes? I would love to have a couple of these. I don't have orioles or grosbeaks but I have hundreds of cardinals, purple finches, gold finches (in winter mostly), towhees, Carolina wrens, a few bluebirds, every kind of woodpeckers (got pics of a hairy pair feeding a baby the other day), chickadees, several kinds of nuthatches, titmice, robins and so many more. You would never believe that I live in the city if you spent an hour watching birds in my backyard.

  8. I just love hearing about all the birds everyone has!

    The holes are drilled using a diamond tipped drill bit that looks something like a hole saw. This is where I originally saw this idea:

    We submerged the bottles in a small tub of water, and the labels didn't come off or even loosen. I suppose after being outside in the rain for a summer, they might. I'm trying to decide if I should put a spray finish on them for that reason.

  9. You have such a beautiful array of birds, and many I have never heard of, although we live in a village in Somerset the only ones to visit my garden are a robin, starlings (they are pain in the neck and pinch the food I put out for the smaller birds). Loads of sparrows and a few blue tits.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely photos of your garden.

  10. I am blown away by your photos of the Orioles! First of all, in Western PA we have only rare glimpses of them, so now I don't feel so bad, as Isdahara doesn't see them, either! Second, I had no idea they like oranges! FABULOUS photos with the orange! I recently bought a new camera for several reasons, but one was hoping to capture good photos of the birds around here, especially the gold finches (so far some decent photos at the birdfeeder) , cardinals, blue jays, and robins, plus the few butterflies that come by. I saw a pileated woodpecker once and thought I should call the Audubon society because I never knew there was such a LARGE woodpecker! And I'd fall over if I saw a bluebird! You have quite a sanctuary there!

    1. Thanks! And I soooo wish I could get really crisp focus on the birds when they are on the deck, but have to take photos through the glass patio door or they fly immediately. They are all so beautiful I wish I could capture each one very close up.


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