Great Backyard Bird Count 2017

Dove

We are blessed with a multitude and variety of birds that frequent the winter feeder but, alas… these unruly mourning doves, beautiful as they are, have overwhelmed the feeder during Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. There are only 6 on the feeder pictured here but sometimes there are six more standing on the backs of those feeding…. all jostling and shouldering their way to a little sunflower seed. The rest of the mob is on the ground pushing and shoving for spillage. They are fast eaters and can clean the feeder in record time, fill their crops, and fly off to digest their meal.

Not all doves migrate and the ones I see could be sticking it out for the winter or they may be the males arriving way too early for the best breeding territory. Although New Hampshire is one state that does not allow hunting of doves, it’s still a tough life for the birds that stick around all winter. I have seen frostbitten and missing toes… and feathers on the snow tell me they are a link in the food chain for birds of prey.

The diversity of birds in our weekend count will not be as great this year, but we will continue to welcome these gentle birds to our feeders.

11 thoughts on “Great Backyard Bird Count 2017

  1. I don’t have as many doves but the starlings are coming back already. They just sweep everything out of the feeders! Of course the juncos love that! And for the last few years there has been a big snow storm on bird count weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure I’d be as welcoming to starlings. We had a flock of starlings a week ago but I sent them toward Epping with promises of full feeders at your house….

      Like

  2. Timely subject – birds. A friend down here in SC told us about a place where the snowy white egrets come in to roost each night around 5 p.m.. It is an unlikely place behind a mobile home park. I was thinking maybe we’d see a couple if any, and boy were we shocked. I bet we saw 30 flying in to land on a branch. It was amazing. I may need to go back again. Birds of any size sure do make you smile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The doves are sweet birds, and they do coo and snuggle like love birds. I think they even mate for life, albeit short. They are the ablest of fliers, making game for the table most difficult. Whether hunted or not, supposedly all small game’s mortality rate is near 80%. Luckily these birds nest several times annually in their crudely constructed nests, which accounts for large numbers of them still. I have seen wildlife photos of doves nesting with snow on their backs. Sweet birds.

    Like

  4. For this very reason, I only use a hanging Yankee feeder. Many birds including bluebirds, RB woodpeckers, chickadees, Titmice, cardinals, downy woodpeckers, and the occasional WT sparrow visit regularly, blocking out the doves. Open platform feeders do not work, unless one has a huge seed budget. Since I make my own food from WF bulk department, I discourage birds who are greedy.

    Remember this time of year to grind all your organic eggs shells left from hard cooking eggs and place a goodly amount in the feed, along with non-GMO sunflower oil for adhesion. This extra calcium boost helps wild birds during the upcoming nesting season. I keep extra ground eggshell in the freezer to keep fresh. Use a coffee grinder for grinding…

    Finches are the most greedy feeder buggers, and they are chased away from my feeders throughout the day. They fight with themselves and others, monopolize the feeder, and are generally nuisance birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never done the eggshells. I’ll have to try that. I do hang the Yankee feeder but I love the platform, too. I’m glad to know someone else prepares their own special birdseed mix!

      Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s