The Feeder Feed

At the Sabine Feeders a variety of woodpeckers swoop in to feed.

This is Hairy Woodpecker.

Here is a triumphant Red-Bellied Woodpecker.

This is Downy Woodpecker, smaller than Hairy.

And the Missus.

And then there is the relentless TEAM GOLDFINCH.

The American Goldfinch Eating Team does not restrict itself to summer feeding.

In fact, I have never seen so many of these dopey little birds, who constantly fling themselves against my windows.

Many thanks to the kind soul, KA, who used my Amazon Wish List to send me some nyger seed for the "socks" on this finch feeder. 

I think TEAM GOLDFINCH will probably put up a plaque in your honor in their clubhouse.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. An American Mother says:

    Easiest way to tell the Hairy Woodpeckers from the Downies when you can’t get a size comparison — since they never seem to show up at our feeders at the same time: the Downy’s beak is much narrower and shorter in relation to the size of his head.

    We are Woodpecker Heaven here, there’s a very old stand of mixed pines and hardwoods right behind our house. Hairies, Downies, Red-Bellieds, Red-Headeds, Sapsuckers, Flickers. We once saw a Pileated, but he apparently was just passing through. We also are overrun with Owls – particularly a pair of Screech Owls that keep us up at night with their whinnying and hooting back and forth. And the Red Tailed Hawk is bold as brass, he loves to sit in our cherry tree eating a chipmunk and taunting the dogs.

  2. American Mother: Sounds much like my region. I can hear the owls in the forest. And there are a couple hawks here. One day I heard a thud on my front door and, rounding the corner, I saw a Red Tailed looking in through the glass door. He was obviously after a nice juicy chipmunk. I blessed his work and away he went. We also have Flickers here, but I haven’t spotted any Sapsuckers. Last year I spotted a Pileated flying through the yard and into the woods. I pursued with camera, but he eluded me, alas.

  3. gloriainexcelsis says:

    With winter fast approaching (snow expected at my 2500 foot level by Monday), my bird family is loading up. For some reason suet doesn’t get much play. I have great luck in giving the feathered ones some fat for the season by smearing “Birdacious Bark Butter” on a tree or on a piece of wood attached to a tree. It smells like peanut butter, so I think that’s the main ingredient. Smear it on and make striations with a fork. Almost every species of bird seems to love it. A Grass Valley bird store, Wild Birds Unlimited, carries it. Sorry I can’t afford to feed your birds too, Father; but maybe some kind soul will send you some. It’s great.

  4. PS: I was told the other day that some Snow Buntings were spotted in the area. I will have to take a look in the fields.

  5. Random Friar says:

    Shades (even if open, but not pulled up), blinds and other things can keep birds away from your windows. The finches seem especially prone to this. In some birdseed specialty shops, you can also get little “silhouette” stickers of birds to put on the window, but pretty much anything that alerts the bird and breaks up reflection will work.

  6. Random: I often keep them partly closed. But they bang away all the same.

  7. An American Mother says:

    We are in the upper Piedmont region of Georgia, which is generally a little warmer than your region (although right now it is annoyingly cold here and we actually had snow flurries this morning).

    We have a mix here of mountain birds and deciduous forest birds . . . we get all the Goldfinches when they’re in the winter plumage. We kid my mother in law in Virginia that we get them all fattened up and handsome and then send them up to her in their summer finery.

    And no, they’re not the brightest birds in the forest. We have problems with them hitting our kitchen windows. Hung ribbons up to give them a little perspective, but they still hit the glass. Then the dogs go out and retrieve them for us, and we put them in a shoebox with cotton and a light bulb to try to bring them around. We save about fifty percent to eat Niger seed again . . . . and to tell their wives about how they vanquished the huge monster that almost swallowed them whole . . . .

  8. ScitoTeIpsum says:

    Father Z,

    What type of camera you shooting with?

  9. Maltese says:

    The first one, the “Hairy Woodpecker” looks rather serious in his ambitions! Reminds me of a passage from Gerard Manley Hopkins: “deep down, things are never spent.” As Aristotle taught: things are constantly in flux, and the world, and people in it are constantly striving to meet their potential, and, in that sense, for change. So, nature, and people, are ever changing, but by default, by design, God-Christ remains the same and unchangeable. In that sense, and like nature, the Traditional Latin Mass devloped organically–slowly–since the time of the apostles, and was “savagely” discarded in the 1960s. Now what does this have to do with Fr. Z’s beautiful aviary pictures, just this: The Traditional Latin Mass is a thing of nature and natural beauty, like the aviary pictures, supra, but the Novus Ordo is an industrial manufactured thing; an assembly-line product, to fit the needs and tastes of the masses, as consumerism demands….

  10. Maltese: I admire your effort to morph this from Woodpeckers to the TLM.

    If I were tempted to do such a thing… and I am not… I would start with the woodpecker and then remind people that there is a hard cider called Woodpecker, and that cider is fermented from many apples, just as wine is from grapes. God created apple, the grape and the fermentation process and then …

    Well.. you get the idea.

    The Traditional Latin Mass is a thing of nature and natural beauty…

    Hmmm… is there is problem with this starting point?

  11. Random Friar says:

    Hmmm… perhaps putting some of those silhouette stickers on the outside might discourage them. They may be seeing only a kind of mirror effect.

  12. Lee says:

    Does anyone see red-headed woodpeckers anymore? I used to see them all the time (in central Wisconsin) but they have disappeared. So have the bob-whites.

  13. irishgirl says:

    Hawks eating chipmunks….ewwww….well, I guess they gotta eat, too!

    Goldfinches slamming against the windows remind me of the crows in the Windex commercials-you know, the ones that cackle every time some guy runs up against the window when it’s cleaned.

  14. q7swallows says:

    There’s something pathetically charming about Team Goldfinch.  They’re like the readers of this blog who see you and Who you try to bring to them and they respond by trying to come close but crash against the glass  . . . darkly. When you see them, Father, think of us; we might be dopey, but we love (Y)ou and we’re trying!

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