THE GOLDFINCH CAME HOME! – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s not the big flock I had last year, but three Goldfinch showed up today and hung around long enough for me to get their pictures. They were the stars of last winter’s bird portraits. They are so awfully cute.

Welcome home American Goldfinch

We also had a visitor I haven’t seen in years. It was a baby Chipmunk! We used to have hordes of Chipmunks chittering at us as they tried to take over the driveway. Then the bobcat showed up and he ate them. All of them. This is the first Chipmunk I’ve seen in at least five years. He was so little!

What a cute pair!
A Titmouse and his little pal

Hunting, I guess, for seeds left on the deck. For some reason, I didn’t take his pictures. I was so bedazzled just seeing him on the deck. I even had time to call Garry over to see him too, so I certainly could have taken his picture, but I was having so much fun watching her skitter around the deck looking for seeds.

A better version of a flying … wren?

The birds are coming back. Slowly. The Mourning Doves are still missing, but maybe they are just being shy. They are also a bit big for these feeders. They liked picking seeds from the deck. They are flat feeders.

On a positive note, we have lots of joyously singing Carolina Wrens.

Fair Lady Cardinal

Also, I saw, but he was gone before I could get the picture, a full red-headed woodpecker. Not the big one who looks like Woody. This one looks just like the Red-Bellied Woodpecker, but his entire head is completely red. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen one outside a bird book.

Sometimes, it’s good to live in the woods.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

13 thoughts on “THE GOLDFINCH CAME HOME! – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I remember when we bought our ground floor apartment with the attached gardens. Me, being a plain Londoner, only knew sparrows and piegeons up to then and suddenly we were having visitors in all colours, even a spotted woodpecker now and again. I already knew the magpies from my workplace where we had a colony living in the trees, but now I have my own colony, Isn’t it wonderful to watch them? We don’t have such a variety as you seem to have, as I suspect we would have more variety in the neighbouring woods.

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    1. Not all birds are seed birds. Some will eat both seeds and insects, but some only like eating off the ground and some from the wired feeders. Hopefully you do have more birds out of town. Besides, you don’t put out a real feeder which would attract more new birds.

      How do they know where the good food is? I swear they have a network of “town cryers” calling “FRESH FOOD AT THE ARMSTRONG DECK. COME AND GET IT!”

      There’s a whole class of stuff for birds I don’t feed either because it’s too messy, too expensive, or might attract the wrong crowd. I don’t feed the hummingbirds either. My little deck doesn’t have room for all those different feeders and love them though I do, I don’t have time to remember which ones need feeding and when. I would need a chart.

      But, if I DID add more feeders, I would get a whole NEW group of birds. I might use the heavy round table as a flat feeder, but I think all that will do is attract Doves and other ground feeders (especially squirrels) — and then the hawks would show up. I don’t think I have the nervous system to watch hawks chowing down on my birds. Doves especially aren’t the brightest matches in the box.

      Birdseed isn’t cheap. It costs as much as dog food. Fortunately, birds (usually) eat less than dogs. Squirrels — now they each eat as if all three dogs were chowing down at the same time and never stopped eating. Squirrels won’t stop feeding until the feeder is empty after which they will eat the feeder, too. And I might just have the luck to bring out the raccoons — and they might eat the whole house.

      That’s why I didn’t put up the flat feeder this year.

      The ground feeders will find their way to the hanging cage feeders. When it’s cold and snowy, they will eat anything they can find but they won’t “roost” in the feeders. I hope not, anyway. Birds are smarter than I think and keep finding new and unique ways of getting all the food.

      You know, if you have any leftover veggies — corn or celery or even potatoes — a lot of birds love vegetable and they REALLY love fruit.

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    1. We had two litters of bobcats — one in my tepee and the other in the neighbor’s woodshed. Those cats were serious hunters. They cleaned out every small mammal for miles around. Watching them hunt was an amazing experience. it was at night, so I really couldn’t take pictures — not with my equipment, anyway. Bobcats store light in their eyes, like batteries in flashlights. At night, they literally (this is true, I’m not making it up even though it sounds fake) turn on the headlamps. it’s amazing to watch. I had to do some research to learn about it and I’m still amazed at how they do it. No electricity or anything. They look like really bright lights shooting out of their heads. I think that is their superpower! I think domestic cats can do something similar, but not that bright. They were really BRIGHT.

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  2. I’m so encouraged to hear you’ve found your ‘Wood Bliss’. I hope it lasts a good long while (maybe over the entire Winter). I think that would be so wonderful, to have nature right outside the window (and granted, trying to get INSIDE too), and no human noise for miles. I do grant that being in the woods that way can be challenging if one doesn’t get around so well and the snow is deep. Take care over this Winter Marilyn, and come back and read about your little chipmunk friend. I hope it will boost your mood when things get gray. Mourning doves, in my experience anyway, if frightened out of a feeding or nesting area, take a very long time to come back, IF they do. Perhaps out there it’s a bit different, but the ones I heard around my house in Salt Lake disappeared completely after the owl took up residence in the big trees. And up here they were around for a couple of years, but the hawks and falcons and such that hunt this area have either killed them off or driven them away. I miss the soft mournful cooing a lot!

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  3. Are chipmunks becoming rare? I saw, and photographed, one at the park just a couple of weeks ago. I never occurred to me that it was the first one I’d seen in a long time. I also haven’t seen any goldfinches since I saw one in our yard in the spring. I should have tried to photograph that one then. Goldfinches are so pretty!

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  4. I think the chipmunks all came here! We are loaded with them. Years ago we never saw them at all. I love your banner photo- but realized yesterday you had disappeared from my reader, sure enough, I was no longer following- how this happens I don;t know but it drives me crazy!!

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