The Feeder Feed: New Arrival Edition

I have had some new arrivals.

The hummingbirds have shown up in force.

Mr. Ruby-throated Hummer.

The Missus.  Oooops… no, that’s an Oriole muscling in on the feeder.

The Orioles have been rather bold this year, even hanging around pretty close when I have been filling the feeders.  They have an alarm call rather like a ratchet of a socket-wrench.

Missus Ruby-throated Hummingbird.


That is Mr. Grosbeak, fending off another male.

The idiot Goldfinches have been pelting themselves against my windows.

I suspect they have been inspired by their more suicidal cousins.

And a new arrival.

Dumatella carolinensis, otherwise known as Gray Catbird.

This Catbird makes a sort of mewing sound. He/she has found a seat betwixt the orange slices grape jelly which the Orioles, Sapsuckers and House Finches gobble in great quantities.

A cage match between a Chickadee and Mrs. Downy Woodpecker.   It is a little odd to see them share space.

This year more than last I have noticed that more species have been going after the suet.

More on that another time.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I remember the days when that distinctive *bonk* of a bird hitting the window would make us kids scramble outside to see who could get to the scene of the accident first… Very rarely were the birds stunned enough to still be there, but oh what joy and bickering resulted when there was! :)

  2. mike cliffson says:

    Fr :
    I am shocked ! scandalized!
    You are surely NOT giving tweeters cooking-grade suet!( Left overs, ok)
    Suet puddings, many an ancient anglosphere dish cooked by modern wimps with vegetarian lard, half the dishes Maturin would savour and Jack both savour and engulf!
    Some dish or other involving every last easter bunny before NEXT easter 2013
    give them the hydrogenated vegetarian lard1

  3. Dies Irae says:

    Your posts about birds are very interesting, Father. I like them a lot.
    I have a question, I found a poor little bird on my driveway the other day, didn’t fly away when I walked up to it, so I picked it up and gathered that there was something wrong with its wing. My sis got a couple pictures, if I sent you one, do you think you could identify it? It was blue all over with lots of details on its wings.
    Unfortunately, it is no longer in existence, the cat got hungry and, well, the details are a little graphic henceforward…

    [Sounds much like an Indigo Bunting. Too bad.]

  4. trad catholic mom says:

    oh no the Angry Birds have been visiting you Father?


  5. mike cliffson: You are surely NOT giving tweeters cooking-grade suet!

    I am surely not! Although it might be cheaper than what I am giving them.

    I have not yet made one of the great puddings which Jack and Stephen would like, the true hero’s delight, or sebi confectio discolor, in the case of the Spotted Dog. Which I haven’t had the motive or the company to warrant such an endeavor.

    I have twice now made Christmas Puddings which need the suet. And they were the great Christmas Puddings of the world, I might add.

    I ought to tackle a Spotted Dog, or Spotted Dick, “dick” and “dog” being corruptions of the word “dough”, or perhaps Boiled Baby. I have a pretty good sized pudding basin, thanks to one of the readers here who sent one from my wish list.

  6. Laura98 says:

    I’m glad someone has visitors to their hummingbird feeder… LOL We’ve not had any hummingbirds to ours – only the Gila Woodpeckers stealing all food!! (Then they peck on the house!) Such pretty birds, but sooooo annoying! Love the bird pictures Fr. Z!!!

  7. Mark Scott Abeln says:

    Great shots of the humming birds!

  8. Supertradmum says:

    When I home schooled, we made suet for projects…totally spoiled birds. The photos are fantastic even on my phone. It has been raining here about 28 out of the past 30 days but the blackbirds which are thrushes like the American robin sing in the rain.

  9. Jeff says:

    I have been having American Robins flying into my windows repeatedly now for the last 3 weeks or so. Is there anyway to get them to stop doing this? I really haven’t a clue why they think my windows are mechanisms in which they can fly through.

  10. Jeff: They might be seeing their own reflections. But there are things you can put on the windows which give them the sense that it isn’t just an opening they can fly through.

  11. acardnal says:

    “This year more than last I have noticed that more species have been going after the suet.”

    Could this portend TEOTWAWKI?? December 21 approaches.

  12. acardnal says:

    Live video camera of a nest of Red Tailed Hawks and their three chicks. Nest is located on the ledge of the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science and Engineering bldg. Chicks are expected to fly by the end of this month.

  13. Dies Irae says:

    Right on, Father! I can’t get the picture off the camera, but I compared with a Google pic, and it was most certainly an Indigo Bunting. Thanks! This is quite fun, I think I’ll start watching myself!
    I was going to tend to (ahem) “Annie” till it was back on it’s wings but…… As I can see now, “Annie” was a he.
    The little brothers who named him insist on death for the cat. I can’t say I blame them. Who wants a cat when you can have a bird?
    Well, God rest it’s…whatever…
    Thanks, Father!!

  14. jilly4ski says:

    Lol, our downy woodpeckers have learned to share the bird feeder with some of the smaller species as well, mostly the chickadees and finches. This is probably because some of the more aggressive birds have arrived. Including the Red-Winged Blackbird, and the Cow Bird. Of course the Hairy Woodpecker gets the feeder all to himself.

  15. wanda says:

    Wonderful photos, Fr. Z., especially the hummers in flight! You must be super steady. I’ve noticed also that lots of different birds are going for the suet cakes. I intended them for the woodpeckers, but, the Wrens and the greedy Gusses of the bird world, the Starlings, are scarfing it down faster then we can replce them. We’ve had problems in the past with bird strikes, but recently put some of the anti-bird smashing stickers on the windows. They haven’t been totaly fool-proof, but have helped tremendously. The stickers are almost clear, but the birds can see them, so the stickers are not terrible looking on your windows. Thank you Father for sharing the pics of your beautiful birdz.

  16. pm125 says:

    Cat birds are here also. They live up to their name. Watchful – for Princess of the posies and other local felines – they taunt, then watch and talk to the cat on their trail from high wires. Sometimes, the instigated hunting instinct turns on others more accessible.

    One of my favorite things about summer is the hummingbirds – they fly in at eye level for a close visit and hover in place for moments until I blink or until there’s some other distraction.

  17. Tina in Ashburn says:

    I too am impressed by your hummingbird pictures Father. We had these on our deck the other day attracted by all the flowers I have in pots – hubby thought it was a REALLY big bug at first.

    Every time a bird repeatedly hurls itself over days at my mother’s window, someone close to us dies. Her mother, my godfather, my sister, friends…the last time this occurred [unknown to me at the time] my husband suffered a heart attack, but miraculously he took notice of feeling funny and tired. So we were in the ER when the VTAC hit. For three days previous, I had been saying incessantly to Our Lady Undoer of Knots, “Mary take over, Mary take over” for no known reason. I was waking up in the middle of the night with the prayer on my lips. I went along with the urge, thinking Mary wants me to pray for something. After the VTAC, the urge to say this prayer subsided. I don’t consider myself sensitive to these kinds of things, I’m pretty obtuse, so this little experience is burned into my memory.
    I dunno. Sound koo-koo I guess. Maybe its just spring, birdfeeders are jammin’, and birds are hurtling into windows…

  18. Supertradmum says:

    Jeff, I had wood-pigeons committing suicide on my windows in Dorset. We put up clingfilm type of decals on the windows and it stopped, if you can handle that. This was in the kitchen, and on the patio doors. If you have a posh living room window, you might not want decals. Just a thought…

  19. teomatteo says:

    I noticed that your hummer feeders do not have a perch…. I did an experiment last year…. almost identical feeders with the exception: one had a perch and the other did not. They perferred the perch… mine must be lazy hummers… hmm… an oxymoron..

  20. StJude says:

    That’s it.. I am putting out a hummingbird feeder.

  21. mike cliffson says:

    Pd- I envy you the hummingbird!

  22. irishgirl says:

    Great pics of the hummingbirds in flight, Father Z!
    I call them ‘the jewels of the bird world’.

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