Mark's Backyard Birds RSS

Now that feeders are slowing down, people are sad and want to know what has happened to their birds. The situation with hummingbirds is not out of the ordinary. Their typical pattern in the Kansas City area is: 1) The males arrive first and seek out good food source that will be enticing to the ladies.2) He defends the feeder vigorously against any other males.3) The ladies arrive and he chases them about and "flirts" with them. Hoping they will select him (and your area) for nesting.4) The females go out and build the nest, lay eggs and raise the young...

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Ant Moats, Brushes, Hummingbird Feeders, Misters, Nectar -

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about hummingbird and oriole feeders. I think a lot of it has to do with the fill it and leave it nature of most other types of feeders. I have customers who have confessed to filling their hummingbird feeders in April and leaving them for weeks and even months. They couldn’t understand why they hadn’t seen any hummingbirds. Have you ever left Kool Aid in the refrigerator too long, never mind out in the sun? Would you drink it with mold floating around in it? Help your hummers out by: Keeping your feeder...

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birds, Birdseed, cold, shelter, survive, water, winter -

You’ve probably heard me talk about birds that winter here from up north. Cold temperatures are survivable by most birds, it is the covering of the food source that is the main problem. Ground feeders and waterfowl know that their food sources are going to be covered up quickly but arboreal (tree dwelling) species like evening grosbeaks and crossbills can ride out the same “cold” conditions that juncos and snow geese abandon.

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Bird watching, Birding -

Why do birds mob other birds? The theory is that they are chasing a potential predator from their territory. Owls and hawks are frequent victims of crows, jays and others while crows and jays are often mobbed by kingbirds, mockingbirds and even smaller species. Other victims include Great Blue Herons, Turkey Vultures and Common Nighthawks. It plays out like a reverse pecking order.

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Maui Jim, Tilley hat -

Over the years, I spent a lot of time in the field birding and studying our natural world. During that time, I have grown to appreciate the proper equipment to make life more enjoyable while out in the elements. As a field trip leader, I get lots of questions about the gear that I use so I thought I would put some of my suggestions down on “paper”.

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