About Feeding Birds in Summer..

Who knew that there are so many birds in summer coming to feeders?  Not me, that’s for sure.  I feed the birds in winter but thought that in summer there would be only House Sparrows.  Right now I am going through  at least 2 lbs of seed per day.  Little did I know the number of birds and different species that would come..besides House Sparrows there are House Finches (as above, male in breeding color), Brown-headed Cowbirds (male and female) a Red-winged Blackbird, Black-headed Grosbeak (male and female) Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, one male Goldfinch, one young Starling, these not to mention 3 squirrels feeding from seed dropped on the ground.  And also Hummingbirds, many Hummingbirds, below is one of the many:

So now I have a decision to make: husband thinks that I am doing them no favors by feeding them but I love to see and hear them in the yard.  But by providing birdseed am I harming them because they don’t have to search for their natural food? I saw a mother House Sparrow carrying a moth to her nest and that got me to thinking the birdseed feeding.

So what do you think?  is it a good idea to feed or a bad idea?  I am undecided.

 

 

Female Brown-headed Cowbird: A Closer Look

Following my last post, here are two photos of the female Brown-headed Cowbird, this is the mate of the male featured in my last post.  She is beautiful in her own way, I especially love the black beak and striped chest.  In the photo below she is looking at me, you have to love when they do that.

Thankfully they are not as shy as they were at first and do not mind my presence as long as I sit still and quietly photograph.  There were two fledglings higher up in the tree but as Cowbirds lay their eggs in other bird’s nests, I don’t know whose young they were.  They were definitely not House Sparrows or finches.

Black Beauty

These birds are new to me as of a few weeks ago.  They come daily to our feeder, above are male and female Brown-Headed Cowbird.  I wonder why they have such a strange name being members of the Blackbird family.  My photos do not do justice to the beautiful shiny black feathers of the male’s body nor the chocolate-brown of his head.

Below is another of the males.

for more information on the Brown-headed Cowbird, follow the link below at All About Birds.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown-headed_Cowbird/id