Friday, January 17, 2014

Birds I miss from Minnesota (basically all the birds I ever saw in my backyard)

Yellow Finches
We had days when 11 finches would be in our yard at once!  They'd collect at the bird feeder, sit in the trees, and hop around on the grass.  From inside my kitchen, I felt like Snow White.
American Goldfinches

For six years, through rain, shine, and sub-zero cold, a Cardinal couple came to our feeder each day.  When most birds flew south for the winter, they stayed. The male added a burst of beauty to many bleak winter days.  I hope they're still thriving. 

Dark-Eyed Juncos
I appreciated all the birds that visited my yard, not just the pretty ones. Juncos looked like little puffs of dirt hopping en-masse on the ground.  I see Juncos in Orange County, too.  I'm not sure if they've migrated or if they're permanent residents.

Grey Nuthatches (Photo by Bob Moul)
I have a soft spot in my heart for Nuthatches.  You'll often see them walking down trees or hanging on suet blocks head-down. 

Red Finches (Photo by Casey Tucker)

Mallard ducks may be a dime a dozen, and may poop everywhere.  However, they're mild-mannered sweet birds.  They're not poisonous.  They don't throw your garbage all over the street, and they don't attack you on back trails.  And let's give them credit for flying all the way South while being shot at by hunters.

A Mallard couple recently starting showing up in our apartment swimming pool at night.  Sadly, on Tuesday around 1:00 AM, one duck went missing with the other in a loud panic.  I keep hoping to see them together again.

Update:  They're back!  I saw the mallards leisurely floating in our pool last night.  My wishes for them include staying safe until they can fly back to whence they came, and to never encounter dogs or meddling children for the rest of their days.

Hairy Woodpeckers
If you live in Minnesota and have a wood house, you likely have woodpecker holes in your siding. 

American Robins
Robins don't usually eat birdseed. If you have them in your yard at winter, you can spread dried meal worms to help them out.  I liked how the robins would stalk me and my hose when I would water my garden. These birds had the best time in our birdbath.

Photos via Wikipedia (American Goldfinch, Robin), Oiseaux Birds (Nuthatch), Aviation Conservation (Red Finch), Desktop Nexus (Cardinals), TGreybirds (Mallards), Wikipedia Commons (Bald Eagle), South Dakota Birds (Woodpecker)