Bitten by the Bird Watching Bug

Are you a bird watcher?

A lesson learned

It started simply with a wild bird feeder hanging from a deck hanger. It was, maybe, two hours before the squirrel found this source of new food. It shared the knowledge with its pals, and the birds rarely had an opportunity to dine, but squirrels were getting fat.

A New Feeder

Lesson learned with some research was squirrels can jump some ten feet, and everyone knows how well they climb. Any feeder must either be a squirrel-proof model or be placed away from fences, tables, chairs, or other places a squirrel can use to jump to the feeder. Any pole used to hang feeders need a baffle to prevent climbing.

The deck feeder was replaced with a squirrel-proof model found at Lowes. The squirrels worked to get the feed from it and failed. The birds came when the squirrels went away.

A trip to the county lawn and garden center for lawn supplies resulted in the purchase of two cartons of suet and a single suet cage. Who would have thought how much squirrels liked suet. Down came the suet hanger.

Lowes has the answer

Lowes to the birds rescue again with a squirrel-proof suet cage which holds two suet cakes. Squirrels tested it shortly after it was hung from a multi-arm pole in the yard. The cage effectively prevented squirrels and very large birds from the cakes. Birds, especially woodpeckers, loved the suet.

Bitten by the bird watching bug, it was time to visit Wild Birds. Soon, a pole with two arms was in a place away from squirrel launching points. The old feeder went on one arm and the second hosted a finch feeder. The squirrel proof feeder remained on the deck crook. A squirrel baffle on the pole keeps them from the pole feeders. It didn’t take long for the birds to start coming.


The deck feeder has sunflower seeds. The pole feeders have appropriate feed in the wild bird feeder and finch feeder. There are days when every perch on all the feeders are occupied. Occasionally, there are birds on the ground or waiting in the trees for their chance at a spot on a feeder.

Woodpeckers favor the suet. Cardinals fight over access to the sunflower seeds in the deck feeder. Finches flock to the finch feeder, and when it is low or perches all occupied, they dine at the wild bird food feeder.

Male and female cardinals, red-winged blackbirds, doves, goldfinches, house finches, blue jays, red-bellied woodpecker, other finches, and yet unidentified birds have dined in the yard. There are times when twenty or more birds on the feeders or feeding on the ground with the squirrels settling for leftovers.

Can you identify the birds in the pictures in this post? Use the comment form.


  1. In our first winter here, we put out suet and sunflower seeds. I loved watching the birds come down and enjoy the buffet. Then a huge wind storm hit. A few weeks later, as the temps rose and the sun kissed the earth more often, sunflowers began growing all over the yard. Loved it. Thanks for me reminding me. Cheers

    • Dwane

      I am happy it brought forth a nice memory. We may find a yard of sunflowers ourselves. Although, the squirrels and flocks of birds have foraged the yard. Missed seeds would be a surprise.
      Have a great day.

  2. Before kids we had quite the back yard set up to watch birds. I especially liked peanut feeders. The blue jays were super fun to watch.

    We had the yard set up for timid birds on one side and birds like the jays on the other. And you have to switch your seed in the summer or the grackles will eat it all.

    Yep, then came kids 🙂

    • Dwane

      The grandkids who live next door enjoy watching the birds coming to dine. Varieties either share the feeders or wait in the trees. The male cardinals are bright red against the bare limbs. Sometimes we have flocks of migrants briefly filling the yard and dominating the feeders. They don’t stay long.
      Thanks for the warning regarding grackles.
      LOL, kids don’t want to share you with the birds?

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