All That Glitters

The 2021/2022 winter season for birds was a bit sketchy. First, the Avian Flu was cause for officials to suggest removing wild bird feeders. Finches, like the American Goldfinch also presented with avian conjunctivitis, a highly transmissible eye disease and doubled the recommendation to remove or frequently clean outdoor feeders.

I’m not sure if the reason that I saw very few Goldfinches during the summer was related to population decline due to those events. However, it was very obvious to me that the Goldfinches that I typically saw all summer long, were missing.

We do not typically feed wild birds in the summer. Wait. Let me rephrase that. We offer the wild birds nearly fifty acres of natural forage, prominently through native grass and wild flower growth. We don’t provide store-bought seed. In the autumn I sometimes try to contemplate how many pounds of wild bird seed is naturally produced here, as we encourage growth in hedgerows and manage the growth of prairie grasses through scheduled cutting. But, we allow it all to be harvested one seed at a time by the birds that reside and visit here. So, I suppose I will never know.

As winter approaches, even though the wild plants continue to have seed availalbe, I enjoy adding the more conventional options like black oil sunflower, safflower and nijer seeds. I also like to provide fruit and nuts (mostly peanuts) as well as suet. I’m very happy to have at least five species of woodpeckers here, and they all enjoy the extra energy that the suet offers.

A few days ago, I began putting sunflower seeds at the platform feeder that is located at the north end of the pond meadow. Yesterday, for the first time that I observed, a small flock of Goldfinches arrived to take advantage of the food.

Here are some photos of these beautiful birds. A couple of them have grape jelly on their beaks. I didn’t know this species liked eating fruit. I’m happy that I had it available for them.

Here are a couple other photos that I put into the “rustic” category. The sun was low in the sky. I like when it’s obvious that the bird is living on our farm-gone-wild.

6 Comments on “All That Glitters

  1. Thank you Tammie, you bring so much joy with your photos and stories of life on your farm and the nature that surrounds it. We look forward to your posts so much All of your bird photos are just great no matter the time of day or the views you choose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: