Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Paton's Birder Hummingbird Haven Saved!

Hummingbird Haven successfully protected 

thanks to the American Bird Conservancy, and an international fundraising campaign, which acquired and has turned over to the Tucson Audubon Society, Paton’s Birder Haven located in Patagonia, Arizona.  

Wally and Marion Paton began the sanctuary in 1974  by planting flowers and creating water features.   Dedicated birdwatchers lined their outside fence, so they decided to graciously welcome them in.  They kept that gate open until their deaths.  

The property then passed to their children, who were determined to make sure their parents’ legacy would continue to benefit all bird lovers wishing to visit.   The special efforts of Victor Emanuel, American Bird Conservancy, and the Tucson Audubon Society further ensured the preservation of this site as a hummingbird destination and sanctuary.

Among the large variety of hummingbirds that visit this haven are the Violet-Crowned Hummingbird, and the Magnificent Hummingbird.

Grandma Pearl

Violet-Crowned Hummingbird Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleautaud/3216226893
Magnificent Hummingbird Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidbygott/4456740326/

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Starthroat Hummingbirds and More from Colombia

Hummingbirds and Lots of Other Birds Migrate from Colombia Every Year!

This beautiful Hummingbird's breeding range is in Mexico and Panama, but it is typically found in Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil and other South American Countries.

The best way to see this gorgeous bird is to travel to its habitat.  Sign up for a South American Nature Tour, or go to Paton's Birder Haven in Arizona.

Here is an excellent video made by Colombia Bird Watch

You'll be amazed at the variety and color of tropical birds!  From the world's tiniest woodpecker, to the many-hued tanagers, to wetland birds including snail kites, this video takes you on a tour of Colombia's bird life.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Male Northern Oriole Just Arrived--Thin and Hungry!

I am always amazed at the beauty of Northern Orioles, not just for their physical appearance, but for their lyrical songs and enchanting call notes.  They have honored me once again with their presence in my yard after a long migratory journey from South America.   

Male Northern Oriole Just Arrived, and he's looking thin and very hungry, but very handsome!

Orioles make the long trip northward in the spring to make nests and raise families because their babies would suffer and die in the extreme tropical heat.  So it's easier for them to survive and thrive where days and nights are relatively cooler than in the southern climes.

The returning male has already spotted a female and begun to court her!  I saw her follow him to the basket feeder he found earlier.  In it I have all kinds of chopped nut pieces, including pistachios, peanuts and walnuts; as well as tiny pieces of dried fruit.  I watched as the Oriole deftly poked each nutmeat between his toes and began to break off pieces with his narrow long black beak. 

This is my most visited bird feeder year round, and it couldn't be easier to make and install using items you probably already have around the house.  

If you want to make Orioles really happy, serve them grape jelly in glass containers or jelly feeders, which can be tucked in among the branches of your smaller trees or inside a tall hedgerow or shrubbery plants. 

 Or add a fruit feeder with orange halves attached.  Oranges are another favorite treat that attract orioles to your yard and gardens.  

And offer them pieces of string or thin yarn that's about 4" to 6" long.  They'll use them to skillfully weave in and out of their amazingly elastic hanging pouch nest.  It doesn't matter what color the yarn is, but I have used orange before just because it matches their feather color!  

The nesting materials can be draped over tree branches where the birds will find them easily.   Remember, they'll be searching your land from the sky, so think about the most visible areas of your yard from that point of view, and place the yarn accordingly.  Or you can incorporate them into a nesting ball with other materials lots of backyard birds can use for their cozy constructions.

Learn the easy steps to Making a Nesting Ball for the Birds

These awesome birds eat tons of insects, including beetles, wasps, and flies of all kinds.  Orioles are a gardener's friend, so be careful not to use toxic insecticides that will make them sick, as well as kill off their natural food sources.  
Beautiful Feather Colors of the Northern Oriole include yellow, orange, black and white.

The beauty of the Northern Oriole to me is breathtaking, and I can't get enough of that bright orange and black contrast, with a little yellow mixed in for good measure!

7 Natural Ways to Entice Orioles to Your Yard
 Oriole Nectar Feeder