I was sitting in the yurt one day and I heard this screeching call. It was familiar and unfamiliar all at the same time. I looked out the window and there was a blue jay on the deck rail. Now many of you would not find that remarkable but blue jays do not usually come to this part of the United States. Their range is expanding though, due to the changes in the climate.
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How to Attract Birds to Your Yard
Needless to write we were very excited to see the blue jay. When we lived in New Jersey we had a large number of bird feeders and I loved to watch and listen to the birds. Out here in Montana bird feeders are a little trickier as they can be attractants for bears. We hadn’t put any out but it was true kismet that the hubby had just ordered a platform feeder.
The magpies had been coming in to eat Kitty’s kibble so he thought it might be better for them to have something better for them to eat. The timing could not have been any better.
The feeder arrived and he hung it up from the eave of the yurt. Now it was just wait and see. I had been putting cashews out on the rail for the blue jays – show me a corvid that doesn’t like cashews!
It wasn’t long before the blue jays found the platform feeder. The hubby had ordered a variety of bird foods including sunflower hearts, suet cakes and raw peanuts. It was a bird smorgasbord.
How to Attract Birds to Your Yard
Obviously different parts of the country have different birds and different times of year. I can speak to Montana and to some degree New Jersey. It helps to have trees – at least in my experience. Birds are happy with trees as it gives them cover, a place to nest, shade, bugs to eat – if they are bug eaters, and resting places. That doesn’t mean that if you don’t have trees you can’t attract songbirds.
Here in the summer I’ve seen several different types of sparrows, finches, nuthatches, juncos, chickadees, bluebirds, swallows and more.
The smaller songbirds are a little more scarce in the winter but there are still sparrows, juncos, the every present magpies, woodpeckers including the northern flicker that Harry is studying above. They are very skittish birds so getting a photo is a bit of challenge. Every so often that flicker will peck on the yurt and it’s like a jackhammer.
Bird Feeders to Attract Birds
Suet feeders are very popular with woodpeckers. Suet is a cake made from a type of beef fat that is mixed with different seeds, nuts, dried fruits and even bugs depending upon what type of bird you want to attract. We have a couple of bricks in the platform feeder and the blue jays are eating it. So far we haven’t seen anyone on the the hanging suet feeder but it hasn’t been up that long.
The bird you see on the hang bar is a Steller’s jay. As I am sure you can tell it is a cousin to the blue jay. He came by for a visit for the first time today. They are common in Montana but we had never seen one in our area until this visit. He was hanging with the blue jays.
Where are the Songbirds?
They are out there but since the ground is not covered with snow they are doing fine. I can hear them in the trees. We did hang a thistle feeder bus so far no one has visited. We figure once the snows hit it will become very popular. Usually in the deep winter when it is cold and the ground is well buried we toss seed out to the birds. This year we are far better positioned to offer them a meal.
Entertainment Value of Feeding the Birds
The humans in the house are not the only ones being entertained by the visiting birds. The Farm cats are loving this BirdTV. They sit in the windows and make that eh-eh-eh sound that cats make when they see birds. Even though Harry goes outside he does not try to get near them – I wouldn’t mess with a corvid either. They are tough birds.
Sherpa is just as entertained.
Between the birds and the cats watching the birds I am beyond entertained! So if you have cats too you can count on double the fun if you bring bird feeders to your yard.
For more information on what birds you might find in your area go to AllAboutBirds