Studio View

By January 9, 2011 Birds One Comment

So after our big household rearrangement, I still miss my garden view, and will probably miss it even more come spring. But I have already begun plotting to lay a small stone retaining wall along the hillside, fill in some of the dirt, and create a decent sized flowerbed with some of my most beloved plants–not to mention finishing the frog pond!

The first thing I did was to move the platform birdfeeder back here and fill it with safflower. I expected to have to wait several days for birds to show up, but they had found it by the next morning (along with the squirrels, although the squirrels are less pleased by the safflower.)

I’m actually rather pleased–the trees nearby offer better nearby cover, apparently, because I’m getting a whole lot of brown-headed nuthatches, which were absent before, in addition to the usual suspects of cardinals, chickadees, juncos and titmice. There was even a pine warbler yesterday! (No mourning doves, though. I can’t say they’re my favorite bird, but I do rather miss their hysterical panic every time a deer farts somewhere in a ten mile radius.)

I went out this morning and broke the ice on the frog pond. It’s not done, it’s not lined, it’s basically a shallow hole covering about a third of the area of the proposed pond, but the water table is so high at the moment that it’s about half-full anyway.  It’s been a VERY wet winter here.  I have a heated rock somewhere for the deck birdbath, but what with one thing and another, I haven’t installed it yet, so the least I can do is break the skin of ice. Birds immediately descended on it, including some non-feeder birds, like our local thrush.  (All those people freaking out over the bird die-offs are, I suspect, unaware of how COMMON that is in cold weather, and how susceptible many birds are to hypothermia–it takes an astonishingly short time for many birds to die of cold if they don’t have access to water and food, and during unexpectedly bad weather, you do hear of people walking under trees and finding piles of dead birds who tried to ride it out and couldn’t. As we are hoping NOT to have that experience, ice must be broken.)

The location of this feeder is definitely an improvement–it’s right under the window, and when I get out the binoculars, I can practically see up their noses.  Probably that’s why I ID’d the pine warbler–would have assumed it was a winter goldfinch if it had been on the much more distant feeder out the old window.

On the downside, since this window is set in a flat wall and not over the top of the porch roof, I probably won’t have the experience of suddenly coming nose-to-beak with a foraging wren, but overall, I think I can make it work.

One Comment

  • Wolf Lahti says:

    I initially put the bird feeder ten or so feet from the new back deck but quickly found that birds liked the sit on the deck railing while contemplating their best approach to the feeder. And when birds sit for any length of time, their bodily functions come into play–which makes for a messy deck.

    The feeder has been moved to be visible from my computer window and about twice as far from the house and three times as far from the nearest deck railing. I don’t know how the birds feel about the new arrangement, but I know I’m happier.