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    « I Don't Have Much To Say... | Main | Another Day, Another Garden... »

    Thursday, June 03, 2010


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    Joan in Reno

    Little black birds with yellow beaks? Sounds like starlings, which I hate with a passion. These English imports are aggressive and crowd local birds out of all the best nesting and feeding spots. They fly in large flocks and leave their little presents all over everything. They are a shiny black and have small brown spots on their feathers that wear off later in the season.


    We have several bird feeders out and I enjoy watching them. I just saw an oriole yesterday, in fact!


    I adore feeding the birds. I feed all kinds of seeds and suet. I have noticed the past year that the suet is being eaten more than other seeds (all except thistle). For the water in our habitat? We have a 1500 gallon naturalized pond with fish. It goes from a few inches deep to about 3'. BTW, I'll be right there to help pull the weeds;-P


    I love birds as well!


    Love the birds! My grandfather used to tell me all about them - he knew quite a lot - so I should know more about them than I do.
    My favorites to watch, after hummingbirds, are swallows as they swoop and spin - eating lots and lots of nasty little bugs!


    Today I am on my patio and the birds are all around me sounding their calls. It's quite a morning chorus of chirps and songs. There couldn't be a more enchanting sound.


    Add me to the Fans Of Birds list. However, I do agree about the Starlings. I don't feel the love for them!


    I love this post - hummingbirds are my favorite and i get excited every year when I see the first one zooming through our yard.

    I have what may be a silly question on the meat trimmings you use in your baskets - are they cooked?

    Becky in VT

    Birdwatching and gardening really go hand-in-hand don't they? I took (and highly recommend if you want to learn a lot of birds quickly) ornithology at UVM (more adults audited that class then any other I've seen)

    As others have said I believe your black birds with yellow beaks are European Starlings.

    I love the water choices you have available for the birds, clearly they do too!

    mary lou

    our young redtailed hawks tried to bathe in the smallish birdbath we have sort of dug in to a flower bed area. It was hilarious, watching them flop over from one side to another, trying to get wet enough. I must remember to put in something a bit larger for them this year.


    So inspiring Norma! I'm going to put more water out this weekend. The Oriole's have arrived again this year. Love listening to the chatter.


    Great post!!

    Our yard here is full of birds....tons of robins, bluejays, finches, chickadess and others. My favorite thing to do this time of year is to grab a book or knitting after dinner and just sit watching and listening to them.

    I've often thought about adding watering spots for them as well, but I worry about mosquitoes here....:(

    Mary K. in Rockport

    We have lots of neighborhood cats in our yard, and I'm afraid the birds would come to a sad end if I put out a birdbath. Cats have that ruthless streak.


    The little black birds sound more like juncos (sparrow size) than starlings.....they're ground feeders and travel in flocks. They have a slate gray head and chest with a white belly that to me looks like they've been dipped in a little saucer of milk!


    Hmmm. I know they are not juncos, because I have those, too, and know what they are. I really don't think they are starlings, either, because they are quiet, little sweet well-mannered birds, and from what I read, starlings are loud, boisterous things. They come from time to time and move along in the grass [we cut our grass longer than most suburbanites (in accordance with organic methods), and that may be another reason they like it] and quietly eat bugs, and then fly away without even a peep that I can discern.

    Kathy Sue

    You have inspired me to put out water for my birds. I used to put out feeders full of shelled sunflowers-they all loved it, but they would go through 3 pounds a day, so I quit. And the "little presents" were out of control! Now I just feed the hummers and the rest dine in the grass. I even had an orange oriole this spring. Love the extra garden!!


    My favourite time of the day is first thing in the morning, taking my coffee outdoors and walking through the back yard, filling up the watering holes and watching and listening to my little feathered friends.
    I want to shrink myself and build a tiny cottage in your backyard and live there.


    Attracting birds is one of my "favorite things" about gardening! They add so much to the landscape.



    I saw a million hummers this morning and thought of you. ;^)


    wow u like birds :D we bought my nan some doves and they were beautiful until they mixed with pigeons and now theyr all scrawny. thats all you get pretty much on the UK costline. Pigeons. Oh, and Seagulls (read: food-stealing-everywhere-crapping evil) haha


    What innovative and abundant water features/baths. Do you do something to ward off mosquito larvae later in the season? ~ksp

    elizabeth a airhart

    bbc bird finder came up with
    black birds doutful try audubon

    i have been reading a lovely book

    a contemplation upon flowers
    garden plants in myth and literture
    bobby ward timber press


    In the past week, we have watched baby bluebirds and then baby mockingbirds being TAUGHT how to take a bath by their parents in the bath we have right outside our office windows...what a hoot...and who knew that baby birds had to be taught to take a bath (but when you see them trying to do it in the mulch and not in the bath and then being seemingly afraid to get in the water and having to be coaxed, it is a rip...).

    Seems to be a good year for birds but we are seeing even less bees than last year...should be think about becoming beekeepers, Norma?


    Starlings are noisy when nesting, but I find them highly entertaining around the yard. Many of them are speckled. They have the ability to talk, like parrots. How little are they? Could they be grackles, which are a bluish-black?


    Shiney black birds small but look like miniature crows with yellow beaks are starlings. They do have a pretty song, and are mimics (cats, other bird calls) but try not to encourage them too much or you soon won't have any other kind of bird in the area.


    Put some leftover yarn or roving (natural fibers only, of course!) in that empty suet cage - the nest builders will love it!

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