There are a number of common birds that have adapted well to living in human-impacted environments. Any urban or suburban habitat may be attractive to wild birds if it contains these three major features: food, water, and shelter. In this post, I will discuss a few of the species that visit the feeders on my property.
The American Goldfinch is strictly a seed-eater. Favorite foods include nyjer and black oil sunflower. For years I have put out finch feeders filled with nyjer seed. This past August I was introduced to the sock feeders in the images below by the owner of the Mr. Canary Company. She found me through my photoblog and asked if I would photograph goldfinches on the sock feeders. It took about a week or so for the birds to find the feeders. I made the requested images by the end of August. The finches continued to visit the feeders the rest of the summer and well into autumn.
Adult Blue Jay tossing a peanut. Peanuts also attract chickadees nuthatches and woodpeckers.
Adult female Ruby-throated Hummingbird at sugar water feeder. Hummingbirds supplement their diet with nectar and readily visit sugar water feeders for carbohydrates. Most people do not realize that they also eat insects.
Sugar water feeder with perch. The recipe for this simple syrup is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Although hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, please do not add red food coloring to your sugar water. Be sure to clean the feeder and add fresh solution every couple of days to avoid the growth of mold.
Adult male Northern Cardinal in winter with a block of mixed seeds, nuts, and fruits. Cardinals like sunflower and safflower seeds. Feeding birds in winter can be very beneficial when normal food sources are covered by snow and ice.
Adult male Downy Woodpecker at suet feeder. Woodpeckers love suet. Notice that the bird is resting its tail on the prop for leverage as he feeds. This is especially helpful to larger birds such as Northern Flickers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Pileated Woodpeckers.
Nuthatch striking a pose at the suet feeder.
Adult male Pileated Woodpecker at suet feeder. This bird is very skittish. Close-up photos are hard to get. I shot this image from inside my house through a very clean window. The links below will take you to more of my images of birds on feeders.