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  1. Hello... Since we have not had a post in a while I thought it was about time to mention the fall migration season that is about to start. They say Ruby-throats start moving south as early as the end of August so you may see some different hummers this month on their way back to Central America. My first "winter" species that show up around my house each year is the dark-eyed juncos. I"ve seen them as early as late October before with big numbers coming in November and December. I get a lot more American Goldfinches and white-throated sparrows in November to December. The last to arrive every year is the Pine Siskins. Since they are irruptive, I don't get them every year. We got a few last year but I saw none in 2016. I have seen a few Rose-breasted Grosbeaks on their way back south a couple of times in the last 5 years. What is your favorite fall/winter species that you see on your property? oh yeah... Roll Tide! Ha ha!
  2. tclarkwood

    2018 Any Bluebirds Nesting Yet?

    Yes... That is one of the better areas of the state. Close to bay, beach and Pensacola airport. Great food too. I plan to live somewhere between there and Mexico Beach, FL for retirement. Lord Willing! You will be able to see some pretty cool beach birds where you are at. Those sand pipers, egrets and other shore birds are pretty cool to watch. Enjoy!
  3. tclarkwood

    2018 Any Bluebirds Nesting Yet?

    The last brood of babies, (brood 3), have been hanging around my suet feeders so there is still some activity. Looks like 3 broods will be all that I have this year.
  4. tclarkwood

    What is this

    I mispoke about the morning sounds and late summer sounds. They are Cicadas not Katydids.
  5. tclarkwood

    What is this

    Here in the south, they sing the second half of the summer. They sing one song during the morning and into the heat of the day and then they sing another song after dark. I know they are not literally singing. I’m always amazed at how a little creature like this can make a noise that can be heard 1/2 mile away or more.
  6. tclarkwood

    2018 Any Bluebirds Nesting Yet?

    I have still not seen the bluebirds lately? I am not sure where they have gone? Looks like its only going to be 3 broods this year. 😓
  7. tclarkwood

    What Likes What?

    I have many different types of insect and worm eating birds that eat my suet. I'm currently using a hot pepper suet to prevent squirrels from taking it but I have noticed that the birds do not like the hot pepper suet as much as the regular high protein suet.
  8. tclarkwood

    2018 Any Bluebirds Nesting Yet?

    Yes... I have a predator baffle. That is why I was so perplexed on how the raccoon got past it. It either jumped from the ground about 4-5 feet in the air or it somehow got traction on the baffle itself. I don’t know how it would have done either but it did. Blew my mind. You going to be in North, Central or South Alabama?
  9. Thank you Admin for bringing back backyard birds! Much appreciated! I wanted to give an update on my bluebird pair and what has happened. I told you about the raccoon wrecking my bluebird house and taking my babies back in late May early June. That was the second brood. My third brood was completely successful with all 4 bluebird babies fledging last week. The nest was in a small chickadee house so it goes to show that bluebirds can be resourceful with what they raise their young in .. The house was clearly too small but the bluebirds didn't care and made it work. Now is the interesting part... Will my pair attempt a 4th brood? I am going to clear out the chickadee box and washout the traditional bluebird box to see if they do. Interestingly, I have not seen the parents or youngsters around much so I'm not exactly sure where they have been? I trapped and removed 3 raccoons so I think that there is a chance that they could use the normal box without being vandalized again. I certainly removed the raccoon that did the damage with the second brood. I'll keep everyone posted about what they do next. It usually takes a couple weeks before the female starts building a new nest. I hope others have had success with our bluebird friends this season!
  10. tclarkwood

    Hummingbird Observation

    Interesting that you just posted about Hummers since I watched them this past weekend at my mother's home. She has 7 of them that are emptying the feeder about every other day. What I observed is that there are 6 females and 1 male and the females rule the roost! I noticed that the most dominant one is not the largest one as you might expect. I get a kick out of how much they "fuss" at one another with so many vocalizations as they are fighting over position. Towards the end of the day, the dominant one finally gets tired of being dominant and they all get to feed. They are so much fun to watch and I never get tired of it. Thanks Whatbird for bringing this discussion forum back!
  11. Hello... I wasn't sure when any other topic categories were going to be created so I wanted to give an update on what happened to my second brood of bluebirds here in Central Alabama. Just before Memorial Day I found my bluebird house had been opened and all of the baby bluebirds have been removed except one and half of the nest was ripped out. The door was left open. Some kind of animal or person had been able to get around the baffle and unlatch the door and get my babies. I pushed the nest back into the house with the one bluebird baby. The next day. The door was opened again and nothing was left in the bluebird house. Not even the nest. So what do you think it was? I found out the next week that it was a juvenile raccoon. The raccoon was eating all my birdseed, dumping out my hummingbird feeders and eating my suet cakes every night until I decided to trap him. It took me 2 weeks but I finally trapped him in late June. Another raccoon was also in the area and started doing the same thing. I trapped it about a week ago. Now I am raccoon free! I think! My bluebird parents, decided to start a new family about a month ago in my hanging chick a dee house so I have brood number 3 about to fledge now. Brood 3 has 4 babies the best that I can tell. I'm not sure if they will do a 4th brood but I hope so to make up for the ones the raccoon ate. Well... That is what happened in my backyard since the forums went up in smoke! Ha ha! I can't believe the raccoon got around my baffle. Still do not know how he did it? A wild game camera would be a good investment someday. I would have loved to have captured that footage.
  12. tclarkwood

    Pine Siskin

    Pine Siskins are more susceptible to strains of Salmonella infections which can make them act more docile and/or confused. I had one last winter that would almost let me pet him while he was perched on one of my feeders. They are also susceptible to infections associated with blindness. There is a chance that your Siskin could have been affected by a bacteria. Sometimes they survive the infection but they have higher mortality rates from these types of infections than other birds.
  13. tclarkwood

    BIRDING Category Topics

    Thanks for the response. There is a group of us that like to keep each other updated as to what is going on with the birds on our property and I have been wanting to give an update on what happed with my bluebirds for over a month. If you can tell me where to give this update, that is what I will do. I was just trying to communicate that we used that forum quite a bit in the Spring and the late Fall to talk about migratory birds songbirds that frequent our property. We talk about hummers and other interesting migraters as well. It’s a group of about 20-30 of us that use the “backyard” forum. Occasionally, we get comments by some of you that are on the website every day. That is the main reason that I was hoping you would keep that forum. I understand that we had too many forum categories. I just wanted to make a small case that backyard forum was great for a group of us. Thanks for your consideration!
  14. tclarkwood

    BIRDING Category Topics

    I disagree with everyone that thinks we need to do away with "Backyard birds" . It is the main reason that category had over 17k posts. There are some of us that are not "birders" but love to observe, raise and comment on the birds we have that come to our feeders and bird houses or just simply hang out on our property. There is no need to change the name to do away with "backyard birds". I think that word makes the category more valuable since most of the comments have to do with people observing birds in their backyard or somewhere on their property. Thanks again for allowing us to comment on what we would prefer the future forum to look like.
  15. tclarkwood

    BIRDING Category Topics

    Mr./ Ms. Administrator.... If you are trying to decide which forum categories to keep versus which ones to toss, can't you just look at the number and frequency of posts from the past? There are 6 categories that have over 10k posts from your screen shot at the top. Help me Identify a Bird Photo Sharing General / Off Topic Discussion Birds and Birding Birding Trips Backyard Birds, Feeders, Food All of these categories have over 10k posts. The next highest in 6k with some categories being under 1k or less. Seems to me you would start with these 6 categories that I have listed and adjust from there.... Thanks for setting this up.