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Old Tuesday 9th May 2006, 12:37   #1
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3
Question Newbie with questions on bird behavior (cardinals in particular)

Hi all :)

I have just recently put up a bird feeder (first time for me, I grew up watching my father carefully put up feeders all the time and always had the luxury of watching them feed from our porches and kitchen windows growing up). I bought a gazebo type feeder and it sits right outside my screen porch. My back yard is very private with alot of wooded areas that go as far back as you can see and have spotted everything from humming birds to woodpeckers, to hawks and cardinals. I'm pleasantly surprised at how quickly the birds discovered my feeder and the variety I'm getting, although I would definitely like to see more. So, here are my questions.....

Most of all, I'm getting red cardinals-funny little peeps-they seem more apprehensive when feeding when I'm sitting just feet from him-they quickly get their seeds while curiously turning to look at me, then fly off. The female cardinals don't seem quite as scared and take more time. I would love to simply know why their behaviors are different? Why is it that the chickadees come and feed with me sitting there and watch me while they eat-still a bit apprehensive but stay long enough for me to really enjoy them, where as other birds are much more "flighty" and come-quickly take their seed and off they go? So far, all I believe I am getting are chickadees and cardinals. A huge tree on the other side of the porch that is literally just a few feet from the screen-there is a precious woodpecker. He is not red-headed (still alot to learn, not sure what type he is) but BOY IS HE LOUD and not a bit shy LOL I can walk up to him and he continues pecking away at the tree. More information on these guys would be very helpful as well :)

Thanks in advance!!
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Old Tuesday 9th May 2006, 22:51   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Newnan, Georgia
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Hi SingingBird!

Greetings from Georgia! I am not exactly sure about the answer to your question but I do get loads of cardinals here and none of them seem to feed when I am near the feeders. The only birds that feed when I am out on the deck are the nuthatches and chickadees. I have been watching/feeding the birds for years, and so I can recommed that you invest in one or two good bird identification books and also some binoculars which will enable you to accurately see subtle markings, helping you to correctly id the birds. Go to and check out Peterson field guides and also Stokes field guides for the Eastern US. The Peterson guide has drawings of the birds and the Stokes has pics of the actual bird. It helps me to check both when I am trying to ID a new bird, especially something like sparrows which can be hard to tell apart. You can even purchase used field guides for much less than new ones there. The other thing I have noticed with some experience here is that I get the largest variety of birds by feeding black oil sunflower seed. It is all that is in my feeders. I also feed suet and sometimes peanuts and cherries. I hope that I have helped in some way. Happy birding!!~~Angie
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