In our back yard, we have a bird feeding station. It's here that many of the other birds in our lives come and let us enjoy them. Throughout the winter months, approximately 300 or so birds come in to feed on the tidbits that we put out for them. The things we feed are usually specifics, such as Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and chips from them. We also supply a tube of Thistle for the finches along with 2 cake feeders with clinging boards. We mix up the types of cakes we use in the feeders, usually one with some form of Suet and the other with some form of Peanut Butter mix. These cakes are easily found at most department stores such as Walmart, Kmart or Lowe's, or a person could make their own. Butchers often have 'kidney' fat and this can be used to make the mix and the birds really prize this stuff. There are also a number of recipes on the Internet that tell how to make 'suet cakes'. The high energy these types of food have helps them keep their stores of fat up to get thru the lean winter months. Another thing we did was set a plant pot bottom on the top horizontal arm and add different things into that pot. It's just the right size to hold sunflower chips or small bits of fruit and even pieces of suet cakes. Just about all the birds use this pot, but Bluebirds really use it and they'll often spend many hours around it on colder days when the insects aren't moving around on the ground.
We also have other little feeders that I've built that can be added to the station poles such as 'suet logs'. All they are is a round 2" or 2 1/2" diameter tree limb about 10" long with a bunch of 1" diameter holes drilled in them. We then stuff the holes with some form of suet or peanut butter and then hang them for the birds. However, for the most part, what you see above is how it is most of the time. Because of the winds, anything that is added has to be secured or it'll be on the ground after the first gust.
No, we do not feed generic wild bird seed. The reason is because it attracts other non-native birds such as House Sparrows and Cow Birds. Although I do keep them under control because of my martin colony, I still don't want to draw them around the feeding station. Starlings will occasionally find the suet cakes and likewise, they too, are controlled.
The Hummers are my wife's thing. She's has between 80 and 100 that come to visit her 4 or 5 feeders. For those that want to know, her hummer mix is 1 part sugar and 4 parts water. Mix in HOT tap water, then cool and store in the fridge. NO, do not add red dye coloring, that stuff isn't good for the hummers. The colors on the feeders are enough to draw them in.
Since martins are only here for about 5 months of the year, these other birds keep us entertained for the other 7 months while we wait for the martins to return. If you're bored and don't have anything else to do, spend a few minutes and see if any of the pictures are interesting.
Please remember, I'm not a professional photographer, but one or two of them turned out pretty good. Since this is an ongoing page, I'll add more as I get time.
To see the pictures full size, Click on the thumbnail
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White Hummer! No, not albino, just lucistic.
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Other Occasional Birds
Black (Turkey) Vultures
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