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The Backyard Birder, Issue #012 July, July is a month slow month at the feeders why not go birding?
July 07, 2008

Hello Everyone,

If your feeding station is like mine, you probably don't attract many visitors in July. The breeding season has peaked and there are a lot of young birds around. Many of them will follow their parents to your feeders guaranteeing more visitors for years to come. So even though overall traffic is down, you should keep a few wild bird feeders going. I use one suet feeder, one feeder filled with sunflower seeds, one filled with nyjer seed and one platform feeder for fruit.

Providing a source of clean, fresh water is an excellent way to attract birds into your garden in July. If you don't have a bird bath July isperfect time to add one. Many natural sources of water dry up in mid to late summer. Many wild birds like robins, catbirds, titmice and grosbeaks will find your bird bath nearly impossible to resist.

If you're lucky enough to have hummingbirds in your area watch for them feeding from flowers in your yard. Adding a hummingbird feeder to your garden will supplement their diet of flower nectar and give you a better chance to watch them eating. Hummingbirds also enjoy a quick bath, but a mister will work better than a bird bath. Place it in a shady area near a small shrub or bush.

If you put out birdhouses in the spring they are probably empty by now. Some birds, like titmice and wrens, may start a second brood in July, while goldfinches are just starting their first.

If you find that bird watching in your backyard is a little boring, July is a great time of year to take a birding trip and find some birds that you don't normally see in your yard. You don't have to travel far, a local park, pond or beach is a great place to start. All you need is a field guide and a good pair of binoculars. The best times of day are early morning and late evening. These are the times when birds are most active.

I took my family on a trip this week to a local stat park (that is why this letter is a little late). We camped there for three nights and had a great time. There was a beautiful lake and wonderful swamp. Swamps and wetlands are some of my favorite habitats for bird watching.

Here is a list of my sightings:

Mallard
Common Loon
Great Blue Heron
Blue Jay
Tree Swallow
American Robin
Yellow Warbler
Swamp Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
Pine Siskin
Red-tailed Hawk
Canada Goose
Turkey Vulture
Wild Turkey
Herring Gull
Belted Kingfisher
Hairy Woodpecker
Eastern Kingbird
Barn Swallow
White-breasted Nuthatch
Gray Catbird
American Crow

I know gas is expensive right now but bird watching can be done close to home without spending much money. And it is a fun way to spend some time with your family and learn more about nature. Click here for more information on where to go bird watching in your state.

July Checklist:

  • Reduce your feeders to one suet, one sunflower, one thistle, one platform and a few for hummingbirds.

  • Watch for young birds visiting your feeders for the first time.

  • Keep your bird bath full and install a mister for hummingbirds.

  • Go on a bird watching trip.


July Recipe:

Bird Pudding

by Kay Craig (Arkansas)

Melt one cup lard and one cup crunchy peanut butter together.

To this melted mixture add one cup of quick oats, one cup of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of yellow corn meal. Mix thoroughly. You may also add 1/2 cup of bird seed and/or raisins to this. This will have the consistency of thick pudding.

Pour mixture into a pan and place it in the refrigerator or freezer and allow to harden. Once mixture has hardened, cut or break into pieces to fit into suet baskets. Any crumbles or small pieces can be placed in a platform feeder. Any leftovers may be put in plastic zip bags and stored in the freezer.

The birds just love this in the winter months.

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I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions about the birds in your backyard please let us know. We are happy to answer any questions you have. We would also like to hear any comments about our website or this newsletter. Please use our Contact Us for to get in touch with us.

News from My Feeders in June:

My feeders did not see a lot of traffic in June. I added a new bird bath with a solar powered pump. It is very convenient, but since we had quite a bit of rain in June it has not seen many visitors. I did get a chance to watch a tufted titmouse take advantage of the fresh water. It did not act as I expected it to. Instead of sitting and bathing it would sit on the edge then dive into the water and fly to a nearby roost to preen itself.

As I have mentioned before, we have a pair of red-tailed hawks that nested nearby. We spotted one of them on the ground at the edge of our frog pond. I assume it was there to catch frogs. I hope to catch him in action.

Happy Birding,

John

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