Four Birds

There are only four (or five) types of birds that visit my feeders after I switched to safflower seeds. Fortunately they're some of my favorites, so I don't mind the lack of variety.

Today I'll take a quick look at all of them, starting with the Black-capped Chickadees.


These little birds are frisky and noisy, but in a good way. They're usually the first to appear after I refill the feeder. Garb a seed and fly off to a branch to eat is their M.O.

Next up is the Tufted Titmouse, another chatty bird that is quite pretty:

Like the chickadees they'll fly in...

...grab a seed and choose a nearby branch...

...grasp the seed underfoot...

...and peck away:

A less-frequent visitor at this time of year is the house finch:

It was difficult to get a photo of this finch, so I couldn't be too choosy!

I just saw a single female that day, but in the spring when they nest under the overhang of my front porch the whole extended family is out here.

The White-breasted Nuthatch swoops in once in a while, but always flies out of sight to eat (or hide) the seeds. I love hearing a mated couple (or family) of nuthatches making their way up and down the trees in the area, quietly calling to each other as they go.

That's about it for the species that I see. I will get an occasional Cardinal, but I don't think they like safflower seeds very much, which is a shame. Blue Jays too avoid these seeds, so I'm probably going to start putting some sunflower seeds into the feeder out back, just to get both of them coming into the yard again.

Note that I use safflower seed only because squirrels and blackbirds won't eat it. Those two pests will combine to empty feeders in minutes, whereas the safflower seed lasts for a day or two -- and I know that the "good" birds are getting it.

What birds do you see at this time of year?


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Mark and Gaz  – (December 1, 2014 at 8:28 AM)  

We haven't noticed that any birds visiting our garden at the moment but then again we only get to spend time in it during the weekend. Your timing is great, those birds are so cute!

Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (December 1, 2014 at 9:49 AM)  

Great pictures.
I didn't know about safflower seeds. Cardinals are afternoon birds. I hear them around here, but don't see them often.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (December 1, 2014 at 12:09 PM)  

I must admit that I only know a few birds by name. I guess squirrels don't count, do they?

We still have quite a few hummingbirds. A few of them seem to overwinter here.

Alan  – (December 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM)  

Mark/Gaz: no bird feeder in your garden? I don't know how I could get through winter without having the birds to watch.

Maywyn: right after posting I saw a couple of Cardinals land on the feeder, but they seemed to fly away, uninterested.

Gerhard: In my travels out west, I've noticed bird densities are much lower than here. Then again you have hummingbirds year-round, and the odd flock of parrots which make up for the low numbers. :)

onebug  – (March 9, 2016 at 1:21 PM)  

Have you tried mixing safflower with sunflower seeds? I've hears that blackbirds do not like it also, but where I am, I don't seem to have a problem with them. I get several cardinals, blue jays, and tons of downy, hairy, and red-bellied woodpeckers. Last winter I had a whole family of red-headed ones, which was pretty exiting to me, but I haven't seen them since I let up filling the feeders over the summer.

My first visit to your blog. I enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!

Alan  – (March 9, 2016 at 4:02 PM)  

Janette: thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I know that if I add sunflower seeds to the safflower, squirrels and blackbirds will just empty out the safflower to get to the ones they want. Nice idea though.

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