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Bird Watch 2019

Bird watch 2019 has officially begun. Nesting is in full swing and the set of eggs have been laid.

Our neighborhood, Queen’s Lake has Bird Sanctuary signs posted as you enter. And I have seen more varieties of birds in our yard than anywhere else I have lived. Also, this neighborhood happens to back up to New Quarter Park.

New Quarter Park has many amazing walking trails. The park is a 545-acre preserve. There are mature woodlands and open meadows, which offers a diverse habitat that supports a variety of plants and animals. I had not realized until I googled a link for the park that it sits on a bluff of fossil shells. Another really interesting thing about the area is the surrounding tidal creeks and marshes.

Our neighborhood also offers the same kind of habitat as the park. Making us perfectly positioned for Bird Watch 2019.

Eastern Blue Birds

Eastern Blue Birds birds are by far some of my favorites. I previously have not lived in an area with Blue Birds were so prevalent. These birds have very bright blue feathers and a red breast similar to a Robin.

I have tried to create areas that are very ailing to Blue Birds. I placed several of these birdhouses in our trees. Naturally assisting with Birdwatch 2019 are all the really old trees that we have in our yard, also the many well-established Azaleas offering great places to hide.

sed two of these last year, they have been very popular with the birds

We currently have a family of bluebirds in one of the houses we have just outside our living room window. I suspect they have started to hatch as there is much more coming and going the last couple days.

Eastern Bluebird eggs in the house pictured

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Wood Peckers

There is a nice variety of woodpeckers in our area. I really enjoy the woodpeckers. It’s common to see Downy Woodepeckers and Pileated Woodpeckers.

I also see many White-Breasted Nuthatches. These birds are fun to watch as they work their way up and down the trees and are definitely part of Birdwatch 2019.

To encourage the woodpeckers to choose our yard we make sure we always have suet with bugs and fruit mixed in. I just need to figure out how to keep the squirrels away. My mom suggests a BB gun but I’m not interested in going that route,

Encouraging the Birds to come

Chuck, my husband, and I have been members of the local Wild Bird store everywhere we have lived in order to take advantage of the 10% discount and various freebies they offer.

We make sure our many feeders are filled with feed at all times. I have a few Finch feeders with Nyjer Thistle and the other feeders get the No-Mess blend. I choose the no-mess, peanut less blend because my dogs will spend all their time under the feeders eating the shells that drop to the ground. And I swear those dogs can smell the peanuts a mile away. Therefore, I always buy a blend that does not have peanuts.

I spent a lot of last spring observing the bird life here in our yard. it was very active and enjoyed watching. You can read about last years nests here, and here.

Talking about the feeders I should also include some of the suets we try to keep stocked. I have two types of suet holders. The bulk of my suet feeders are cheap square ones I pick up for a buck or two whenever I see them. The second type a cylinder, I have two of these from Wild Birds Unlimited, they were freebies with a particular purchase. You know the kind, buy 4 suet and the feeder is free.


House Finches

We seem to have a revolving door of House Finches setting up home on our front porch each year. We currently have one nest that has seen through nesting, eggs, chicks and flying away. This was all witnessed for the first time in my fairy house, I purchased this at the Ann Arbor Art Festival probably a good 15 years ago. This was the first time we had bird residents, however.

Fairy House

These babies have moved into adulthood and are now on their own. we have two new nests being built on our front porch. both in the center of wreaths on the windows. Last year we had one wreath nest that did not end well. I’m hoping these fair better. You can read more about lasts year fate here.

Bird Watch 2019

I very much enjoy all the birdlife in our yard. It’s interesting to watch how quickly it all goes. This includes the speed at which our new chicks are growing. We added 7 new hens to our flock. They’re still living in a box in my living room. Although that won’t be for too much longer.

it’s not the most attractive set up but it is very functional

The little red hen is the youngest of this year’s chicks. She is a Rhode Island Red and I named her Rose. We have another Rhode Island Red named June. June lays the most beautiful creamy eggs with tiny blue specks. I’m looking forward to seeing what Rose’s eggs will look like. Once she is about the size of the two Welsummer’s, which are the oldest of this t=years chicks, they will go live a few days in a dog crate inside the coop so the older hens will get used to them. The Welsummer’s are identical and are named Martha and Nelly.

the Welsummer’s are in that awkward teenage faze

I’m looking forward to them all being together in the run. We now have 16 chickens. All hens. which will be great for my side hustle selling eggs. Perhaps I’ll have enough eggs this Christmas cookie season to not have to buy any. As a side note, I’m very excited about the clear egg cartons my sister-in-law, Ruth, is collecting for me on her Box tops neighborhood treasure hunt. And if you have box tops she would be thrilled to forward them to the school her daughter Caroline teaches at.

What does your Bird Watch 2019 look like? I’d love to know.

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