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Charlie Spencer

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Everything posted by Charlie Spencer

  1. There's only one goldfinch species in the eastern US. You have the same American Goldfinch species in WV that dragon49 has in NY. It's possible you're seeing immature ones or ones that have already started to change colors for the winter. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Goldfinch Would you describe the woodpeckers that are eating your hummingbird food? I think Downy Woodpeckers will do this. Do they look like this? https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker Thanks.
  2. Yeah, I think this discussion has too many black-and-yellow avatars. Let's add a red-white-black 'BUMP'.
  3. And there's the ever-popular 'car blind'. I've taken plenty of photos and notched plenty of lifers leaning out the window.
  4. Definitely tanager; the bill isn't pointy or long enough for an oriole. i think it's a Scarlet with the darker wings, and overall more greenish than orangish.
  5. https://www.audubon.org/news/house-finch-or-purple-finch-heres-how-tell-them-apart One thing that wasn't mentioned but would be helpful with this photo is that Purples have a much stronger facial pattern than Houses.
  6. The vast majority do. If you can only offer one type of food, black oil sunflower seed (or BOSS) will attract the widest variety of backyard feeder-visiting species. Add a suet feeder and a hummingbird feeder and you'll get most of what doesn't eat BOSS. Start with those before you go for the more specialized / more expensive stuff like peanuts, grape jelly, safflower, nyger / thistle, peanuts in the shell, mealworms, cracked corn, 'no mess', fruit and nut blends, etc. I would never pay for expensive store-bought hummingbird food. You can make your own with 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water (no honey, artificial sweeteners, molasses, etc, and no food coloring; just plain old white sugar only). Nuke it for a couple of minute and stir to dissolve, and let it cool before filling the feeders (use the waiting time to wash those hummie feeders!). Any unused portion will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. There are indeed some birds that will eat those little round red and white millet seeds. Doves will eat it but they'll eat darn near anything. The others are mostly game birds though, and few people that are starting out feeding birds live in areas where those birds will visit a feeder. If you live where grouse, turkey, quail, etc are common, these mixes may be appropriate. But even those birds will eat BOSS to a greater or lesser degree.
  7. There are some species that so closely resemble others, songs and calls are the only way to distinguish them in the field. In those case, the birds seen are likely to be LESS accurate than the ones heard!
  8. The C&S No-Melt Peanut flavor. I've tried 'regular' suets but the birds in my yard don't seem to have a preference. Because it's no-melt, I can feed it all year here in SC. Walmart has an 8-pack for around $11.
  9. Sounds like my House Finches. They carry on like a bunch of kids who just went to their first pro wrasslin' match.
  10. Do you put out suet? The woodpeckers in my yard prefer it over sunflower.
  11. There are some ethical questions regarding the use of playback. It shouldn't be an issue this time of year, but it can cause problems during breeding season. The bird may hear a recorded call and try to defend its territory, expending energy it needs to attract a mate, build a nest, capture prey to feed its young, help fledglings, etc. Keep in mind that breeding seasons vary between species, and adjust your playbacks accordingly. Sorry, I''m not trying to sound like lecturing old geezer (this time).
  12. Here, check some of these out. I particularly like the one nesting in the pickup truck bed. https://www.google.com/search?q=carolina+wren+nests&safe=active&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwilve3C_MXrAhWF_KQKHTCpC1QQ_AUoAXoECA8QAw&biw=1439&bih=999
  13. $18 for 40 pounds sounds pretty reasonable to me.
  14. I don't know if you've heard of a national birding event called the 'Big Sit'. While it's an annual event, the concept applies any time. Pick a spot, sit quietly, and wait to see what comes to you.
  15. Heck, you can't go wrong anywhere on the southern SC coast, from Savannah NWR to Murrell's Inlet. Tons of good year-round bird. Now, where'd I put that check from SC DNR?
  16. @Dan P, I know this isn't what you asked about, but your photo shows lots of seed on the balcony. It looks like you're buying one of the inexpensive 'Wild Bird Seed'. If you look at the mix, you'll see a lot of those little round reddish seeds. They're on your deck because most birds that come to a feeder won't eat them. While those mixes seem inexpensive, you're paying mostly for seeds the birds ignore. You might consider switching to a 'No Mess' mix for decks. Black oil sunflower seed is another option; it's cheaper than the 'No Mess' mixes but you will have to sweep up the seed hulls the birds leave behind. Both are more expensive than generic mixes but you won't be wasting your money. Just my two cents. Feel free to ignore me; my Darling Bride usually does.
  17. I understand. English is a confusing language, even for those of us who grew up with it.
  18. Death Valley hit 130 about two weeks ago. But yeah, 115 is more like Phoenix.
  19. 'Non-brEEding'. 'BrEAding' is what you do to chicken drumsticks before you fry them, Honey-child. But I won't attempt to pin this as non-breeding male vs. immature.
  20. That's what I get for forgetting to look at the location!
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