Dedicated to Those Fine Feathered Friends Found in the City

One winter I threw out some black oil sunflower seeds on my patio. I don't even know why I had the seeds, but in an effort to reduce the extraneous stuff in my house, out they went. I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone, in that non-literal way: I'd feed some birds and while the birds were feeding, my brood of indoor cats would have some entertainment. The excitement of chasing leaves from inside the house just wasn't cutting it anymore for the poor, bored creatures.

Four years later I'm spending more per month on bird food than I do gas and my obsession has no bounds. I call my brother in Portland, Oregon and he tells me about the peregrine falcon hatchlings there and I tell him about my ladder back woodpeckers. I had to buy binoculars. I have bird books. I concoct bird watching vacations in my head. I tell anyone who will listen to me about the birds that come to my yard, hence, here I am.

And yes...I have pictures.

Views: 12

Comment by La Fanciulla del West on July 18, 2008 at 10:22pm
Not realizing there were ladder backs anywhere near here, I happened to hang one of those nut-cranberry cylinders from Wild Birds Unlimited. I now have 3 ladder backs that come to my yard. They even prefer the cylinder to suet. Of course, some of the other birds have gotten into the act and I see the red-winged blackbirds munching out, along with all the finches.

They are gorgeous, aren't they?
Comment by La Fanciulla del West on July 19, 2008 at 11:46am
Yeah, I know about the focus. I had to take the picture from an inside window and zoom it. The dad was flitting around, bringing food to the baby, and getting the picture was tenuous, at best. I also don't know how it ended up this large, because it wasn't supposed to be. Can you say high tech challenged? :)

There is a female that comes around, too. I also have a quail couple that show up in my yard at least once a day. They are so cute. Last year the roadrunners brought one of their young ones to my house. And somewhere out there, a great horned owl lurks in the night. I've seen him/her on the lamp post and the whoooo whoooo has awakened me in the wee hours of the morning.

No, I haven't joined the birding group. Maybe I should!
Comment by nmmtnmama on July 19, 2008 at 2:08pm
My ladder backs visit during the summer to enjoy the suet I put out year round. However, they have much more fun hammering into the broad-leaf yucca seed pods to pick out moth larva - yum!
Comment by Bosque Bill on July 21, 2008 at 7:30am
It's not the quality of the photo, but the quality of the subjects that matters. Very cool. I've only had one or two Ladder-backs; mostly Downys and Hairys.


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