Most of our backyard trees have fully leafed out now, making birdwatching more of a challenge. I hear the bird calls, so I know that they are there, but I don't always get to see them. All the more reason to maintain bird feeders. It draws them out of the tree cover if only for a brief moment. And that's when I get most of my photo-opportunities.

black capped chickadee photo by Adrienne in Ohio

I'm curious to know how many others feed their backyard birds year-round. My neighbor told me that she thought one wasn't supposed to feed year-round because then the birds wouldn't migrate. It's probably not necessary to feed during the summer months when there are lots of bugs and seeds to keep the birds well-fed. It is crucial during the winter when the food supply is low. So if you start feeding them, just know that the birds are depending on that food source.

One of the reasons I choose to feed them all year is that there are birds that I only see in the spring and summer months. The pine siskins and juncos are gone now, but I have hummingbirds and orioles and a rose-breasted grosbeak. And I love seeing the plumage change on the American goldfinches.

The fledglings do follow their parents to the feeders, and I wonder if that might be the best argument for not feeding during this time. It sure is entertaining when the parents have had enough. I saw a mother goldfinch chase her "baby" away. He was sitting on the deck railing all fluffed up, mouth open wide. She almost looked annoyed that he was disturbing her, and then she flew at him to chase him off. After all, he needs to learn to feed himself.

So stay tuned. I've got lots of shots to share with you.


Carol said…
I just posted a couple of shots of a Carolina Chickadee that was in my Tangelo tree this morning. It's the first I've seen here in Central FL. Just passing thru? I dont know.
Kelly said…
...I also feel them year round because I enjoy seeing them and hearing them (all the time!). I don't think my feeding them in the summer will delay their migration. They are programmed internally to move when the time is right. Beautiful photo of the chickadee...he is my favorite yard bird.
TCKK said…
Beautiful picture!!
Jamie said…
What a beautiful picture! We have seen blue birds are cardinals lately we hardly ever see them and so early in the season it seems to be all we've pretty (-:
theArthurClan said…
We are just getting ready to hang up our very first birdfeeder Adrienne. Your photos have inspired me...I love the shots you get of your beautiful birds.
Linda said…
So THAT's what a chickadee looks like! We don't have them here, but I know the name.
We don't feed birds at all, because we're surrounded by houses that have at least one cat, some of them four, and they're very predatory. So we don't want to entice birds just to have them pounced on. Up in the north of Scotland tho my 82 year old father feeds birds in the winter, but not in the summer.
drewmark19 said…
I'm so jealous. It would be so neat to see a hummingbird around here. Mark claimed he saw one, but I haven't yet. (Even though I have a bright red feeder for them in the backyard.)

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