Monday, December 24, 2007

Marvin - my fellow birdwatcher

Marvin the cat just loves watching all those birds that visit our birdfeeder. His favorite is the junco which I believe because they hop around scratching on the ground making a lot of movement. When they come to visit - he meows at them the whole time.
His favorite observation point is in the sunroom where he hides behind the chair waiting for a bird to visit the window feeder. Once they land - he throws himself against the window to say hello. The only bird not impressed with this is the nuthatch who will continue to eat from the feeder no matter how loud and how many times Marvin bangs against the window.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Slow Birdwatching Day

Today was a "slow" bird day for me! Over 3 hours, I observed 4 house finches, 5 mourning doves, 1 nuthatch and the usual 20 sparrows. I also had a persistent squirrel which I bribed with peanuts thrown on the ground for him so he would quick launching himself from the tree to my feeders.

Eddie - my friend in Northern Michigan (a.k.a "Up North) had a much more impressive day. He shot me an email with this picture of the Pileated, Hairy and Downy woodpecker all eating together.

I was hoping for a good variety of birds so I would have great data input for the Project Feederwatch survey. For those not familiar, this is a winter survey of birds that visit your birdfeeder between November till April. This is run by Cornell University who you then report your data back to. It has also inspired me to put up 6 feeders and a heated birdbath in an attempt to draw every bird that exists in Michigan to my feeder. (After reading 20 bird books, I found out not matter how many feeders I put out - not all birds use them. )

My husband Greg was motivated to put bird seed out in the middle of our yard in the hopes the mourning doves would eat there and a hawk would see them and swoop down and snatch one of them. He's not too far off the mark in thinking this would happen. We were witness to such an event last year in our yard when an innocent mourning dove was out in the open and a sharp shinned hawk swooped down, squeezed him to death - tore his feathers apart like a pillow and then ate him. I managed to snap a couple photos before he flew away with his carcass. Greg is still mulling over how to present the hawk with more bird treats......