The Feeder Feed: new bird!

TwitterIt is an exciting moment when you spot your "first" bird of the season.  Your breath catches for a moment when you realize what you are seeing.

Even better is when you spot your first ever at your feeder.

This is about the time of year when Orioles return.  Therefore, this morning I cut up some oranges and filled the grape jelly cups.  Within 20 minutes I had not an Oriole, but this fellow.

Meet Sphyrapicus varius, better known as Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker.

This is the first time I have ever seen one!

The Orioles will have some competition for their favorite nosh.

Here you can see some of the yellow tinge.

The oranges are appreciated. And not only by Sphyrapicus varius

This is Mr. House Finch.  The Mrs. was also there.

It must be "Hyphen Day" at the Feeders, as various specially-bellied birds belly up for food.

Here is Red-Bellied Woodpecker, or Melanerpes carolinus.

And here is Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta canadensis.

In the meantime the various finches and sparrows continue to amuse.

American Goldfinch, channeling his inner Hitchcock.

Purple Finch.

I put out a special feeder with just millet with the hope of attracting more Indigo Buntings, when they finally show up.

In the meantime, here is Mr. Chips, Chipping Sparrow, with the great name Spizella passerina.

Finally, during the great Washington DC blognic, I was surprised at how many people made a point to express how much they enjoyed these bird feeder posts as well as the live stream of the feeders on Father Z TV, the Z-Cam.  Thanks for that!  I feeder these ravenous eating machines for my own pleasure at watching them, to help them, and to be able to share something of their ways with you.  However, they eat a lot. Before I left for D.C., I had filled all the feeders, including the large square one you see in photos from time to time, thinking that that would suffice for my relatively short trip.  No dice.  They stripped them clean before I got home.  Perhaps this is an especially hungry time since many species are nesting. 

I am therefore grateful when some of you use the donation button.  I feed them solely from your donations. Thus, I shamelessly beg. Now I see I will be buying more oranges and grapejelly.  I would also like to be able to set up a couple more feeders with specialized feed to attract different species. 

Finally, I have put out a little humming bird feeder in front of one of the webcams, just outside my office window.  We will keep an eye on that and switch the cam on when I start getting some action.  The Orioles also went to it last year.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Oh wow, Fr. Z. Thank you for sharing the great pictures of the birds. I’ve never seen the YB Sapsucker, he is truly a beauty. I love the Hitchcock Goldfinch, ours have recently shown up and are scarfing down the thistle seed. I like to try the Hummingbird feeder from time to time, but mine get filled with ants, really gross. So I usually resort to flowers that they like-it seems to work pretty well.

    We’ve had a crazy Robin over the last couple of days. We kept hearing a little racket at the front door, not quite a knock. It turns out this robin is flinging himself (?) at his reflection in the glass. He goes at it for half an hour or so, disappears for a while and then he is back for more. Poor thing, he must have a bad headache by now. Thank you again for the pictures.

    p.s. I talked with a couple of folks this morning who were at the Mass at the basilica. They loved everything about it AND one lady mentioned ‘Fr.Z.’ and that we appreciated your commentary on the televised coverage.

  2. irishgirl says:

    Great pictures as always, Fr. Z-the ‘ground shots’ especially!

    Yep, those birdies are big eaters!

  3. poohbear says:

    I was never very fond of birds, until I started reading your blog and watching the feeders. I have a new found appreciation for our feathered friends thanks to you.

  4. joanofarcfan says:

    Are you sure the fancy-tailed rats (squirrels) didn’t get into the feeders while you were gone? Maybe they dumped all the seed!

  5. DebbieInCT says:

    I, too, enjoy your feeder posts, Fr. Z! The pictures are just incredible….”channeling his inner Hitchcock” is priceless! Thanks so much.

  6. doanli says:

    You have so many beautiful birds up there.

    Y’all pray for the birds that visit my backyard— one of my cats brought in a (very loud!) fledgling this morning and I hope he survived.

  7. Ellen says:

    Ah yes, we have many yellow bellied sapsuckers where I live. Watch for a series of small holes drilled in the tree trunks. The bird does that so he can feed on the sap, but he might not as long as you feed him. Some people think sapsuckers are pests. Not me.

  8. Congratulations on the lifer!
    Do you keep a life list? A yard list?

  9. Lynne: No, I haven’t been keeping any lists.

  10. Sandy says:

    Oh good! Some bird pictures! Thank you, Father, for everything, of course. BTW, I don’t use the computer for anything financial; I’m too old fashioned :) I would love to send you a little donation, Father, if I had a snail mail address.

  11. pelerin says:

    I have been watching with fascination earlier today your webcam on the tiny humming bird flying to its nest and just now marvelling at the the blue bird feeding its young. Amazing pictures and equally amazing to think that these beautiful birds are thousands of miles away across the Atlantic. Thank you Fr Z.

  12. Amy MEV says:

    BEAUTIFUL! That sapsucker takes one’s breath away. I love your bird posts! Am hoping for some bird feeding equipment for my birthday! Is my husband reading this? ;-)

  13. PostCatholic says:

    You’re quite a photographer. And on the beauty of these birds, if not much else, we do see eye-to-eye.

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