1 In winter, my bird feeders are refilled every morning. It's important to keep feeders full as birds often seek out reliable food sources to help them survive the colder months.
2 Feeders should be set up where they are easy to see and convenient to fill. They should be placed where seed-hungry squirrels and bird-hungry cats cannot reach them, and if near a window, no more than three feet from the glass to prevent possible collisions.
3 While some birds enjoy eating from the ground, others prefer tube feeders - hollow cylinders with multiple feeding ports and perches. Tube feeders attract small perching birds such as finches, goldfinches, titmice, and chickadees.
4 Using a pole with a hook on the end, each feeder is carefully removed from its hanging location.
5 This bird seed comes from Agway, and is stored in heavy duty galvanized cans. These sturdy containers won't rust, and are resistant to pest damage. http://www.agway.com
6 Nyjer is a great seed to offer birds, especially in winter because it contains more oil, and a higher calorie content, so birds can store fat to survive the season.
7 Each feeder behind the carport holds about three quart-sized containers full of seed.
8 Phurba fills this feeder with mixed seed. The mixed seed includes white millet, black oil sunflower seeds, striped sunflower seeds and cracked corn.
9 Each feeder is filled to the top and carefully returned to its spot - all ready for hungry birds to feast. It won't be long before they start arriving.
10 Even if your bird visitors are not entirely dependent on your food supply, try not to leave them without food. If you plan to be away, fill extra feeders, or ask a willing neighbor to continue feeding your birds until you return.
11 These tube feeders allow the seed to flow only when birds peck at it, which helps keep any spillage to a minimum.
12 Downy woodpeckers are some of the most common woodpeckers in the area. This woodpecker is a male, identified by the red patch on the back of his head; females are recognized by a black patch.
13 The tufted titmouse is a small songbird from North America. It is rather tame, and active, with an echoing voice, and can often be found near bird feeders especially in winter.
14 Sparrows are primarily seed eaters, but also enjoy eating small insects. Though they are not flashy in color, and may often be overlooked or considered common, the sparrow is a very melodious bird.
15 Phurba fills all the bird feeders around the same time every morning - he finds some of them completely empty, while others are still quite full.
16 Nyjer seeds are favored by goldfinches, chickadees, doves, and other small birds.
17 Before refilling the feeder with new seed, Phurba gives the feeder a shake to dislodge any that were compacted.
18 This is a black-capped chickadee. These birds are highly curious about everything, including humans. Its black cap and bib, white cheeks and gray back, wings and tail make it an easy bird to distinguish and identify.
19 Look closely and you can see this bird is holding a seed - there is always something amazing to see when watching and feeding wild birds.
20 Birds can become dehydrated in winter even if surrounded by ice and snow. Putting out bowls of water near the feeder on warmer days is a terrific idea. Phurba uses these small stainless steel bowls, and changes them daily.
21 This is a Dark-eyed junco resting in the dwarf apple orchard.
22 The blue jay mainly feeds on seeds, but also eats acorns, soft fruits and occasionally small vertebrates. Blue jays are known for their intelligence, adaptability, and their willingness to visit bird feeders.
23 On the other side of the carriage road, at my clematis pergola, are several more feeders that need refilling.
24 Phurba begins at one end and brings down each bird feeder.
25 He fills it to the top, making sure there aren't any birdseed sections that may have gotten lodged and stuck inside.
26 Phurba fills this feeder with mixed seed.
27 And then carefully returns it to its spot for the hungry birds.
28 Here's another Dark-eyed junco looking at the camera.
29 The house finch is a bird in the finch family. It is commonly found in North America, and is an adaptable, colorful and cheery voiced bird.
30 The birds start arriving soon after all the feeders are filled.
31 The Dark-eyed junco is a common visitor to many backyards. Adult males are dark slate gray above and white below.
32 Phurba fills this tube feeder with Nyjer seed.
33 He shows how small the holes are in this feeder. When looking for bird feeders, consider the type of feeder and the size of its holes to know what kind of food would work best.
34 I have many bird feeders hanging at the farm, and it is quite a commitment to keep them filled all year long.
35 When starting to feed birds, it may take time for new feeders to be discovered. Don't be surprised if the feeding station doesn't get visitors right away. As long as feeders are clean and filled with fresh seed, the birds will find them.
36 Some birds, like this Dark-eyed junco, patiently wait for the seed to be replenished.
37 Phurba will store the rest of the seed in closed containers, away from other critters - until tomorrow, when he feeds the wild birds again.