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Florence
12-21-12, 12:45pm
They have arrived on the Texas Gulf Coast! We had terrific winds yesterday and I guess they hitched a ride down. JMM put the thistle feeders up last week just to be ready for them. They aren't in their bright breeding plumage but are still so pretty and so acrobatic on the feeders. Happy dance! The Goldfinches are here!!:D

Mrs-M
12-21-12, 12:51pm
That's lovely! Keep your camera handy!

Tussiemussies
12-21-12, 4:13pm
Nice to be able to really see a lot of them...

bunnys
12-21-12, 4:17pm
That's nice. We don't get winter migratory birds here and I'm pretty far south.

Florence
12-21-12, 5:43pm
Believe it or not, Joe saw a Rufous Hummingbird at our feeder this morning! We've never had hummingbirds this late!! We keep getting a straggler each we so we've kept the feeder up.

Mrs-M
12-21-12, 6:26pm
Florence. I read that Hummingbird feeders, should be taken down well before the seasons end to avoid needless deaths. That is why you are getting stragglers.

Florence
12-21-12, 7:44pm
I've read that hummingbirds instinct to migrate will not be influenced by the presence of a feeder.

Mrs-M
12-21-12, 9:46pm
I've read that hummingbirds instinct to migrate will not be influenced by the presence of a feeder.According to a two hour special I watched on television, along with a radio segment on Hummingbirds, the presence of feeders are the route cause of Hummingbird deaths.

Wildflower
12-22-12, 4:55am
Hummingbird feeders are bad. The best thing to do is to have plants that hummers like to feed on. That is a good natural source of food for them and then they know when it is time to migrate as the plant life dwindles down with the season's change. We always have a ton of hummingbirds because I planned my garden based on feeding them successfully. If you would like to know more about specific plants they like to feed on just google the subject, or message me... :)

Florence
12-23-12, 12:50pm
Birds around OakMeadows 12/16-12/23/2012

Goldfinches
Chickadees
Titmouses
Bluejays
Shrike
Mockingbirds
Turkey vultures
Rufous hummingbird
Cardinal
Collared doves
Mourning doves
Killdeer
Canadian geese (fly over)
Eastern phoebe

Florence
12-23-12, 12:56pm
This is from the FAQ of Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Q. I have been told that I should stop feeding hummingbirds in the fall so that they can begin their southern migration. Is this correct?

A. That's a myth. A number of factors trigger the urge for birds to migrate, but the most significant one is day length. As days grow shorter in late summer, hummingbirds get restless and start to head south, taking advantage of abundant natural food, and feeders where available, to fuel their flight. A few individuals, especially Rufous Hummingbirds and a few other Western species, wander east rather than south; causes for this have not been entirely teased out, but it's not feeders that cause them to wander, and if a feeding station is closed down, chances are that a vagrant hummingbird will wander toward worse rather than better conditions.

We encourage people to keep hummingbird feeders full for several weeks after the last hummer leaves just in case a straggler shows up in need of additional energy before completing the long journey south. One of our own staff discovered an adult female Rufous Hummingbird at her feeder in northern Minnesota on November 16, 2004; that bird remained for over two weeks, surviving a blizzard and temperatures that dropped to just 6 degrees Fahrenheit, before leaving at mid-morning on December 3. That day temperatures climbed to a relatively warm 25 degrees; the bird's chances of survival wthout the feeder she stopped at were signigfcantly lower.

Mrs-M
12-24-12, 12:40pm
Florence. While I appreciate the information you've supplied, I simply am not convinced of the studies findings. Feeders, are an un-natural, artificial, outside food source for hummingbirds, and taking them down (well before seasons end) IMV, is the right thing to do. Feeders, related to stragglers, feed ill-related consequences IMO. Without a feeder to rely on, a straggler, will be more apt to move on, rather than linger, because of an artificial food source. JMTC (just my two cents).

Florence
12-24-12, 12:50pm
We shall agree to disagree!

Tussiemussies
1-8-13, 2:16pm
Birds around OakMeadows 12/16-12/23/2012

Goldfinches
Chickadees
Titmouses
Bluejays
Shrike
Mockingbirds
Turkey vultures
Rufous hummingbird
Cardinal
Collared doves
Mourning doves
Killdeer
Canadian geese (fly over)
Eastern phoebe


Wow Florence that is a nice range of birds to really get to see. There are Hawks here so the birds take off since the bare trees offer no camaflogue (sp).

KayLR
1-8-13, 5:40pm
We have Anna's hummingbirds which live here in SW WA year-round. Since the winter does not provide the blooms they need, we supplement with our feeder.

Florence, I've been enjoying our backyard goldfinches (both Lesser and American) for several weeks. Also lots of juncos, spotted towhees, bushtits, nuthatches, Mountain chickadees occasional Hutton's vireo, Northern Flickers and varied thrush.

Florence
3-6-13, 3:49pm
Our goldfinches are still here (and eating all the thistle we put out.) They are sooo pretty but I know any day now I will look out to the feeder and they will be gone. Ungrateful little critters!! Just when they get in their brightest breeding plumage, they leave me. :(

Tussiemussies
3-6-13, 4:26pm
Our goldfinches are still here (and eating all the thistle we put out.) They are sooo pretty but I know any day now I will look out to the feeder and they will be gone. Ungrateful little critters!! Just when they get in their brightest breeding plumage, they leave me. :(

Do they migrate somewhere? It must be so nice to see the range of birds you have!!!

MamaM
3-6-13, 5:31pm
I LOVE Goldfinches. What part of the Texas coast? I might have to come see them. I am only 4 hours away. :)

Florence
3-6-13, 8:47pm
I live about 60 miles inland from Galveston (which is my hometown.) This area is made for birders because it is right in the middle of the Central Flyway plus we are near enough to the coast to have lots of gulls and shorebirds within easy driving. I can't get out in the field like I used to so I really get to know the birds that come my way.

If anyone loves hummingbirds, the place to be is southeastern Arizona. We were there many years ago and DH and I still talk about that trip.

Sagewoman
3-9-13, 10:16pm
Maybe some of them come from up north here :). I love the finches. I plant native and near-native plants and let them go to seed. I don't cut off the seed heads. At some point in the fall, I find finches all over them, eating the seeds, especially purple coneflowers. It is a joy!

My neighbors (condo) all cut back their plants right away. But I keep pointing out about the birds, etc. Some probably think my garden looks too seedy. Well, it is. Seedy. And for the birds, too. ;)

About the hummingbird feeders, I thought the cause of deaths was when people did not maintain them properly and they got a mold that made the birds sick. A couple of plants that hummingbirds seem to like are cardinal flower (cardinal lobelia) and geranium. The cardinal flower is native to this region. Not easy to grow, but I've had good luck with them. They like wet areas, but I just water them a lot. Not full sun, though.

Florence
3-10-13, 3:00pm
Goldfinches are still here. But the big news is that the scout barn swallows showed up Friday!! We are so excited each year to watch them raise the sweet babies (even though they do make a mess on the porch under the nest.)

Tussiemussies
3-10-13, 3:21pm
Sounds exciting to me too. I love seeing different parts of nature grow...:)

Florence
3-16-13, 9:58pm
Bluebirds!! I haven't seen them but DH said he saw them scouting out the bluebird boxes we have at the back of our property. My cup runneth over!!

Tussiemussies
3-16-13, 10:22pm
Bluebirds!! I haven't seen them but DH said he saw them scouting out the bluebird boxes we have at the back of our property. My cup runneth over!!

Have never seen a bluebird, I would be so happy to see one in real life. You are lucky!