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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Amenities In My Garden For Visiting Birds (Including A "Water Cooler")

Juan V was here today to work with me in my rooftop garden. The results of our labor can be seen in an aerial view of my urban garden atop this blog entry. The picture was taken by Juan. Fortunately we finished our work before the severe thunder storm hit NYC. The kiwi vines that wrap around the railing that surrounds my garden were beginning to grip both my Crabapple Tree as well as my Chelsea Larch, which could ultimately have uprooted those trees! I truly needed Juan's help doing this as I'm still recovering from the accident I had in mid May.

We also had to toss out two large fennel plants that were invested with caterpillars. I was surprised to learn of the infestation because a number of bird types that visit my garden eat this type of insect. This is one of many facts that Cam discusses in her book, "Words In Our Beak Volume One."

I replaced the fennel with the Coral Bells variety of the Heuchera plant. This plant is known to attract hummingbirds, which is another topic Cam discusses in her book. In the photo atop this entry, I have added a double-sided arrow to indicate where the Heucheras are located.

The numbers that I've added to this image indicate a "system" that I've come up with to accommodate the needs of my visiting birds in terms of food and water. Over the years I have tried an array of bird feeders and images of them can be found within my Pinterest Boards. I've also written about my bird feeder endeavors in a number of posts which can be found here on Blogger; as well as on tumblr and hometalk.

In any event, my current system is indicated by the numbers I've added to Juan's image. A brief description of what a given number indicates is as follows:

1. I am going to need to add a longer bracket to accommodate what I call my house-shaped whole peanut feeder. Images of this feeder style can be seen below when the feeder was in a different part of my garden. As you can see, the House-Shaped Peanut Feeder has been a favorite place to nosh — in all kinds of weather — for a variety of birds that visit here, including a number of house sparrows, a lone Downy woodpecker,  blue jays, and my beloved Cam, a gorgeous female cardinal!

2. This is my latest "amenity" for my avian visitors. It is a "tower" shaped nourishment source that can used in two ways either for seed or for water. Because drinking water is crucial for the survival of birds, I am using it as a "water cooler."  My hopes are that it will be a place where birds to stop and "chat" as they have a sip or two of water — just as some folks do in an office. This accommodation is very new to my garden. I just assembled it last week, and I did so under the telephone guidance of Duncraft's Jeff Baker. If the name Duncraft sounds familiar to you, dear reader, you may recall that I mentioned it in my blog entry detailing my involvement in recusing Super, a Northern Flicker.

But assembling this "water cooler" was not an easy task for me. And I am most grateful to Jeff Baker for helping me figure out the particulars. Hopefully birds will begin to avail themselves of drinking water from my "water cooler" and I'll be able to post a few images of them doing so!

3. Number three indicates my Wreath-Style Whole Peanut Feeder, which was recommended to me by Denise at Duncraft. Prior to the Wreath-Style Whole Peanut Feeder, I had a Cylinder-Shaped Whole Peanut Feeder in that location. It can be seen with a Common Grackle a blue jay, as well as Harper, "my" Northern mockingbird, and Cam partaking of nourishment from it — in the following pictures.

Cam's husband Mac as well as their daughter Peanut also enjoyed spending time at this feeder.

But alas I had to replace this feeder, and Denise from Duncraft suggested I try the Wreath-Style variety. Blue jays seem to enjoy the wreath!

4. Number four indicates another Duncraft feeder which I now call The Monopoly Bird Feeder. I gave it this name because it reminds me of the houses used in the Monopoly board game. An array of bird types have been enjoying it. These include an American Goldfinch, a number of House Finches (but only a lone male is represented here), as well as Harper, and many sparrows (the latter is not pictured here).

The Monopoly Bird Feeder is designed to make it hard for larger birds such as pigeons and mourning doves to monopolize it. But that doesn't mean they haven't tried, as evidenced by this sweet and persistent mourning dove (below)!

In order to properly hang this feeder, I had to re-invent the pole/bracket (that Denise from Duncraft  sold me). It was worth it, but the particulars involved are, as they say, another story — or in this case another blog post!

5. The item indicated by number five is the final (so far) provision I've made for the birds that visit my garden. And this is a bird bath. The bath is appreciated by a number of the bird types which come here, including Emily a lone Baltimore oriole and members of the ever-present mourning dove family.

I am extremely grateful to have a garden and to be blessed by the birds which visit it. If you follow my cyber-venues then you know my most recent visitor is an American Robin. The amenities I provide for him are raisins and blueberries, a small price to pay for the joy he has given me.


The digital versions of Volume One within the Words In Our Beak book series that are mentioned in this entry may only remain available for a limited time, but hardcover versions of Volume One, Two and Three can now be found wherever books are sold.


Please click here to go to my blog post that provides details as to where you can get these books. Additionally,  I have rendered some images from these books into other formats and they are available via Fine Art America (FAA). Some of my other photographs (Black & White Collection, Kaleidoscopic Images and the famous Mandarin duck who visited NYC) can also be found on my FAA pages.

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