Wednesday April 2nd 2014 marks the inaugural visit of the American Goldfinch to my garden. Or should I say the first sighting? I didn’t even dare to go outside to take the picture so you can see the effects of the old wavy glass in my kitchen window. I never thought I would see such a brightly colored bird (other than a blue jay) in my garden. What luck to be in the right place at the right time to see them and take a photo!
One of my goals when I started my garden almost from scratch about 7 years ago was to attract smaller birds. At first there just wasn’t enough vegetation to make them feel safe coming to the feeders. Birds need a feeling of protection that can come from hiding on the ground, in a bush or a tree. Some of my motivation was to help the birds avoid the bullying of the crows. There are many crows that nest on my street and attack the nests of the smaller birds destroying both the nest and the eggs. The only birds that don’t seem to be afraid of crows are the hummingbirds, but they don’t seem to be afraid of anything.
For a few years now I’ve had a good crop of small bird visitors including chickadees, finches and little birds I call “the puffballs”. I love to watch them out the window. I have two squirrel proof feeders that are designed for smaller birds; one is filled with a seed mix designed for finches and one is nyjer thistle. All of the birds ignore the nyjer thistle unless the other one is empty.
If there is a certain type of bird you’d like to attract check into what type of feeders and food are appropriate. Scout out the best location in your yard or place the feeders for your year round viewing pleasure.