Editor’s note: This article was originally published on May 9, 2020.
The chirping sounds of the trees in my backyard were clear – evening had come. About 30 of them with their turquoise bills hulling sunflower seeds quickly emptied both nutrients.
Later that day, Cassin’s finches arrived with the bright red seabirds and it was time to buy another 40 pounds of black oil sunflower seeds.
Two days later, the pines’ few numbers exploded as little brown birds dominated the American goldfinch in the stockings of thistle seed (niger). Anticipating a few fruit-eating hummingbirds and pollock birds, I took out hummingbird feeders and scattered oranges cut in half around the yard. It didn’t take long before Bullock crept up to feast on one of the oranges.
This week on a trip to Henrys Lake to check out the ice and to get some fishing flies to the Drift Lodge I stopped in at Harriman Park. In the hunting park at Last Chance, a large flock of yellow-rump songbirds, including the semi-singed Myrtle, were feeding on the hatchlings. Even a few yellow pundits were busy filling their stomachs.
This is the time to attract colorful birds to your garden and area. Migration of critics birds and other colorful birds are looking for a nourishing boon in their northern migration over the next two to three weeks. Now is the time to recharge or quench the nutrients. Water is also important because they need water, shelter, and food to maintain their fat reserves while they migrate. As temperatures drop at night, natural foods do not develop as quickly, so food stations will be essential to their migration.
I will be putting these feeders down in the next few days. Birds use storm systems to travel, and all too often, exotic birds break away from our area in a storm and “blow” off their course. With all the rain and wind expected this coming week, we should see some exotic birds coming in before the end of next week. Last season I had a pink-breasted beak grosbeak with a herd of black-headed grosbeaks, a very rare sight in Rexburg. Several years ago, I found a summer bird in Market Lake that had been staying there for several days.
Perhaps the best food for the greatest birds is black oil sunflower seeds either in the shell or just the seeds if you don’t want to deal with the mess of shells.
Next, I like niger seeds in seed stockings for sparrow and knife families. They love them. Many fruit-eating birds such as orioles and hummingbirds like water feeders with sugar or oranges cut in half.
Finally, I also love peanut-flavored suet cakes for woodpeckers, fowl, and other nut-eating birds. Know that starlings also love blubber and will gobble it up quickly.
Insectivorous birds are not attracted to feeders, but a few birdhouses built for swallows and house birds will attract them to help you get rid of the nasty mosquitoes and mosquitoes that bother you. In recent years, we have had flycatchers and western bird nests in our backyard to help control insects.
I would encourage anyone with an exotic bird appearing in their yard to contact me through EastIdahoNews.com so it can be documented. I would also like to hear about some experiences you had while attracting birds to your garden.
I hope you will have a great time watching not only the colors of the flowers, but also how many colorful birds you see.