Tag Archives: bird watching

Another article about providing homes …

bird nestI saw a lot of people cleaning up their lawns this afternoon putting the waste into the paperbags for pick-up. While that is commendable – and doing the same thing is on my to-do list – there is one thing you should keep in mind.

Don’t clean up every little stick or twig. Why? The birds can use those smaller stems or debris in making their nests. Ornamental grasses are particularly nice due to their fluffy plumes.

If you have some debris that you think might be just perfect for a nest, you could put it all in one location where the birds can find it. You can clean it up after the nest building season is over. It’s a slightly different version of habitat-for-humanity.

You’ll be treated later when you can watch the parents feed their young and teach them about the benefits of your bird feeder.

The birds eat better than I do.

I’ve been feeding birds for many, many years. I find it relaxing to watch them as they prepare to build their nests in the spring, then later bring their young around to teach them about the “good” food that magically appears for them. Of course, during the winter months, keeping the feeders full is simply a good, humane thing to do.

I can always count on the cardinals to stop by early in the evening, and scold me if there isn’t any food. The chickadees visit throughout the day, flitting from the tree to the hanging feeder underneath. The tree outside my great room is a canopy shape so it provides good hiding protection from bigger birds.

In the backyard, I have a thistle feeder for goldfinches. It’s set off by itself because they tend to be more timid birds and don’t like to compete with others. There are several pairs that visit and they look like tiny rays of sunshine when several bright yellow males feed all at once.

Then there’s a larger feeder out by the spruce trees that I fill with oilers. The sparrows, cardinals, and doves keep it drained of food. Once in a while a hawk visits, sitting on the fence to see what prey he can carry off. When he/she arrives, all the other birds escape quietly to the spruces for cover.

The front feeder, under the canopy, is where I put the “prime” food. I use a no-mess mix that is sunflower hearts, peanuts, etc. The birds LOVE it! But so does this little guy. He has to be an acrobat to reach the feeder, but somehow he manages. He fills his pouches … runs off … comes back for more … and so on.

I had to buy more seed today, and since I happened to be in Westerville, I stopped by Wild Birds Unlimited on State St. If I’m in the Dublin or Hilliard area, I stop at their store on Riverside Dr, just north of Hayden Run. They have a new product called Jim’s Birdacious Bark Butter. It’s a peanut butter and suet mixture that can be spread on tree bark. I bought it JUST FOR the chipmunk, hoping that he’ll leave the good seed alone.

We’ll see how well that works!

Have you ever wondered why a chipmunk is cute, but a mouse isn’t?

Hoover Reservoir is a great attraction for birds … and people, too!

I had an appointment on the east side of Hoover Reservoir recently, near the intersection of Sunbury Rd and Red Bank Rd. Just south of this intersection is an inlet area called the Twin Bridges launch ramp. Although the day was chilly and brisk, I decided to stop and snap a couple photos.

Copyrighted Twin Bridges launch ramp at Hoover Reservoir

The homes that are all along this huge reservoir are fairly pricey since waterfront property isn’t very plentiful in central Ohio. The homes on this east side of Hoover can be quite expensive (over $1 million),  elaborate and luxurious. Much of the terrain near the water is heavily wooded, ravined and quite private, whereas the homes on the west side of the reservoir have open flat lots.

Hoover is known to have a wide variety of birds and waterfowl. Near the area of this photo is Mud Hen Marsh, west on Big Walnut Rd. It’s an area of wetlands where you might see warblers, herons, ducks, woodpeckers and occasionally Bald Eagles.

Along the Twin Bridges area, there is a wide selection of ducks, plus, several Turkey Vulture roosts. A lot of Canadian geese were in the water when I was there.

If you look carefully in the left-center of the photo, you’ll notice that there seems to be an inlet going in between the ravines. Next week I’ll be listing a home that’s just past the end of this inlet. The home has a small stream at the bottom of its ravine that flows to this inlet. It’s quite a scenic area.

Hoover Reservoir also offers fishing but is probably best known for the sail boats. Speedboats aren’t allowed as motors can be no larger than 6hp. It’s very peaceful and serene watching the sailboats quietly float on the water with the pretty terrain of the east of the reservoir in the distance.

If you think this would be an area you would enjoy living in, be sure to check next week for the awesome home that I’ll be listing and posting here for you to see. It’s unbelievable! .