Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 1: The New Neighborhood Hang Out

With all the excitement from the feeder at work, I started to create my own feeding area in my backyard. With the help of my awesome new bosses at the Wild Bird Center, I had a starter kit that included a mount for the half-fence in my backyard, a finch feeder to hang from it, and a pole setup to hang my new tube feeder from. I was told that it could possibly take a couple of weeks for the birds to find feeder, so imagine my surprise when on the first morning I saw five different species. And over the next week, my list of bird visitors continued to grow.

Black-capped Chickadee


Male Cardinal with a head mite (hence no feathers on his head...)


House Sparrows

House Finch

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse with Golfinch

Cooper's Hawk


Mourning Dove

White-breasted Nuthatch

Downy Woodpecker

American Robin (Who also fell victim to the head mite.)

I also had a blue jay once, but no picture.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

And It Begins...

Bird watching is currently the fastest growing outdoor hobby in America, and honestly, in the past, I've never though about it very much. I did pride myself in being able to recognize a mockingbird by its call, and I did get excited when I saw a cardinal. But when I moved to Ohio and happened upon a part-time job at the Wild Bird Center of Hudson,  my inquisitive fascination became an immediate full-blown obsession.

As a new bird-watcher, I am excited about anything I see. House sparrows, which many bird-watchers see as a nuisance, amaze me. At the Wild Bird Center, a tube feeder hangs outside a window above a row of bushes. A group of House Sparrows live in these bushes, and I LOVE watching them feed. There are two beautiful males with chocolate brown and black feathers (which my husband and I have named Jack and Little Jack) and a mass of 14+ females. They pop their heads out of the bushes, look around, and pop up to the feeder. They fuss at each other and play with each other. Just like my two dogs, they each have a distinct personality.  Some are skittish, and a few are aggressive- trying to scare off the occasional Gold Finch that comes by. Me peering out the window and the small chipmunk that lives in the bush, seem to be the only thing that worry all of the sparrows.

Even though the job the the Wild Bird Center if fun and I enjoy the stories of the customers who come in, it is really these sparrows that have encouraged me to invest in this hobby. And to them I say, Thank you.