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Songbirds

Last Updated: 2/21/17

Our Songbirds
Ponds for Songbirds
Songbird Links

I started renovating my bird pages in October of 2006. By July 2007, it was obvious they were not going to be finished if I added all the new information to the pages that I had initially intended. In order to get what I have written linked into the pages, I decided to just note which pages were unfinished and link them all in. This is one of those pages that is not complete. I am sorry.


Our Songbirds

Four tufted titmice on 6/3/01. These birds left the nest the following day. They were the first fully successful nest box brood on our property in years, not including house wrens, English sparrows, and a single chickadee in May of 2001. Sparrows and wrens destroy the bluebird nests every single time. In 2001, the bluebirds laid two broods in a different nest box (we have a dozen or so). The eggs were crushed and destroyed before hatching both times. 2001 was the first year that either chickadees or tufted titmice were known to raise young in our nest boxes. Finally! On 7/19/01, four bluebirds were born in another bluebird nest box. These were the same parents that laid 16 eggs in a different box that were all destroyed! The babies fledged on 8/5/01 at 17 days old. These were the first bluebirds known to have ever fledged on our 5 acres in 24 years! 2001 was a record year with 1 chickadee, 4 tufted titmice, 4 bluebirds, and probably a dozen catbirds and house wrens all leaving nest boxes or shrub nests alive! Wood thrushes, cardinal, and hummingbird pairs were also seen but no nests (they must have nested too!).

In 2002, the bluebirds raised a record three broods of four babies each in two different boxes. The house sparrows had vanished!

On 5/12/03, six chickadees hatched in the bird house by the 1800 gallon pond. Unfortunately, the house sparrows are back with a vengeance and have taken over the two good bluebird houses. No bluebirds are hanging around.

On 5/26/13, five bluebirds were born in a birdhouse by our mail box and five more were born a few days earlier in the box by the pond! Most years, we get none.

Five baby 10-day-old chickadees that hatched near my pond, taken 5/22/03, on the left. On the right is my big bird feeder with a downy woodpecker on the left and a breeding male goldfinch on the right (sorry it is out of focus), taken 4/21/03.

Go to my mystery bird page to see photos of a dead bird we could not identify. It turns out that it is a yellow-billed cuckoo.

A flock of cedar waxwings became entangled in my pond net on 2/2/06. You can read about it in my February 2006 newsletter (not on-line until 2/12/06). Here are photos of the one that died: top of cedar waxwing and bottom of cedar waxwing.

Someone sent this photo of a baby bird near a pond in Texas. Someone else said it is a baby mourning dove.
Baby bird

In 2010, the bluebirds managed to fledge one nest of four, the chickadees fledged two or three of five (the English house sparrow killed one, and I took another to the wildlife rehabilitator after the attack), the flycatchers fledged about four, and two sets of house wrens fledged nests.
Baby house wrens peeking out of their house on 7/3/10.

I found a dead bird on the front porch that had hit the window on 5/4/11. That was not unusual, unfortunately even with window decals. What was unusual was how rare the bird was. Here are photos of a dead male black-throated blue warbler, Dendroica caerulescens.
Warbler - left side
Warbler - left side, wing out
Warbler - back
Warbler - right side

Another male black-throated blue warbler hit the window on 5/2/12! That is almost one year to the day. Here are photos of the poor victim.
Warbler - underneath
Warbler - top view
Warbler - right side

Two mourning doves on a wagon at Clark's Elioak Farm in 2012. There is white pine behind them.

I saw a live male black-throated blue warbler on my bird feeder on 5/11/14!

Baby bluebirds ready to fledge in the nest box on 6/14/14.

On 1/17/16, we had a dusting of snow, and a flock of robins that should not have been around in the dead of winter came to my ornamental cherry to eat cherries.
Robin eating cherries.
Robins eating cherries. I think I see five but there were more, not in the range of the photo.

On 3/6/16, I took photos of this fake resin bluebird couple I bought.
Resin bluebirds - front view.
Resin bluebirds - side view.

Woodpeckers:

On 3/7/07, while I was at work, a male pileated woodpecker was busy pecking at a dead black cherry tree out front. My father took these photos. The first one is what the photos actually look like. Then, there are three different zoom ins from cropped photos showing just the pileated.

Front yard - an arrow points to the pileated woodpecker.

On 12/14/08, a pileated woodpeaker was hanging out on our old dead weeping cherry tree trunk. I got these photos.
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker - close-up from the last photo
Pileated woodpecker - close-up from another photo not shown

I finally got some decent photos of a pileated woodpecker on 1/14/17. She was pecking on an old wooden wild bee home thing. While taking her photos, another one showed up! That one was shy. I only got one blurry photo of them both together.
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker
Two pileated woodpeckers


Ponds for Songbirds

To attract songbirds and other small birds to your pond to drink and bathe, have a shallow area that they can walk into. A gradual depth from 0-3 inches with a flat area of about 2 inches is good. To discourage this behavior (so as to keep their feces out of your pond for example), create such a small pond away from the main pond. Also, if the pond has no way for birds to walk into a shallow area, they probably will not use it. My 1800 gallon pond with cliff-like sides rarely sees birds while my 16 gallon pond attracts drinkers and bathers of all sorts. The birds especially like my 20 gallon above-ground tropical tub pond. The exception is when everything is frozen except for my 1800 gallon pond's waterfall. Then, little birds drink from it while perched on the rocks. Squirrels also drink from the overflow area of my 1800 gallon pond. My cat also likes to stand in the waterfall and drink.

The company, Avian Aquatics specializes in unique water features for songbirds. They will send a free catalog if you call 1-800-788- 6478.


Songbird Links

North American Bluebird Society

The Nest Box

Hummingbirds.net - large site on hummingbirds

See my wildlife page for general wildlife links and links on various ways to certify your property as a haven for wildlife.


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Go to the Main Bird Index.
Go to the Chicken Index.
Go to the Turkey Index.
Go to the Pond Bird Index.
See the master index for the bird pages.


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