This morning, I went out to fill the feeders, and I noticed that as soon as I'd filled one feeder (I have three seed, 1 suet), a song sparrow in the multiflora rose thicket on the fenceline began to sing continually--I mean, he really threw it down. I think he may have been calling his friends to tell them I'd finally gotten up today (noonish) and was finally getting their breakfast. Is that what birds do? I've noticed it before, but this time it seemed really obvious, so I thought I'd write about it and see if anyone else has observed such behavior.
Once he started singing, the thicket (which seems to serve as the sparrows' waiting area) began to fill with birds. By the time I went inside to begin my feederwatch count, they were hitting the feeders hard. Two mourning doves hogged the platform feeder in the back and never left--for an hour. Even Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal couldn't shoo them away. The new hanging feeder I put on the pear tree was attacked by purple finches, song sparrows, a tufted titmouse, and a black-capped chickadee. Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal came here as well, along with a really loud bluejay.
Meanwhile, the singing continued--it was non-stop for the entire hour I watched. What a pleasant soundtrack!
The tamarack suet feeder paid host to a downy and a red-bellied woodpecker, neither of whom stuck around for long. The chickadees then began eating their share of the suet cake.
I hung my old hanging feeder (which used to be on the pear tree and can be seen in many of my photos) on a branch of the tamarack. The birds were a little skittish at first, but now they love this location. This feeder and the ground under it saw the most action today, with six white-throated sparrows, three tree sparrows, a white-crowned sparrow, and a couple of American goldfinches eating their fill. Those white-crowned sparrows really are neat-looking, with that black-and-white-striped cap on their heads. I saw the goldfinches eating the little cone buds on the tamarack as well. Must be tasty.
I had twelve different kinds of birds at the feeder today, which is a good count for my yard thus far into the FeederWatch period. My record is fifteen, just before Christmas. I hope the number increases in the spring--boy, I can't WAIT for spring! This gray and rainy winter has been beautiful in its way, but I'm ready for the green burst of new life that spring will bring.