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Your backyard birding situation

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Old Thursday 29th January 2009, 11:45   #1
Dan Brown
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Your backyard birding situation

I live on one acre of land in the middle of a pasture in NW Louisiana. Behind me and on both sides are a neighbor's cows and across the road are there is a pasture of painted horses. I can barely see any neighbor's houses in the winter, and when leaves are out I can see none at all. My 85 year old Father lives next to me and still gardens quite a bit (we lost my Mother last year to Alzheimer's after a long stay in a care center) Our road only got paved a few years ago and we average only 6 or seven cars and a school bus a day. I have flowers planted everywhere and large trees on one side of my yard (mostly sweet gum , although birds seem to love the little seeds that come from the cursed "balls"). We sight redtail hawks, sparrow hawks, falcons, crows, vultures, blue herons, snowy egrets and hundreds of cattle egrets in summer. I have 3 birdbaths out and 3 feeders. I go through about two 5 lb coffee cans of black oil sunflower a day, this time of year (although I am blessed it went down this week from $28 to $23 for 50 lbs). My backyard has many species from seed eaters to not. My main seed eaters this time of year is a large flock of goldfinches (over 100), although the many cardinals, wrens, chickadees, white-crowned sparrows, purple finches, downy, red-bellied and red-headed woodpeckers (very rarely an ivory-billed walking in the woods, not at my feeders) and the couple of redwing blackbirds and brown headed cowbirds that can take the frustration of my feeders. About 75-100 ruby-throated hummingbirds seem to remember my address each April and stay 'til late September. My seed bill reduces and changes to a sugar bill. I am in a near perfect situation for birding and it truly warms my heart. And an early retiree like me needs heart warming. Forgive me if this is too long.
Blessed, by many feathered friends, Dan

Oh and I almost forgot the many eastern bluebirds who nest in my yard and nearby in houses I have placed on the fence posts on the road. Oh, for a telephoto lens!

Last edited by Dan Brown : Thursday 29th January 2009 at 13:23.
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Old Thursday 29th January 2009, 11:59   #2
snowyowl
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Sounds great. I live on 40 acres, about half of it agricultural but with woods down each side and along the back. Twenty acres are being farmed organically. In the spring we are planting about two acres of mixed softwoods. Our rear boundary is a tidal river. There are lots of trees around the house plus a lot of shrubs, many of them berry bearing. Our closest neighbour is about 400 yards away. There is a year round brook that rounds along the one edge of the property. Our house is about 350 yards off of the road.
We get lots of birds including an occasional rarity. I don't put out as much feed as you do, too expensive for a senior like me, but it doesn't seem to affect the number of visitors.
In addition to the sunflower seeds, niger, suet and peanut butter, I feed about about a coffee can full of cracked corn everyday and that is very popular with most of the birds. It's cheap and takes the strain off of the sunflower seeds.
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Old Friday 30th January 2009, 00:03   #3
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Hi, the birding situation is fantastic here at the farm. There is lots of grassland and wooded areas with a creek that runs the property from one end to the other end that runs most of the year. The lower portion is fed by two natural springs so that helps a lot of during drought years since the springs still run. A pond is near the house too. There are approximately 300 Pecan trees on 240 acres which the birds love with lots of Hackberry trees too for the berry loving birds. Lots of shrubs and berry thickets if I can keep my husband from spraying them..lol. Fall was fantastic during the bird migration, seems like we are in migration zone here and see lots of different birds so looking forward to Spring migration. In my backyard is a pool with a large deck and a gazebo that I hang feeders from. The birds seem to like it for cover as well as feed. There are Pine and Maple trees in the back yard along with a few Pecan trees. The Phoebe enjoys the pool every morning, even in Winter to get a drink or get a few bugs that got caught in the water, even though I have a pond set up near the feeders. I always enjoy seeing him everyday. A butterfly bush is in a fenced area in the yard so the birds love to hide out in it if they think danger is around or to just rest.
Right now I just feed mainly a mix feed and sunflower seeds since the birds have ignored the other. I have thrown out some cracked corn in colder weather along with the other to help the birds stay warm. I have so many birds right now feeding that they go through feed pretty quick but for the enjoyment they give it is worth it. :)
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Old Friday 30th January 2009, 03:43   #4
Dan Brown
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Sounds great!

Mrs. Scissortail, sounds like your situation is really good. Having a mixture of open land and woods always seems to help. What birds eat cracked corn, anyway. I've never fed it, but it seems highly recommended here. I have deep forest about 50 yards one direction (East), 100 yards in two directions (North and South), and about 200 yards to the West. Our country road is lined with some large trees, and a fence row on both sides, choked with various small trees, vines and bushes. We had frost like snow here this morning and I hear y'all got some snow up there yesterday. How I love the flying gems of this world!
Blessed, with new friends and a great birding spot, Dan
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Old Friday 30th January 2009, 14:42   #5
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Hi Dan, sounds like you have an ideal place too with the forest, trees and shrubs.

As far as what birds eat the cracked corn to be honest hadn't paid attention on which ones like it. I put some out this morning, some in one feeder not mixed and some on the ground in another area. I'll let you know which ones went after the corn later today.
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Old Friday 30th January 2009, 16:29   #6
Dan Brown
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Thank you!

Thank you, Mam! I am definately curious. Who knows though, with all the bio-fuel madness, corn may go up in price, as well.
Blessed, with whatever he can feed his friends, Dan
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Old Friday 30th January 2009, 17:32   #7
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Subdivision. Quarter acre lot. Solid pyroclastic flow with rocky fill to level it - then topsoil. All shrubs, trees, and such planted by me 15 years ago. Sierra Nevada Brewery about 3 miles away. Juncos and White Crowns in the winter. Occasional Bewick's wren. Great big sky with something always in it. Anna's year 'round. 6 hummer species total. Crazy raccoons last night. 40 local California quail ---- that love crushed peanuts and ofcourse - the local clan of scrubjays. Between things seen here or flying over ---- just under 100 species. 70 degrees today.
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Old Friday 30th January 2009, 17:40   #8
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Hi Dan, posted what I found out with photos on your other thread "New to Cracked Corn" link below.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....02#post1394202

Hope it helps. :)
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Old Saturday 31st January 2009, 11:51   #9
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Mourning Doves, Blue Jays, all of the sparrows go for the cracked corn. It does tend to attract House Sparrows. One warning though - keep things clean. Accumulated corn particles can become toxic.
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