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Spring....FINALLY! Eastern Nebraska Birding 101

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spring....FINALLY! Eastern Nebraska Birding 101

Today was a gloriously beautiful day!  I can't believe I was able to enjoy just about all day outside...I mowed the lawn for the first time this season, worked more on my garden, and planted a couple of containers with annual flowers purchased yesterday from Timmy's child care center's fund raiser.  I enlisted Timmy and a couple of neighbor children this evening to "dig for earthworms" in our future-hop-plant plot, thereby loosening the soil for me.  They found some 30 earthworms that I had them deposit in my compost pile...which needs a lot of help this early in the season....

...and I'm still outside and it's so wonderful I'm going to take a picture with my uber-cool built-in-webcam:

From 2009 04 29 BirdOnFeeder

Ta Da!

Can you see the bird feeders in tbe background? Maybe you can, then again, maybe not...

When we moved into the house in early August of last year, one of my first acts was to hang a birdfeeder on the tree in the backyard.

No action. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. The only birds around seemed to be giant blackbirds and they didn't eat the black sunflower seeds I offered...

The week I came back from the desert, I saw some small brown birds around in the neighborhood...and that reminded me to re-invigorate my birding efforts.  I went nuts installing feeders all over my yard.  Can you count 6 of them here?  Look REAL closely:
From 2009 04 29 BirdOnFeeder

I remember from North Carolina that inspiring birds to come to your feeder as opposed to someone else's takes some time and effort.  I had a perfect backyard in North Carolina, with a hedge of wax myrtle about 20 feet behind my house to provide nesting and hiding spots.  It wasn't until the spring following our arrival -- I hung our first feeder right away there, too -- that I saw anything worth talking about.

Same as this time...we moved about the same time of year (latter half of July), so it's now spring and my bird feeders are coming alive with activity.

Of course, being in a new part of the United States means a new group of birds to learn about. In North Carolina I was greeted with house finches, goldfinches, Carolina chickadees, Carolina wren, tufted titmice, myrtle warblers, cardinals and eventually, hummingbirds.

I've been once again sleuthing to learn about eastern Nebraska suburban birds. In mid-April all I was seeing were grackles, European starlings, and robins. Since robins don't really partake of bird seed (they're mainly carnivores, eating worms instead), and the grackles and starlings were too big, my feeders remained quiet.

Until this week.  I started to see some brown birds feeding routinely, and I saw a downy woodpecker off and on.  I stood inside at my kitchen window with my Canon Digital Elph camera set on 12x zoom and attempted to photograph the bird action so far as best I could....
From 2009 04 16 BirdsInYard
From 2009 04 16 BirdsInYard
From 2009 04 29 BirdOnFeeder
From 2009 04 29 BirdOnFeeder
From 2009 04 29 BirdOnFeeder
From 2009 04 29 BirdOnFeeder
The birds are as follows: downy woodpecker, robin, house sparrow, American pipit or female house sparrow, another house sparrow and common grackle.  Thanks to Maryann for helping me identify the sparrows -- definitely a new species for me to identify!

I think I also am seeing a black-and-white warbler hanging out along the tree trunks, especially the rotted out trunk that's been infested with termites.

The sparrows are definitely telling their friends about this place...there are more and more every day...

This morning I saw my first goldfinch, but didn't get a chance to photograph any yet.  Maybe in the morning.  I've also seen a couple of cardinals, they sit VERY high up in my backyard trees...but when they sing they're LOUD!

For now, I'm listening to the songs of a pair of robins who sit perched in my tall trees...a regular thing here now and I've loving it!

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