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Gardening For Wildlife, #24 Favorite Birds
July 16, 2007

Rumor has it, there was a rain shower around here last week.

There were a couple of 5 minute rains and Saturday morning did bring a slow shower.

However, it was dry under the trees so watering continues.

On the plus side, temperatures are on there mild side for this time of year.

The sights and sounds continue to change weekly now days.

As mentioned before, there are fewer bird songs these days.

Insects sounds have replaced the birds on the most part.

An experienced person can tell the time of year by the sounds alone.

More fledged robins are bouncing around the yard.

The Green herons are squawking more and the first batches of tree and barn swallows are filling the sky with there peeps and magical flights.

On my walk Sunday evening, Keet and I spooked a pair of baby White tail deer. It so neat to watch as they ran off into some higher growth.

They stopped and we watched each other for several minutes.

All I could see was there adorable faces and big ears sticking up.

There is something special about babies, even when viewing wildlife.

Karen, her sister and her mom all have their birthday in July.

To make things easy, we celebrate them together.

So, this past Saturday was birthday day with the clan.

I never seem to get caught up with chores and other to do's.

I am more busy now than in the spring (honey do list never shrinks).

As the yard changes, do you notice different activities from your birds?

Is there an explosion of butterflies?

What else do you watch with awe?

A juvenile Black capped chickadee found my peanut feeder the other day. These little birds always give me great joy.

"Nature is truly AWESOME"!

As your gardens become more acclimated for wildlife in your region, you will notice more and more movement, color and sounds you never had before.

Passers through may stay and raise a family.

That might be a butterfly, hummingbirds, orioles, thrushes or a number of birds.

Don't forget beneficial insects that come and go.

Say, I mentioned favorite birds for this week and so you shall have them.

Favorite Birds

Becky in Stover, Missouri.

I have decided the tufted titmouse is one of my favorites. I think they are so cute with the topnotch and big black eyes.They are quite brave and will land on a nearby feeder while I'm out filling them.We bought a window feeder that allows us to see them while they have a mirrored surface on their side. The titmouse is the only one to use it and it uses it all day long starting around 6 am. It sings ,whistles and carries on in there .It's so much fun to see and the grand kids really get a kick out of it.

Becky, The Tufted titmouse is a good choice. A relative of the chickadee, we know why they are so friendly.

Karen of Maumee,Ohio.

My favorite bird is anything that is new to my yard. Generally, I enjoy the cardinals and gold finches that are usually in my yard and I will do anything to keep my hummingbirds happy. I suppose my lone surprise visitor to my yard has to be my all time favorite though.

Last summer, as I was looking our of my family room window I noticed three cedar waxwings pulling grass out of our yard and flying up into our maple tree. When I checked out a bird guide book I realized they could have been pulling grass for a nest in our tree. I never saw them again but they inspired me to seek out more berry bearing bushes for them should they wish to come back.

Patience Karen. Fruiting trees and shrubs are the main stay for waxwings. These nomads may visit again and possibly spend more time.

Habitat helps.

Marie of St. Peters, MO.

My husband and I are very much into feeding and watching all kinds of birds, but especially the hummers. I do have to say though, that my favorite bird is the mourning dove. They seem to be so very peaceful! Thanks for the wonderful newsletter!

Marie, I'm glad you mentioned the mourning dove. They aren't the most intelligent bird, yet they are so peaceful and have some unique qualities don't they?

Jo Ann of Gaylord MI.

My favorite bird is the cardinal, although we don't have any that come in our feeders up here in Gaylord. I do hear them once in a while when I am out walking in the morning.

Jo Ann, sometimes moving can be difficult, especially when familiar sights are missing like our birds.

Cardinals are a bit shy and need protection near feeders. If you hear them, you should be able to coax them in with good feed, fresh water and offer trees and shrubs in your garden.

Maybe some day I can join you up North.

Sue in East Central Illinois.

Oh, wow! This is so hard. Think it's a toss up between the cardinals and the rosy-breasted grosbeak but I love them all. I live in town and only get the "strangers" during migration. My neighbors would probably call my yard one big mess but I have a lot to attract my birds with so I don't care what they think!

Sue, I'm with you all the way. It's my yard so who cares.

Michael from Welland, Ontario.

My favorite bird for colour is the Indigo Bunting. Tough though to attract them to the garden. My favorite bird to make me laugh is the Chickadee.

Michael, always great to hear from a guy.

I haven't seen any buntings myself this year.

Yes, another reason to adore the Black capped chickadee.

Judy from Wapwallopen, PA.

As I marvel about the simple pleasures of Nature like lichen, I sometimes become a little sad thinking of those that don't even know what that is, or worse, don't even care! ~sigh~ As for favorite birds....I know how you feel about them, but I do love wrens. House Wrens and Carolina Wrens. I get a big kick out of watching them during nesting season checking out places to raise a brood. That includes flying through the clothes I have hanging on the line...through a shirt neck hole and out a sleeve!

Judy, what a large song from a small bird and what a tireless singer. My only draw back with wrens, is they kill my chickadees.

Sarah in Washington state.

My favorite bird here at home is the chickadee. when on the prairie, I love to hear the meadowlarks...they are one of the few redeeming qualities of places like ND...;-)

My beloved chickadees. Meadowlarks, how I long to hear them once again.

Meadowlarks are on the decline in Michigan due to loss of habitat.

Bev in Iowa.

Hummingbirds in summer, cardinals in winter

Bev, sweet and simple and you can't go wrong with your choices of birds.

Vi in Tampa, Florida.

My favorite bird is the Cardinal. I have juvenile cardinals coming to the feeder.

Vi, I know you have difficulties getting birds at times, I'm glad you have your cardinals.

Cardinals are on the top of many a bird list. At least the eastern half of America where we have them.

Judy from Oswego, NY.

Thought I would share one of my favorite birds. The black capped chickadee, a tiny little bird with personality and spunk. Comical to watch as they share the feeder with others. Their head is pretty with it's black cap. This is the first bird I learned how to paint, and now that I paint others, a chickadee usually shares a painting with others too.

Well Judy, like many of us you like the chickadee for several of the same reasons.

I imagine your paintings are quite nice.

Mary has this to say.

Well I think my favorite bird(s) have to be cardinals, yellow finches, and blue-jays. Although I hear that blue-jays are destructive; but they sure look pretty! Hummingbirds also!!

All charming birds Mary.

Blue-jays are of the crow family and can prey on others eggs and babies. Did you know that blue-jays aren't blue at all?

The feathers are actually gray and light reflection makes them appear blue.

Well folks, there you have it.

If I left you off the list, please forgive me and re-submit for next time.

As you can see, cardinals and hummers always make the list. Chickadees too.

It is a joy to read about other birds like larks, wrens and doves and jays.

Yes, all birds are favorites and sometimes it is the bird we are looking at that very moment.

Next time we do a favorite birds, you will know what to expect and you can have your name plastered across North America and parts of Great Britain.

Gardens and birds bring strangers together and I am so blessed by you.


It's time to fly for now.

If all goes well, by this time next week, we plan to be in Northern Michigan on a short vacation.

Maybe hit parts of Michigan's UP. as well.

As always, Be sure to smile and do share it with others.

A blessed week to you.

Until next time.

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS: If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to others.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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