The Bird Feed

As I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business, I heard the not unfamiliar sound of a bird flapping against my window pane, trying to get in.  This one, however, was the first Oriole of the season, a couple feet away!

Several days I ago I put up a new feeder station with little cups for grape jelly and orange slices.


I waited.

They usually can’t resist grape jelly and oranges.


Then this critter decides to explore the tiny humming bird feeder next to my window and thus… the encounter.

He did, however, immediately thereafter find the grape jelly.  I shot this photo, though that feeder is not too close to my house.

I will be on the watch.  

I have also spotted an Indigo Bunting, but he has been scarce.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects are hanging around. 

This one is, I think, a coach for the Goldfinch Eating Team.

They are engaged in a contest with the new team in town.

The Pine Siskin Eating Team!

The PSET won this round.

This one suspected she was being watched.

Yep… busted…

This finch, however, was determined to be photogenic.

In the meantime, Mrs. Woodpecker scoops some nutty glop.


I have been experimenting with multiple webcams… trying to get everything to work smoothly for the Z-Cam.  As part of the experiment, I have set one up for Penjing, whom I have also put to work with some advertising. 

"But Father! But Father!", you are surely saying.  "That is the ugliest little webcam I have ever seen!".

Indeed.  However, it has a 5 megapixel resolution and cost about $12!  There is no microphone built it, which is fine.  The only problem is that I can’t figure out how to control its brightness and contrast, etc., when I have the others plugged in.  It is simply too light sensitive.  It is perfect for the chapel cam, however.   I might get a couple more with extensions.  Id like to get a couple more angles on Mass, perhaps… experiment a bit.

In the meantime, Penjing has nothing special to say.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in The Feeder Feed and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. You must go through a lot of bird seed in a week! I’m sure it’s worth it though since you get to feast your eyes on such beautiful birds.

    Penjing is jealous… That’s why he has nothing to say! Maybe when penjing begins to bloom, he’ll get your attention. :)

    Thanks for the lovely pictures.

  2. TerryN says:

    Two things:

    How do you keep the squirrels away from the feeders.


    Thanks for posting the email from the priest about the importance of the Eucharist and not walking away from Mass if it doesn’t fit with ones spirituality. I was very edified by what he had to say. Thanks.

  3. standing: Yes… they eat a great deal. That is why donations are welcome.

  4. Terry: Squirrels. I have a baffling baffle on one. They just can’t get at it from below or above. The feeders near the house are a bit more problematic. The grays are older and are content with the stuff on the ground. The persistent little red jerks, however… permanent solutions may be necessary.

  5. irishgirl says:

    I love your bird pics, Father!

    ‘Little red jerks….permanent solutions’…..oooo, this sounds serious!

    I saw a black squirrel a few days ago-not always seen where I live-I get mostly grays!

  6. Anthony Crifasi says:

    Father, I found this advice on the web for preventing bird-window collisions:

    Preventing Bird Window Collisions
    It is estimated that millions of birds are killed by glass window collisions. Birds often cannot recognize reflective windows as barriers and subsequently fly into them. Identify problem windows, especially those greater than 6 feet, and reduce bird window collisions by:

    * Applying window decals, i.e. hawk silhouettes (no more than 4″ apart vertically and 2″ apart horizontally)
    * Attaching decorations on outside glass surface to break up reflection
    * Installing screens, awnings, or netting to buffer impact
    * Placing feeders within 3′ or greater than 30′ from windows*
    *Consider placing your feeder either within 3 feet of a window – birds won’t gain enough momentum to harm themselves when they strike, or greater than 30 feet – birds will be less likely to see the windows as pathways.

    Here’s a nifty window decal that shows transparent to our eyes, but solid to birds: (picture at link above)

    Also, here’s an excellent squirrel-proof bird feeder:

  7. meg says:

    Father – I have been told that when a bird seems to be attacking your window it’s actually seeing it’s reflection as a rival male and is trying to drive it off. I had a male cardinal noisily attacking one of my windows and this is the explanation I received. Judging from his demeanor it made sense – he was engaged in serious battle!

    Also – where did you purchase that orange slice holder thingy?

  8. Maureen says:

    “In the meantime, Penjing has nothing special to say.”

    That’s because Penjing is busy singing!

    “Pen Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,
    His name is Penjing too….”

  9. Banjo Pickin' Girl says:

    meg is right about the bird and the window. i once observed a robin exhausting itself fighting with its reflection for almost an hour. they recognize another male and fight it. it doesn’t occur to them that there is a smooth glass surface there they are too intent on driving the other male away.

  10. Angela says:

    Father Z,

    I love the photos of the birds! They always make me smile. Our home has many winged and four-legged visitors as well. Yesterday I took a sweet photo of a baby cottontail drinking out of the bird bath that we have on the ground outside my office.

  11. Aelric says:

    Enjoy the photos, Father.

    We had our first Indigo Bunting sighting today!

  12. Frz said: “Yes… they eat a great deal. That is why donations are welcome.”

    I hope prayer will do instead… Like for many, the recession plus family illness has hit close to home… [They are not only welcome, they are needed.]

  13. Genna says:

    I have the weighted squirrel buster for seeds and it’s brilliant. Also, I got a battery-operated squirrel baffle for the nut feeder. As soon as the weight of the squirrel reaches the feeder it spins round and round and the critter can’t hang on.
    I had the problem of bird strikes on my windows and put up a couple of floppy see-thru spider webs. They grab on to the window by friction and no more bird strikes.

  14. r7blue1pink says:

    Keeping away the Squirrels….

    On my iron post… I created a stopper of sorts…
    I took some heavy-duty plastic- like a lid from rubbermaid box and cut it into a circle about 15″ in diameter. then cut a slit to the center and made a circular hole in center. shaped the plastic into a cone/bowl. I placed it onto the feeder about 3 feet from the bottom and taped up the split with a wedge of sorts to prevent them from sliding it up or down. They cant get to the feeder at all… and notoriusly try to no avail.. its funny watching them try though…

    Frlet me know if you want a pix of it.. Ill be glad to send..

  15. Anna says:

    I love the oranges and grape jelly feeder. Where can one find this and what do you call it? How neat. Thanks for sharing the pics.

  16. Kelly says:

    I keep the best birdseed for the feeders and find that one type of seed works much better in each feeder than a bag of mixed. I dump a few piles of a cheap, mixed birdseed in the corners of our yard. This keeps the squirrels, mourning doves, cowbirds and other ground feeders or undesirables happy. I do have a baffle on my pole and after I found the little buggers (gray squirrels) weren’t too baffled, I attached a bungee cord to it which helps steady it and frustrate them. I suggest the book “Best-Ever Backyard Birding Tips: Hundreds of Easy Ways to Attract the Birds You Love to Watch” by Deborah L. Martin.

  17. pinoycatholic says:

    PENJING CAM! wish granted! yehey!

  18. little gal says:

    “That is why donations are welcome.”

    These stories and pictures of the birds of the Sabine Farm are wonderful…they are a respite for so many of us who live in the city, who are far from nature. They remind us that we are a small part of something much bigger and wonderful that God has designed. Why not market/sell these pictorial stories of the Birds of the Sabine Farm…to other blogs, newspapers OR perhaps TV? I can see PBS loving this as a transition piece between programs. Just a thought…

  19. Girgadis says:

    little gal

    I love Father’s bird photos as well, but you wouldn’t believe the variety of
    birds that make their homes in cities. We have an urban garden where we often
    see a pair of cardinals as well as yellow finches (the main reason why I grow
    sunflowers) mockingbirds and an occasional hummingbird drawn to the cardinal
    vines we grow in summer. Last year I arrived home from work on a winter’s day
    and thought it was snowing – it wasn’t. A peregrine falcon was plucking the
    feathers out of his kill and the cascading feathers looked like snow falling.
    But, my favorite “bird sighting” happened a few months ago. Mind you we live
    in Philadelphia – we awoke to a rooster crowing outside our window. When I left
    the house for 6:30 Mass, there was the rooster, perching on one of my neighbor’s
    window boxes. For two days it entertained the neighborhood until a young man
    caught it and took it to a farm. Thank you for indulging me Father in letting
    me share my bird stories. Have a cup of espresso on me!

  20. Sharon says:

    Father, how do you know what foode.g. goop and grape jelly to put out?

  21. Sharon: You might look around in your area for a store that specializes in wild birds. You could get some advice there about what different types of birds like to eat.

Comments are closed.