Sunday, April 3, 2016

Stop the snow!

Oh God. stop the ❄

We drove into Canada on our way to Rochester N.Y., and into another bout of SNOW. When will this madness stop?
You can imagine how the migrating birds must feel. "Hey, Let's go back to Florida!
Oh well. It was a beautiful frosty drive. and we saw sever migration birds. I especially enjoy the returning ducks. Living on farmland we don't get many visits from ducks. I do expect a few if the water in the fields doesn't drain soon. We've had flooding in the past,and ducks stopped in. When they realized the pond was temporary.they headed to wetter grounds.

Well, it's time to visit with family here in New York, so "Happy backyard birding"

Friday, March 25, 2016

Winter Hangs On

Robins Fight The Snow

 Starling, waiting for it's turn.
We have been teased by the weather this year. A winter storm is followed by what appears to be the beginning of spring. Then another storm arrives, worse than the last one. The last two days we have had eight inches of snow, followed by rain, thunder storm, more snow, hale and last night another inch of snow. Through this "Hell" the birds have been frantic. They know when a storm is coming. As we watch them fighting for more food, we wonder what the Robins must thinking. They headed north because of a promise of spring. Then this!

This too shall pass, and spring will come. 
It has to, there is Global Warming and right now it's not warm!  

The winter birds are making plans to head north, while the summer birds are arriving. We now have a new crop of Cowbirds, Red Wing Black Birds, and the ever popular Grackle. These are larger blackbirds who forever seem to be looking toward the sky. We don't mind them because they chase the Starlings out of the yard. Here is a bit of information on them: 

Happy Backyard Birding


Monday, March 21, 2016


 Meet Our Red Bellied Woodpecker

Our yard wasn't always an active bird sanctuary. I lived alone here in Berne, a small and old village just north of Pigeon, Michigan. I met my wife, Sharon, thirty years ago. She was living in Wixom, Michigan. Sharon was an active bird watcher, and her yard was filled with bird feeders and every imaginable bird was a visitor.

After we married, we moved here, because my home was in the country, far from the bustle of Detroit. Sharon was disappointed when we put up our first bird feeder. Nothing! Not even a Weaver Finch. It took a long time to bring the birds to our yard. But with Sharon's knowledge of birds we planned a great yard and garden. Over the years we have been blessed with a constant flow of birds, and other friends. We have several rabbit families, some squirrels and lots of birds.

This winter we have been fascinated with the woodpeckers. We moved the suet feeders closer to our dining room window when our "Big" tree was brought down in a bad storm. Sharon was afraid that the woodpeckers might not come to the feeder, because they could see us through the window. It was an unfounded fear. In fact, we had more woodpeckers in the yard this past winter, than we ever had.

I decided to take some video of the woodpeckers and I'll post one today. We have been attracting Downy woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, and the Red Bellied Woodpecker. Here is the largest woodpecker. The Red Bellied.

I love this bird. It is large and not afraid of anything or anyone. When a Starling stops in, this bird will chase the entire flock out of the tree. Enjoy our friend and we will be posting more every day.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring Is Coming

 Welcome Spring Birding

The snow is melted and the field is flooded. We had a lot of snow this winter, but it melted after each blizzard. I was surprised when I woke up last week to see water standing in the back field. It had rained all night and the ditches were filled to the brim.

The birds didn't care. As long as Sharon and I keep the feed coming they will continue to grace us with their presence. It's been a hard winter for them also. We went through about 210 pounds of our personal blend of mixed seed, and 20 pounds of thistle. Our suet loving birds ate about 18 pounds of natural suet and twelve pounds of commercial suit cakes. Of course they loved Sharon's homemade bacon, crunchy peanut butter, and yellow corn meal cakes. She kept them coming as long as I ate the bacon. "Love Bacon".

This blog is going to be about our garden, our bird sanctuary and a little bit of us. We enjoy bird watching, especially when we can stay at home and watch the action. Of course we'll also go on the road, from time-to-time. We are retired but we both still are active. I teach, run a publishing business, am an artist and author. Sharon was a professional artist and still dabbles in the arts.
See you in the back yard, watching birds!

 Some photographs

 The top picture is a March storm, looking out of our living room window. The ice is coming down from the roof and my wife took the photograph.

The picture at the right is from our back window. Yes, we have monster windmills around out home. We'll talk about them later.