Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | May 7, 2013

Birdbaths and Birds at the Small House

Yesterday we hauled out the bird baths and filled them. You notice I said baths…plural. Yep, it’s crazy but we have four of them and use to have five until a critter broke the top of the fifth one. The base is now scheduled to become a planter in the future. We have five aces remember?

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The cement bath in the bed outside of our three-season porch.

In case you haven’t already figured it out, we are serious bird watchers!

When we moved from our city Cape Cod, I was feeling bad about missing our beautiful Cardinals, Titmice and Wren that roosted every year under the overhang of our knotty pine porch in an old silk flowers basket. I left it there just for him.

But my dear husband, ever the optimist, said “Don’t worry we will have new birds” and birds we have.

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Bird bath in the dedicated bird feeding bed.

Because our ecosystem is Oak Savannah Forest and we feed and water the birds year-round, we have the spectacular forest species like four different species of woodpeckers including the huge Pileated that fly’s in to eat the suet from our bird bed. We also enjoy the Rufous-sided Towhee, Baltimore Oriole, Junco, Eastern Phoebe, Grosbeaks, as well as all the common birds like White Breasted Nuthatch, Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Goldfinch with quick seasonal sightings of Scarlet Tanager and Indigo Bunting and multiple Warblers. And a real treat…the Bluebirds that nest in our boxes year after year.

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Brown ceramic bird bath in the railroad tie herb garden.

I fact, I have come to believe we have better birds here than we had in our previous city home.

We built them a bird feeding bed with small trees and shrubs to land in and hang out in, provide sunflower seeds, thistle, suet and water. When you have the right combination; food, water, trees and no chemicals it’s a magnet to birds – like when you build it they will come!

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Cement sunflower bird bath in the turn-around bed at the gravel driveway.

Of them all, my favorite has to be the Bluebirds. On the day we were looking at the small house we spotted Bluebirds flying in and out of the hole of an old apple tree. In order to invite them back, one of the first things we did was put up three blue bird boxes, two in the meadow in the sun, for early nesting and one in the shade for later, hot-season nesting. And within three weeks we had Bluebird in the box!

Every spring it’s a real treat to see them return, hear the Mr. sing for his mate and then watch for the Mrs. and enjoy the show of which box they choose to the process from the nest building to fledging. Most year we watch them bring two sets of babies fledge and if we are lucky three families. Those Bluebirds are hardworking parents.

This is Bluebird magic!

Small House / Big Sky Donna

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