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PostPosted: May 22nd, 2014, 7:18 pm 
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Location: Coldstream, Ontario Canada
I was just wondering has anyone noticed any changes at their bird feeders this year or any new bird activity in their area?
For me I've noticed an increase in Indigo Buntings at the feeder.....three pair up from one pair last year. The Baltimore Orioles are way up......about three or for pair if not more??!! I can thank grape jelly for that!! :D
I'm finding the Goldfinches are down.....don't know why? Has anyone else noticed that?
The Red Breasted Grosbeaks are about the same as last year.
We do a have a new nest of Bald Eagles this year just 5 min down the road. :D

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PostPosted: May 22nd, 2014, 7:40 pm 
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I have seen more Orioles this year than ever. The 'surprise' at the feeder was a Red-winged Blackbird. We see lots around but never at a feeder before.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, 2014, 1:54 pm 
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Agreed. Lots of Baltimore Orioles this year. Also, we've had a pair or 2 of Orchard Orioles. One benefit of living in the deep south of Ontario! As with last year, American Goldfinch numbers are way down. Most other species and numbers are about normal with the exception of Cowbirds which are mostly absent. A rise in the numbers of Hummingbirds from last year. One other thing I've noticed: Woodpeckers (Hairy & Downy) are both eating black oil sunflower seeds on a regular basis. I suspect that the cool wet weather has slowed down the emergence of insects which they normally eat during spring & summer.


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PostPosted: May 23rd, 2014, 4:08 pm 
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Alan, the goldfinches may just be slow getting to you this year. A couple of weeks ago I saw them migrating through Asheville, North Carolina.

I haven't seen our resident red-shouldered hawks recently, which is a good thing for the songbirds.


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PostPosted: May 23rd, 2014, 7:04 pm 
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White-throated sparrows seem to be more abundant than usual this year, at least from their singing in the fir and spruce forests. The deciduous woods have the usual collection of red-eyed vireos, ovenbirds, wood thrushes, veeries. And a catbird.

I've had an indigo bunting singing non-stop during summer for several years now, it still hasn't appeared this year. The dark blue and black color, beak, and larger size suggest blue grosbeak (uncommon this far north), but breeding range, song and behaviour, indigo bunting.

Last year I had a yellowthroat nesting in a hemlock next to a window, an amazing little bird when seen several feet away and the song was great to hear... it hasn't reappeared yet either.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, 2014, 8:01 pm 
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Warblers are passing through our backyard right now. Black & White, Yellow, Magnolia, Yellow Rumped, Black Throated Blue, Black Throated Green, Chestnut Sided, Bay Breasted and Yellowthroats.


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PostPosted: May 23rd, 2014, 8:58 pm 
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Location: Coldstream, Ontario Canada
I saw a Red Star for my first time yesterday......I hope to see him again! Lots of Cow birds and Red Wing Black birds, Blue Jays and Cardinals at the feeder. Oh.... and I also have the weirdest female Cardinal, she has a white head, she's been around here for a year now. Back in the winter I once counted nine male Cardinals....that was a pretty sight!!
One thing I'm grateful for, I never get any House Sparrows or Starlings at the feeders!
On the suet.....we get Downy's, Hairy's, Red-bellied and sometimes a Northern Flicker. Across road at the conservation area I've seen a Pileated but has never came to my feeder. :(
From time to time I do get the Wild Turkeys coming in, but they tend to be a little shy.

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PostPosted: May 24th, 2014, 8:45 am 
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Alan,

Quote:
From time to time I do get the Wild Turkeys coming in, but they tend to be a little shy.


The only time wild turkeys make themselves scarce here, is when guns start going off... like now, during hunting season, turkeys can't be seen anywhere. Last fall there was a group of about thirty walking around, feeding on anything they could find.

Does anybody have phoebes nesting under a roof somewhere... there's been a phoebe nest in the exact same place under the porch roof for about 25 years now. It seems they only live for 5-10 years, so the young that fly out from the two broods each year might be returning. Still no sign of phoebes here yet, although there are plenty of flying insects around for them to feed on.

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PostPosted: May 24th, 2014, 8:31 pm 
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Sometimes I get a phoebe on the top shelf of the outdoor bookshelves on the covered front porch. But not every year.

When she is in residence, the front door has a guard and she gets aggressive over our trying to use it.

At the feeder we get goldfinches, other sparrows, hairy and downy and lately red bellied woodpeckers. Also juncos and nuthatches and the omnidemading chickadee. We hear pileated woodpeckers in the woods but they do not find any interesting insects at our feeder.

Turkeys.. yes..too many.. but they do give the dog some exercise.

We aren't currently at home but the scuttlebutt is that four feeted big hairy things are finding feeders particularly interesting this year. Ours is empty..nothing for bruin.


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PostPosted: May 25th, 2014, 4:06 am 
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Ours is empty..nothing for bruin.

I see what you did there LRC, using "ours", the french word for bruin. :D

We have lots of overhanging trees and an open woodshed and garage, plus a large lawn - pheobes like it here. They flutter from look-out to look-out scanning the lawn for bugs with the clothe-line being their prime perch.

It's interesting how the species here have changed over the years. 35 yrs ago we were in the middle of open fields and the yard-trees were smaller. We had barn and tree swallows. Now the field across the road is a 30 yr old re-planted forest and the yard trees are huge. Swallows were slowly replaced by phoebes.

Hay fields used to have bobolinks sitting on fences and woodcocks in the ditches but they disappeared a decade ago. Happy to see representatives of both species back this spring, but only one of each. Hope it's a sign they are coming back. I miss watching the preposterous-looking woodcocks doing their evening display - hearing their repetitive haunting hoot as they fly straight up almost out of sight then do their near-terminal tumble back down.


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PostPosted: May 25th, 2014, 5:34 am 
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We have all the goldfinches at our feeders, I guess....never had so many....20 or more perhaps? And for the first time ever, I had an indigo bunting for 2 days. We live in Eastern Ontario in Prince Edward County so timing is a bit different...but I think only by a few days. We also had about 6 beautiful rose-breasted grosbeaks all at once. I've never had more than 1 pair at a time. And the usuals...bluejays, downy & hairy woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, a flicker occasionally. Lots of other birds in the yard, but not at the feeders.

We also had a persistent cardinal that I was sure was going to beat out his brains fighting his reflection in our windows for over a week. I even covered up a lot of the windows on the outside, but any speck of glass & he was on the attack. I guess IQ varies a lot in the bird world too.... :)


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PostPosted: May 25th, 2014, 8:28 am 
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Krusty,
Quote:
It's interesting how the species here have changed over the years. 35 yrs ago we were in the middle of open fields and the yard-trees were smaller. We had barn and tree swallows. Now the field across the road is a 30 yr old re-planted forest and the yard trees are huge. Swallows were slowly replaced by phoebes.


Tree swallows seem to have disappeared here as well... I haven't seen any in the last twenty years.

Environment Canada explanation...

Quote:
Conservation and management

The Tree Swallow is one of several species of aerial-foraging insectivores showing widespread declines in Canada. Causes of these declines remain unclear, but changes in aerial insect populations have been suggested as one possible common factor as well as landscape changes, toxic chemicals, and climate change


http://www.ec.gc.ca/soc-sbc/oiseau-bird ... =TRES&sM=a

Quote:
Hay fields used to have bobolinks sitting on fences and woodcocks in the ditches but they disappeared a decade ago.


There still are woodcocks breeding in brushy fields here... evenings, the males call out on the ground with a repeated bzzzzt a few times, then fly high up with a faint twittering song, to attract females. Then at altitude they dive at high speed back down into their spot on the ground, and somehow land without breaking their necks. Then the bzzzzt business starts up once more. Sometimes I can follow their flights up above with binoculars, although often the twilight is too dark to be able to see them and the twittering song up above is the only way to be able to tell that they're flying up there.

I'll have to try and get a picture of the phoebes sitting on the clothesline this year.

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PostPosted: May 31st, 2014, 4:44 pm 
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The resident Cardinal family and chickadees are familiar sights again this year in the cedar hedge. I can hear blue jays and peckers but they show no interest to come closer. Newcomers are Robins; and a dozen Magnolia warblers came through to feed for a few days last week, a first too.


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PostPosted: May 31st, 2014, 9:24 pm 
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Speaking of birds disappearing......when I was a teenager it was common to see Bobwhite, now I believe the only wild bobwhite are on Walpole Island off Lake St Clair. I miss them!!!

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PostPosted: May 31st, 2014, 10:19 pm 
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Speaking of cardinals..... A holly has been shedding dry, brown leaves, and a cardinal was out on our back deck, picking them up, waving them around, and then dropping them. The bird seemed to be under no illusion that there was food attached to each leaf, or that waving a leaf about would lead to anything in particular. I guess birds have their little preoccupations, too.......


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