Backyard Birding: Success!


Why should I have doubted that the birds would come to my yard for free food? Could it be because they didn’t find my porch feeder before? The seed rotted in the tube.

That was some 8 years ago.

Sometimes you have to try again the right way.

It worked with magnificent success. This year has a been a busy year full of backyard birding. It brings daily doses of joy to my life.

Now I am going to share some of that joy. Here on this blog. And also I am starting to submit lists of the birds I see to Cornell’s website. I’ve also gotten into data analysis over the past year and I feel that I should make my birdwatching discoveries public. For science and fun. It is fun to find out what kind of birds other people are observing. You can do that too over at ebird.

One of the birds I see on a nearly daily basis is the Stellar Jay.  I’ve heard that they mate for life, and I think that a romantic couple live in my yard.    They love peanuts!


I have trained one of them to come closer to my door when I open it.  Most birds fly away. I think it’s instinctual to be afraid of the noise and movement. But my “pet” Stellar Jay actually flies closer to me, and will wait on my shed roof for a peanut.

Sometimes he will hide the peanut really close by, knowing that I will give him another one.  Usually he’s cautious if there’s a crow around, but sometimes he will risk being chased.   The crows will have the opportunity to get the peanut themselves, but they don’t.  They prefer to chase the Jay with his peanut.

Every third day or so, he doesn’t doesn’t show up in the morning. Sometimes he doesn’t show up all day long.  That’s when I have to submit to the realization that he’s only a pet in my imagination.

Squirrels come with the territory.  They eat the seeds that fall under the feeder.  I think they’re adorable.  But they’re not all smart.   Some squirrels can’t see a peanut that’s two inches from their nose!




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