Hi, this is Kitty from the mountains and vast wilderness of Mendocino County, California. I have a Host Group called For the Birds which has a lovely internationsl membership sharing birding hot spots and news from all over. We are lifelong birding enthusiasts, love observing wildlife of all kinds, and have traveled all over with our binoculars, cameras and scopes. I'd love to bring this sharing topic to our new forum, making a place where we can continue to chat about wildlife and wilderness, birds, bears, etc, that are where we all live and host.
For example, there are massive migrations of birds now in our region, and whales off our coast. Our oak trees have shed a bumper crop of huge acorns, which feed everyone who lives in these mountains and forests. How terrific is that?
Please join me in sharing what natural wonders are where you live and host!
@Kitty-and-Creek0, I like your topic, so I'll tell you about my birding spots.
I host in the middle of Paris, outside is a very busy roundpoint, the noise of a big city. We are at the end of an alley, surrounded by high buildings, restricted access, and my tiny atelier is in the courtyard far inside that wall of buildings. Completely quiet. Over the years we started a garden and I have now high bushes, nearly trees, in huge flower pots. There are a lot of cats aroung, but they are getting old and lazy. I hang grease balls and nets with nuts on the trees and the wild birds come to feed: sparrows, **bleep**, finches. The blackbirds eat the red berries from a bush we planted for them.
Inside, I have a parrot, who is free and usually sits on his inside tree or a window grip and chats with the **bleep**.
I had breakfast with a guest on the kitchen counter and the parrot was watching her and whistling from the door to my room. Then two **bleep** came and hopped onto a branch just outside the kitchen window, where there was no food, but they are curious and watched us. I told to the girl " Look up quietly, don't move much." She saw the tiny birds, about a foot away from her shoulder, and asked "Are they yours too?"
- "Ummm, no, those are wild birds, they just come."
- When you show real wildlife to your guests, do you experience that too, that some people never saw any wild birds before?
I love your story! We are now in the wilderness, but when we lived in cities we always had birds come to visit. They always felt safe and welcome with us. Airbnbirds!
To answer your question : Definitely! And they love it!
For example, many of our guests are delighted to experience being face to face with the hummingbirds at the feeders. Hummingbirds are only found in the Americas, and our guests are from all over. Many guests from the Americas see a few hummingbirds around their place, but never the great numbers we have here. Next to the house is a large tree which is filled with their nests. We put out an average of a gallon a day of nectar mix, that is 4 feeders refilled daily. Some of them spend the winter with us, most migrate. The majority of them leave late Fall, and now in November they are still with us, as weather has not changed significantly. They have a large need for protein from small insects, and when the insects are no longer around, most of the hummers leave for warmer climates. Mid March the mob re-appears and nesting begins. Much of the year our porch is like a busy airport at rush hour with hummingbirds.
We have wintering birds too, and all year ones as well. Just today I saw band tailed pigeons, a varied thrush, rufous sided towhees, bewicks wren, hermit thrush, stellars jays, scrub jay, ravens, nuthatch, chickadee, juncos, grouse, and others. On the nearby Coast, whales are migrating as are flocks of sea birds. This is causing a flap and a flutter in excited birdwatchers. Most people have seen the pigeons that live in the cities, but never the beautiful wild ones.
We have several brush rabbits in the garden, chipmunks, squirrels, foxes, and nearby can be seen wild turkeys, lots of deer, jackrabbits, and whatever can be glimpsed crossing the roads. It is fun for us, and definitely for our visitors to experience our wildlife neighbors.
Great info on hummingbirds. Thanks @Kitty-and-Creek0! We started a hummingbird feeder on the Mendocino Coast last Spring and love watching them at the feeder. We just added another but it is yet to be discovered by the hummers. Might need to move it. Have had a few interesting conversations with friends regarding the ethics of a hummingbird feeder. Some feel it disturbs the migration instincts. Others say just make sure it is full all winter as the birds who don't migrate become dependent upon it. Do you have an opinion on this?
I love to use the slow motion video on my iphone at the hummingbird feeder. They are amazing!
Great points. The feeders must be terribly clean, or they will grow molds that will kill the birds in that sugar solution, so do not keep much in an unused feeder, and make sure to dump it out and scrub with a brush and vinegar every few days in colder weather, more often in warmer. They trust us to keep them healthy. The mold will rot their beaks, and thus make them very miserable in the process of slowly killing them.
Most hummingbirds will migrate, simply because they require a lot of protein in the form of tiny insects, and the colder weather eliminates that food source. We always have a few Anna's Hummingbirds that remain with us all winter. They are hardy and will go into torpor when it is too cold for them. We leave a couple inches of nectar in the feeder for them, as they do need that energy, and our weather fluctuates so wildly here ~ making sure to scrub and change the food regularly.
So glad to hear that you are using the slo-mo camera on the birds. Isn't it fascinating to slow them down?
So glad to stay in touch with you this way!
I thought about that, when I realized that the **bleep** came all Summer to eat the food they had not taken all winter. I thought about removing it not to disturb their habits but then they came with their young, which was very charming. When the food was finished and they still came, I hunted for new food (not that easy in Summer) and provided some nuts in the meantime. They love nuts best. Felt a bit foolish to host in a shared space to be able to buy expensive nuts for the **bleep**...
But we have about a dozen now, 3 families I think, and all the neighbors love them. Cat-resistant too.
I'll just have to keep hosting and buying nuts 😉
By the Way:
There is an American Bittern at the Ukiah WasteWaterTreatmentPlant. It is in the grass at the NE corner of the North pond alongside an immature Black-crowned Night Heron.
It is the end of December and most of our Anna's Hummingbirds are still with us. They are slightly irritated by rain, snow and freezing temperatures, but are not going anywhere!
We are also enjoying the Varied Thrushes in the garden, with their magnificant colors and markings.
@Deb0 What is in your garden right now?