Gift Ideas For Birders & Birdwatchers

Watching a Purple Finch Watching Me
Watching a Purple Finch Watching Me

Are you looking for gift ideas for a birder or a backyard birdwatcher? Or maybe you are a birder or birdwatcher yourself and want gift ideas to hint to someone else. Whether for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, a birthday or a holiday gift, here are some ideas to make a birder or bird watcher smile.

Continue reading Gift Ideas For Birders & Birdwatchers

The Juncos Head North

Spring Dark-Eyed Junco
Spring Dark-Eyed Junco

Dark-Eyed Juncos, the “snow birds,” show up in our yard every fall and spend the winter with us. They are always a busy addition to the yard, eating seed I offer them and flying across the yard, flashing their black and white tail feathers. It always makes me smile when they arrive.

Last week there were more than thirty of them every day poking through the tiny spring flowers in the grass, eating nyjer and millet seed to gather their energy for their trek north to their breeding grounds. I think they have been starting to think about breeding because they’ve been chasing each other around the yard quite a bit for the past couple of weeks.

Continue reading The Juncos Head North

Deterring House Sparrows

Flock of House Sparrows on the Brush Pile
Flock of House Sparrows on the Brush Pile

For the past few weeks I’ve been on a crusade to get the House Sparrows that settled in over the winter to move on. We’ve never had many House Sparrows in our yard. I only put out millet in the winter months for the White-Throated Sparrows and the Dark-Eyed Juncos. Each winter, I might get a couple, but they have always left once I stopped offering millet in the spring.

But this year, the House Sparrow population built up gradually over the winter. Now I typically see nearly twenty at a time and they’ve become a problem. If I let them stay, they will probably nest here and the numbers will climb like crazy. They need to go. This is the story of what has turned into one of my biggest bird feeding challenges.

Continue reading Deterring House Sparrows