[Tweeters] Thrush, Anna's and High country hairy.

BobnBernie bobnbernie at comcast.net
Thu Nov 25 10:33:59 PST 2010

We have been supplying food for over 25 years in a semi rural area with a mix of woods, fields and a small lake not far from the Cedar River. Some of the neighboring homes are over 50 years old with vegetation to match. We are just over 600 and far from any large body of water to buffer the cold.

We get a wide variety of birds but only see Varied Thrush at times like this. Several days of below freezing and/or the ground covered with snow. We assumed that condition made it harder for them to find their normal fair. Typically it is one or two at a time. As soon as the ground thaws or the snow melts, they leave.

Seven years ago we had a situation like John only we had between 15-20 at one time for a couple of days. What a treat that was. We had bought some small suet balls on closeout not thinking how we would use it. We put some on the ground along with seed and they readily accepted it.

As soon as the snow melted, they were gone, making us wonder where that many came from and where they normally inhabit that we don't see them for months at a time.

We have seen none this year. Hopefully we will before the snow melts.

For a long time we didn't realize there is a difference between the coast Hairy and the ones in the east. Couldn't understand why our birds didn't looked as clean, bright white as pictures posted on national bird sites until someone on this list mentioned the color difference. We have at least 1 pair of whiter birds at this time. One of our downy seems whiter as well. Is that a possibility? Birds of the Puget Sound Region only mentions Hairy.

We have at least 3 Anna's. We use flat saucer type feeders as mentioned by Dennis. We are home to tend them so we haven't tried to warm them. Ours hang below the eves near the house where some warm air is trapped. One is on the ease side and one on the west. That almost eliminates the wind chill for birds and the liquid on one of the feeders if we have wind. One is almost always on the lee side in stiller air.

We decided on the saucer type feeders years ago just for the ease of cleaning. After the change we noticed they remained useable longer than the vertical bottle types in freezing weather. Especially the ones with the small, bottle type neck, which freezes first rendering the liquid above trapped. The saucer types have a dead air space across the top which serves as insulation. They have to freeze from the bottom up and the edge in leaving the area where the birds feed to freeze last.

We change to a 3-1 mix when the temps drop below 30.

Bob & Bernie Meyer
BobnBernie at comcast.net

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