Friday, July 11, 2008

Singing the blues

I've got the blues--at my feeders.

Blue Jays announce their arrival with loud screeches that scatter the smaller birds. They don't remain long--grab a peanut and fly off. Jays are a little like squirrels. They carry their peanuts off and hide many of them to eat later.

Attracting them to your garden is as easy as putting peanuts in a place where they can be seen from above. They also eat sunflower seed. Jays are large birds and prefer to eat from a platform, the one in the photo hangs from a branch or bracket, but a bench or picnic table would be perfect too.

The beautiful blue bird below is and Indigo Bunting. They don't remain in my area all season. This one was passing through on his way farther north where he will spend the summer and raise a family. Indigo Buntings will stop at feeders filled with Nyjer (often spelled differently) thistle or white millet. The tube feeder in the photo contains a combination of proso millet, peanut pieces, sunflower seeds, and safflower. It is a favorite in my garden. The birds prefer it 3 to 1 over plain sunflower.

There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the
way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was
~Robert Lynd

I found a great website which lets you listen to and download brief recordings of birdsong. These are primarily birds found in the north central US. It's been very helpful in teaching me to identify birds by their calls even if they can't be seen.

After downloading, I choose the folder option to play all the mp3 recordings one after the other. It's relaxing to listen to an hour or so of bird songs on days when you're cooped up inside. Another plus, this is very entertaining for my cats who run around searching for birds in the house.

I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.
~Charles Lindbergh

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
~Henry Van Dyke


I hadn't heard of Sky Watch Friday until this morning.

Check out Wigger's World

for more info.

A hint of blue. A dramatic sky after last night's thunderstorms.

Have a great weekend everyone. Enjoy the birds in your gardens.

Wishing you all a beautiful sunset.