Now, this isn't much of a stretch for myself (or, reportedly Andrew) as I spent my summers at our cottage with a dad who was obsessed with birds. We had several different kinds of feeders, attract on average 15-20 hummingbirds, had several bird houses for swallows and my dad spent a few years destroying all evidence of any squirrels (yep... a fisherman does not mess around with squirrels).
Within days of setting up two feeders here at the house, Andrew and I were pumped to see chickadees. We were less excited to see that a family of squirrels also love the bird feed. Mr. Squirrel is now our nemesis and Andrew dreams of ways to kill him (hah, sounds creepy... and it is a bit crazy just how much Andrew hates Mr Squirrel).
(Mr Squirrel's handiwork)
- We somehow find a feeder pole and baffle. Currently it would appear none of the stores have them and we'll probably have to order this off the internet. Yay.
- We place the finch feeder on the clothesline. This is actually working, since the current clothesline is made with crappy plastic covered wire that is too slippery for him to climb on. Mr Squirrels now squeak and chipper angrily at the feeder while attempting to climb all the nearest tall bushes and trees. In vain. Hah! Take that! Andrew and I laugh at their frustration.
3. We attract owls (we already heard one last week!) and snakes to eat the squirrels. Yeah!
Thankfully, Mr Squirrel hasn't completely scared away the local birds. Here's what we have seen at our feeders and in our yard to date:
- chickadees. They are ridiculously tame and the cutest little guys ever.
- song sparrows
- robins (I love their song)
- american goldfinches (yeah!)
- a mating pair of Hairy Woodpeckers (woo!!!)
- a pair of northern flickers!
- grackles (I actually think they are pretty, with irredescent plumage)
- crows (again, I like them! They have so much personality. It's like have mafia thugs in our yard)
- Great Horned Owl (this we identified by it's call the other night. We actually sat in bed and listened to owl samples until we could match the right one. #nerds )
- morning doves
- American Bald Eagle (yeah! This one Andrew saw circling above the nearby lake)
What we're hoping for:
- Cardinals (I've been putting out cut fruit in the trees to try and attract some)
- hummingbirds (feeder purchased- waiting a few weeks before they migrate up to NS!)
- purple finches
- grosbeaks (big and bossy, but pretty nonetheless)
- Blue Jays (very common in NS, but haven't seen in our yard yet)
- Pileated Woodpecker- this would be amazing!
- scarlet tanager (another reason for the fruit)
Part of our plan to attract more birds (other than simply putting up more feeders, which will happen) is to make our own suet feed (we save our bacon fat for this purpose).
We also need a bird tracking book... and we'll keep a journal!