Wednesday, November 30, 2005

For the birds

No - this isn't about David Miller's mayoralty. It could be, but it isn't. Instead, I thought I'd give an update on the avian visitors taking advantage of my hospitality.

A couple of months ago I spotted an example of a species that I'd never noticed before. It occured to me that it would be beneficial to actually know what I was looking at. Mt edification was not the only anticipated benefit; I also wanted to be able to tell my parents. After messing around looking for internet sites, I decided that the only practical method of identification was to purchase and study a book.

There are a number of bird books out available. After thumbing through different options at my local Book City, I settled upon The ROM Field Guide to Birds fo Ontario (Author: Janice M. Hughes). This is a robust, larger pocket-size guide. While not a perfectly comprehensive book, it's been fine for identifying those species that have been kind enoug to pay me a visit.

Without further ado - here is my list:

House Sparrow - Yes - not exactly exciting - but cute and reliable. Oh - and voracious.

House Finch - Almost as frequent as the House Sparrow.

Northern Cardinal - Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal come and go. They prefer to feed off the ground - so are most likely to make an appearance when there is a good sized debris field below the main feeder. One day, I had two pair.

Downy Woodpecker - I have three or four as regular visitors. They feed from the peanut filled metal cylinder. The tube is perforated so as to allow the woodpeckers to feed, whilst keeping sqirrels and racoons from vacuuming them all.

White-breasted Nuthatch/Red breasted Nuthatch - Very pretty little birds. I've spotted these every few weeks. I'm told that they should be availing themselves of the peanuts in the tude - but I've only seen one alight on it for a brief peck.

Blue Jay - The Jays have only recently discovered the feeder.

Black-capped Chickadee - Spotted every week or so. Today, I had a pair flitting in and out. They like to spoop in and carry off.

Dark-eyed Junco - a cute ground feeder - probably around every day. I wish I could stay and home to keep a better eye out.

Robin - yes, I had Robins - in the tree no less. I'd always thought they stayed on the ground.

Brewers Blackbird - I spotted this only today. He was feeding from the debris field below the feeder. Per the guide, he's migrating - as the Toronto area is shown as such.

Starlings - Oh yes - I have Starlings

Well - that's all thus far. It's fund watching the birds flit and hop about - much better that TV. I'll be staying tuned to the birds.

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