At My Feeder


Today, as it steadily snowed tiny, soft flakes, Pine siskins, along with an American goldfinch or two mobbed my thistle feeder.



I was transfixed by their constant fluttering and twittering, and impressed by their lack of fear of my presence.

IMG_3465 - Version 2However, in a whir of wings, they dispersed to the surrounding bushes when a Blue Jay  came to the feeder.IMG_3456They may be considered bullies, but how can we not love their striking good looks?


About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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40 Responses to At My Feeder

  1. cindy knoke says:

    so good you are feeding them through winter!

  2. Treah says:

    Aren’t they wonderful? My star this year is a male red-bellied woodpecker who comes every day for the suet. BRILLIANT red head! And, in contrast to the last couple of years, the chickadee numbers are way up. I love those cheery little guys who dare to land on the feeder before I even have the time to hang it up! Great pics…….

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks! We put a new feeder stand in the front yard and they seem to like the surrounding cover vegetation more than the back yard, which is more open. We have a RBW too, and along with a pair of cardinals, the color is most appreciated! I’ll save my comment about chickadees for my next post – stay tuned! 😉

  3. twoscamps says:

    Oh! I love pine siskins! What great photos! 😀

  4. Sweet post with lovely friends:)

  5. Trini Lind says:

    Oh, they are sooooo cuuute!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. I just love your bird pictures. I like your bird feeder with the swirrled cord around it. My birds always chase each their off t get a perch.

  7. ladyfi says:

    Oh, what adorable shots.

  8. Rebecca says:

    I love listening to and watching the fluttering of birds. Sometimes I sit on our front porch at our house near the beach to the south of Adelaide, and do just that .. listen! It’s one of the most lovely sounds I know (other than bird song, of course). It’s something about watching other creatures go about their business — it reminds me how many other animals share this world with us (and therefore how small my daily concerns really are). Thanks for the lovely photo.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Ah, we are sisters to be sure. Hearing the rush of wings is wonderful. I once had a flock of geese pass just over the tree tops overhead and the sound of their wings was enormous and thrilling! It went straight through me. 🙂

  9. Jewels says:

    Sweet little creatures, I adore Goldfinches! Lovely shots Eliza, and I agree Blue Jays are so striking. 🙂

  10. And loud! Blue Jays can even drown out the crows around here.

    I also have a thistle feeder on my deck and I get a ton of small birds. They’re so used to me (or humans?) that I can be within three to five feet and they don’t mind at all. Maybe it’s because they’re the city variety of finches and such?

    I also notice there’s a pecking order to who feeds. It’s a large feeder that can support many birds at the same time (not quite as tall as yours), yet only one will be “allowed” to feed. A certain bird will be feeding, another will fly in and perch on the feeder support. Sometimes the one feeding will immediately take off, and the one that just flew in will drop down to feed. Other times, the recent-arrival will wait until the feeder is clear.

    I haven’t figured out the pattern yet, but I’m sure there is one.

    By the looks of the birds on your feeder, you don’t experience this behavior there. Interesting.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      It depends upon the species, in terms of getting along, but there is definitely a pecking order. I find it interesting that they will tolerate another species next to them, but not one of their own kind. The larger flocks are a constant movement as they jockey for position at a perch. Chickadees are the most polite, as they take a seed and leave to open it, while a goldfinch will just perch and feed, not allowing others to get a share until they are finished or knocked off by a competitor. Always entertaining!

  11. mk says:

    I put nyjer in one of my feeders (not sure if it’s the same as thistle) for our goldfinches. They are quite decent to one another when the big mesh tube is full, but when it gets low there seem to be frequent food fights. I’ve taken to tossing peanuts on the ground for the squirrels, to keep them from hanging off the bird feeders and shaking the dickens out of them. The peanuts are also a big draw for the Scrub Jays — a benefit I was not aware of when I had to resort to my peanut trick.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Nyjer and thistle are the same. We have multiple feeders to try to keep everyone fed and lessen squabbles. Squirrels are a perennial problem for everyone I think, not so much for what they eat, but the damage they can do to feeders. I bought dried corn cobs for them, but have to make a feeder to hold them. I’m hoping that it will draw them away from the birdseed. Hope springs eternal!

  12. Robbie says:

    great shots:-) we feed ours + I am so glad they grace our potager:-)

  13. I do the nyjer for my finches too. The big black sunflower seeds and suet seem to keep the other birds happy. We don’t have too many bluejays here. Over the winter, tons of chickadees, woodpeckers, titmouse, nuthatches, I guess the usual cast of characters. And then bopping in and out are the red cardinals. Do you have those in winter in Mass.?

  14. You are right about the Blue Jay- striking good looks with a bit of a bully mixed in 🙂

  15. Robin says:

    Gorgeous shots, Eliza! I do like the beautiful colors of the Blue Jays. They seem to put aside a lot of their bullying during the winter months.

  16. wspines says:

    Great pictures, no matter what kind of day you are having gazing at the bird feeders lifts ones spirits. Thanks for letting us gaze at yours. I do like blue Jays too and I let squirrels enjoy the feeders too.

  17. Gina's Professions for PEACE says:

    How delightful! I adore watching local birds at my feeders. Thanks for sharing this sweet post. Bright blessings! xo Gina

  18. Sweet visits from nature are such a blessing… 🙂

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