The Feeder Feed: New arrival edition

I am please to report that robins have returned.  There are also killdeers and I thought I heard a blue bird.

I thought I saw one yesterday perched at the pinnacle of a pine, but today I have the photo.

All puffed up against the cold.

And remember that Pileated Woodpecker I had the other day?

Just to give you who haven’t seen one before an idea of how big they are, here is Hairy Woodpecker, who is already a pretty big bird, eating at the same suet cage.

And now…

A week or so ago there were amazing Northern Lights from a great solar blast.  There is the return of the migratory birds.  There is, tonight, Super Moon (the Moon at perigee).   Today is Ember Saturday of Lent, and the Embertides are connected to the change of seasons.
As we hurtle through the cosmos, it is exhilarating to watch the good Earth turn while still upon its face.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Another birding tip: save your eggshells from cooking. Wash, boil shells for a couple of minutes or bake at 350 or so for 10 minutes (to kill potential salmonella). Crush finely and add to feeders or around feeders. Mama birds will start needing calcium in order to lay eggs.

  2. dans0622 says:

    This was my first winter in Columbus, Ohio, and I was surprised that robins stay here all year-round.

  3. irishgirl says:

    I’ve been hearing more bird songs outside within the last few days. The only one I recognize is the cardinal. I’ve also heard the honkings of geese as they fly overhead.
    Wow, that Pileated Woodpecker IS huge, compared with the Hairy!
    Whatever the species, it sure is nice to have the birds back after a long winter!

  4. frjim4321 says:

    Our family of seven blue birds which stayed all winter seems to have broken up into smaller breeding groups. We now have two males and one female. The four blue bird houses are all cleaned up and ready for them. At last count we have about 25,000 worms in storage ready for the new fledglings.

  5. pfreddys says:

    Also to note: for the past week and upcoming week if you look to west about a half and hour after sunset you can first see the bigger, whiter Jupiter but even more rarely right near it you can see Mercury – a little less bright and abit orange. (Very few people have seen Mercury and knew that was what they were looking at).

  6. auntpat says:

    I also start putting my dryer lint out for them to use in building their nests. Didn’t know about the egg shells. Thanks for that tip..

  7. fieldsparrow says:

    Thank you again for sharing your bird photos with us, Father. It’s a gorgeous day here and I keep waiting to hear some birds, but they’re trimming trees in the woods behind the house so I think they are staying away.

    I think it’s time to start making some suet again and setting it out for the birds.

  8. Random Friar says:

    @auntpat: There’s a controversy in birding circles (you can imagine how vicious those get!) about dryer lint. Some folks say that lint is not good, because when it gets wet it turns into a hard mess. Others say that’s nonsense. The jury is still out…

    Some other good nesting material: hair (whatever species — leave in a pile). Small twigs (if you prune, leave them as small pieces in a pile, they’ll take care of it). Grasses (tall). Also, wood piles/twig piles invite bugs. More bugs=more birds). Yarn or twine. Mud (certain birds mud as mortar. Leave a small mud pile somewhere in your lawn, if you can). Spiderwebs (don’t clear them all out of your yard!).

    Spiderwebs are used by hummingbirds as well, I believe. The bonus here is that hummingbirds gobble up bugs (you can’t live just on sugar water, no matter what your teen says). More hummers=fewer bugs!

  9. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Hey I just found REAL suet in the frozen section of my grocery [which I believe is the stuff that comes off of kidneys and used to be the only way to make pastries and the finer breads]. The text on the package is in Spanish, up to now this stuff was unobtainable. I don’t use lard as most varieties are hydrogenated trans fats [so what is the point] unless I can get it from the Farmer’s Market.

    Can’t wait to roll it in seeds and put it out.

    …the oil of gladness, bird style.

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