29 January 2011

Chichadee, Flock Behaviour and other Birds

Island life means we can observe both Marine birds and the usual Inland birds such as the Chickadee amongst others. Bird watching has become one of our favourite pastimes!

Despite the Deer - who are not shy and will reach out for the bird feeder (and everything else in our garden) - and the Raccoons who just love to steal, we still manage to attract our bird friends.

The idea of placing a long steel line betwixt 2 trees near a large Holly bush came to my husband one day, with the Holly providing a shelter for the myriad of small birds who hide from the rapacious Eagles.
We now have a 4 stars bird station with a bird feeder, a bird bath and suet!

Only 5 inches long, the Black-capped Chickadees is said to belong to the Titmouse family.
With its little black cap, white cheeks, and small black throat, they are not afraid of humans.
During the winter months, these small birds flock together along with Titmice, Warblers and such... We learned that the Black capped Chickadee's sweet sing song calls when they locate a good source of food! Amazing!
And with daily observation we noticed there is also a strict order in the flock. Each will wait its turn to fly to the bird feeder, eat and fly back to its original position before repeating the whole process.

I call this one Mr. Chips!

The Towhee (see below) is also a frequent visitor along with Finches!

As for the Stellar Jay I love its beautiful colour! I feed them daily with peanuts which they absolutely love! In seconds in the wee morning when MacIntosh and I take our walk, they fly by and call to each other: "Breakfast is here! Come and get it!"

Since January is always a harsh month, please remember your Bird friends: be sure to feed them regularly and provide them with a source of fresh water! The winter months are very hard on them!

I found this wonderful suet recipe I wanted to share with you:
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 cups quick oatmeal
  • 2 cups plain yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. Melt the lard and peanut butter in a pan over low heat.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour into a pan to cool down (or the containers from the store bought suet you have been using up to now) and put in the fridge to harden.
  4. Cut to size and place in your favorite suet feeder. Voila and Bon Appetit!
For more information about birds and particularly backyard bird watching check the Audubon Society and the Online Bird Guide:


This post reflects my opinion only and I received no remuneration for it!

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