I can have the best intentions to unpack a few boxes when I get an occasional free hour but nothing derails me quite like bird-watching (or more accurately, bird and small mammal-watching).
It’s something that I’ve grown up with…my mom has always fed birds and taught me how to identify most of the local songbirds at her various feeders. When I was in middle school she became a wildlife rehabber and brought the birds, squirrels, ducks, and possums inside! We transported all kinds of weird animals around Virginia Beach (I still remember a large bird escaping from its box and flapping wildly around in the backseat while I attempted to contain it.
In all of my previous living situations I’ve fed the birds to varying degrees of success. When we signed the papers to build I started thinking about how I’d set up bird feeders once the house was built. And after a little trial and error I think I’ve got my set-up!
I’m using the Wild Birds Unlimited Advanced Pole System and I really like it. Originally I just cable-tied a hook to the deck to see what kind of birds I could attract but I knew that wasn’t going to be a long-term solution. Besides being rather unattractive it was also susceptible to shifting and sliding around. And it kept the feeders directly over the deck so it was getting pretty messy.
The WBU system is totally customizable and has endless add-ons. I’m using their deck mount which is bolted to the deck (yay for DIY projects and the maiden voyage of our cordless drill!). It is 48″ high, has three main hooks, a branch perch, and a cute little bird finial on top. Then for feeders there’s a finch feeder, a squirrel-proof tube feeder, a squirrel-proof suet feeder, a dish for mealworms (yes I do have live bugs in my fridge…), and a bark butter feeder for woodpeckers, flickers, etc.
So far I’ve seen the following birds in our backyard:
- American Robin
- Black-Capped Chickadee
- Blue Jay
- Carolina Wren
- Dark-Eyed Junco
- Downy Woodpecker
- House Finch
- Mourning Dove
- Northern Flicker
- Northern Mockingbird
- Tufted Titmouse
- White-Breasted Nuthatch
Hopefully I’ll be able to keep adding to the list! I’m hoping for a Cedar Waxwing or a Baltimore Oriole….we’ll see how it goes…