Discussion in 'Nature/Habitat/Garden Corner' started by Broadlandsnaturalist, May 28, 2008.
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A few of mine. I've seen no fewer than four different praying mantises making home in the front of my house, though since a recent hailstorm and subsequent torrential rainstorm destroyed my garden, they haven't been around as much.
I have a green mantis photo, with a close-up of its face; a brown-and-green eating a dragonfly (yum), and a HUGE brown mantis sitting on a sunflower, waiting for an unlucky bee to come by.
(Removed inlined images, added as attachments.)
Odd, when I added as attachments it resizes my images down small. If anyone wants to see fullsize images let me know, I'll post some inlined images.
wow! what awesome pics!!
It's so hard to get those mantises -mantisi? - to smile Great picture! I'd like the full size image to put in up in the Nature Center. You can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
I have so many, I will have to email you some when I get a chance. Trying to upload a couple of the birdies and the insects, hope this works out:
Here's a few of my backyard critters.
OMG, I had wondered where our Mr. Turtle had moved to. Guess he liked your yard better than ours.
Hee hee....sorry about that. He comes and goes. I usually give him a tomato when I see him and he loves it!! He's very cute.
They are also very fond of strawberries, grapes and bananas!
Good to know, thanks!!
Not in Broadlands, but I took several pictures of this snake at Claude Moore Park today.
When I was a child, the same species of finch used to make nest on top of a pillar on my front porch. Messy... but the babies were fun to watch.
Where are these fancy birds????? I've got two bird feeders in the backyard that I keep filled with seed and all I get are those little finch looking like things and the gray birds (morning doves maybe?). I used to get those ugly black birds, but for some reason they don't come around anymore. Why can't I get the pretty yellow birds and cardinals and such? I even tried attracting the colorful kind with safflower seeds (maybe that's why the ugly birds flew away), but it's still those small brown birds. No pretty birds at all.
When I fed safflower seed instead of sunflower chips I noticed a number of songbirds didn't return. As soon as we made the switch back - voila! To attract a greater variety of birds try scattering seed on the ground for the ground feeders.
Yes, having a flatfeeder for the Cardinals is important. Also, make sure you get the more expensive birdfood, that has very little millet in it, to keep house sparrows away. I am in a battle right now to keep house sparrows out of my bluebird boxes, since they have taken over and I lost all my bluebird families that kept coming back year after year ... this year I just tossed out the sparrow nests, but next year I will have to close down the boxes to get rid of the sparrows and leave them closed for two seasons or so, then maybe I can get bluebirds back.
It bites, it was awesome to watch the baby bluebirds of the first clutch help raise the second clutch of the season ... I had so much fun with it.
I use this: Wild Bird Seed Mix, Waste Free Blend
The Waste Free seed blend is specially formulated to accommodate nut-loving birds. Consisting of 80% shelled oil seed and peanut, this seed mix has been made without "filler" seeds to reduce waste and keep your feeder area clean. There are no seed hulls to clean from beneath your feeder. The high concentration of oil seed and peanut helps provide the birds with maximum energy, which is especially important during migration and the cold winter months.
I get every bird you can imagine: Cardinals (I've had babies every year. They are so fun to watch!) Catbirds, Tufted Titmouse, Chickadees, Brown Thrashers, Dark-eyed Juncos, Eastern Towhees, Bluejays, Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Flickers, Wood thrush, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Robins, American Goldfinch, Brownheaded Cowbird, Carolina Wrens, Song Sparrows, House Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Mourning Doves. And of course, I have a Hummingbird feeder for those little guys. I also get Red-shouldered Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Coopers Hawks. Now, I'm just waiting for a Bald Eagle to honor me with his presence. ;-))
So where could I get some of the bird seed without millet in it or the wild bird seed/waste free blend ? I was in the bird store in Chantilly and that guy advised me to get the safflower. I'm glad we already ran out of it. I'll try spreading the seed on the ground too.
Thanks for the tips!
I get my waste free seed from www.bestnest.com
I also put cracked corn out for the ground feeders.
Harris Teeter carries black oil sunflower seeds and my birds love that! Finches love the niger in a finch feeder. Make sure you have that up and you'll get the goldfinches. For a little while longer, anyway, until they head south.
I buy 25lb bags of shelled sunflower chips and peanut splits at "The Bird Feeder" in Reston next to "The Home Depot". The price of a 25lb of sunflower chips have gone up 70% since January due to farmers planting more corn for ethanol. Also Frito Lay had dubs on majority crops this year since they're switching oils.
My guess is that guy recommended safflower seed because it's cheaper and squirrels and blackbirds are not big fans of it, but the songbirds that come to the pole feeder do not like it either.
I avoid the mixed bird seed as most of it is strictly filler and provides little in the way of protein, but it will attract plenty of birds to your yard. If you do provide mixed seed, try to avoid the one with artificial coloring added. It's a personal choice.
You may want to put out suet too. I have the upside down suet feeder but somehow all the birds have become adept at getting to it, including the "Cat" bird. It's fun to watch their antics.
And, Hummingbird feeders are fun too although they require cleaning every few days. The season for Hummers will be over by mid-October but if you plan to start feeding in the spring, mid-April is the recommended time to put the feeder out. I'm told that once the Hummingbirds find your nectar they will return every year! I just use tax day as my marker!
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