1. A cedar birdhouse from Steve's parents
2. A Droll Yankee Thistle Feeder from my friend Abbie
The birdhouse we'll put up soon, but the thistle feeder is up and it's a hit! I shouldn't put off hanging the birdhouse though because after doing some reading--this article from My Backyard recommends putting them up in the fall or winter to let them get conditioned and give the birds ample time to check it out. The article also recommends mounting it on a pole rather than a tree to help reduce the risk of predators getting into it. We happen to already have a pole with an old birdhouse on it that we found out next to the barn. That birdhouse is falling apart so I don't feel too bad about taking it off and putting the new on on.
But back to the Thistle Feeder- the birds love it!
Here's the list of birds that have visited so far:
- Dark-eyed Junco
- American Goldfinch (males and females)
- Pine Siskin
- Common Redpoll (on the ground)
The most active visitor is the Junco. I have one that constantly sits at the feeder gorging himself. For a while there was a branch that looped down like a swing for him to sit on while he leisurely ate.
You can see the evidence of how long these eating sessions are. Look at the marks he left on the feeder:
It's very cool though because now I have 3 distinct feeder areas in the yard. The large birds, the cardinals and blue jays, visit the tray feeder hanging on the fallen scrub pine. The active birds, the chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches, visit the tube feeder hanging off the barn (this is the most exposed feeder). And finally, the slowest birds hang out at the thistle feeder. The thistle feeder is tucked within the pine trees bordering our yard. I think they feel very safe there from predators like hawks.
What a great present- thanks Abbie! I can't wait to put out the bird house now :)