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#99618 February 7th, 2007 at 02:20 PM
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Hey Thorn,
Can you identify these sparrows for me. I don't want to post it on the bird forum ... because I'll look rather silly there if I post a really common bird.
[Linked Image]
these two came to the yard and ate. The chowed everywhere. Bossy brats!

p.s the corn on the deck railing in not on purpose... I don't the big trash can and whatever was in the bottom was today's chow!

#99619 February 7th, 2007 at 02:31 PM
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clp clp Ahhhh....so cute!!

#99620 February 7th, 2007 at 03:20 PM
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Thanks penny,
I want to add them to our backyard life list, so I need to find out what they are. I am pretty sure they are not house sparrows.

We added the red-winged blackbird to the list this past week... but no pictures eek

#99621 February 7th, 2007 at 03:39 PM
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We have chickadees here, blue jays, cardinals, and a couple others but i dont know the name.

#99622 February 8th, 2007 at 02:29 AM
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Jane, sorry, you do NOT have a sparrow lifer. What you got is a FEMALE Brown-Headed Cowbird. These birds do NOT make a nest and do NOT raise their own young. They find a nest that another bird species made with eggs in it. They then remove one of the eggs from the nest and lay a COWBIRD egg in its place. The unsuspecting parents that made the nest then rear the Cowbird baby as their own. Just this spring, I saw two Cardinals feeding a baby Cowbird. COWBIRDS ARE PARASITES!!! (But they're interesting)

#99623 February 8th, 2007 at 04:59 AM
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Thorny,
It's a lifer!!! I've never had them in my yard.
Hey, you have babies somewhere! I read they were nomadic with the bisons so that had to leave eggs and go. Mother nature is nothing short of remarkable
They ladies were bold. They came directly to the back porch without hesitation and they weren't easily spooked either.
I'll take brown-headed cowbird... A backyard lifer is a backyard lifer!

#99624 February 8th, 2007 at 11:05 AM
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They do prefer the company of livestock and have been known to even MATE with American Bison. Where didja think "Buffalo" Wings came from?

We have a horse pasture near my house and the Brown-Headed Cowbirds can be seen swarming around the feet of horses as they graze. The same pasture is an excellent place to see bluebirds.

#99625 February 8th, 2007 at 12:33 PM
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Well, cowbird is confirmed. There are four this morning, including one brown-headed male.

bluebirds!! I have bluebird questions?
Where and how far up do you put a bluebird house?
I'm thinking of purchasing freeze dried mealworms to entice some better birds.

The bluebirds come to visit and drink water. I'd like to score a pair! I wonder if my yard is not too crowded for them. I could put a house in my view in my neighbors yard.

#99626 February 8th, 2007 at 02:13 PM
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Congrats on your lifer, Jane!!!

I know how exciting that is!
Last year I had a evening grosbeak - I was jumping out of my skin - it was only here for an hour, but boy was that wonderful!

As for the cowbirds... you can have them!
Mine too!
They are nasty little buggers, pushing the other birds away from my feeders, and messy and noisy! They don't come around all that often here, but when they do, I try to chase them away.

#99627 February 8th, 2007 at 02:17 PM
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And then there were seven... [Linked Image]
If you feed them, they will come.

#99628 February 8th, 2007 at 02:18 PM
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Be careful what you wish for!!! sca :p

#99629 February 8th, 2007 at 02:23 PM
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Hey Lynne, wavey
I saw your post after mine.
Yeah, I had a bad feeling about those them before I knew who they were. They are bold, bold bold. There very first place I saw them was on the deck ledge.
And they are multiplying fast

Last October 6, a Noreaster blew threw here. We had six species visit! We had the pleasure of hosting a immature rose-breasted grosbeak for two days - it was a rush!

I think I shall go chase cowbirds now!! :p

#99630 February 8th, 2007 at 10:22 PM
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Yep those Are Cowbirds alright. The glossy gunmetal blue of the bodies with the brown heads are UNMISTAKABLE on the males. And they ALWAYS flock like that.

#99631 February 8th, 2007 at 10:57 PM
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I didn't have cowbirds until last year--Thorny ID'd them for me.....It's sad what they do with the nests and eggs, but they don't bother me too much.....they don't seem to hang around too much after spring in my yard.

#99632 February 8th, 2007 at 11:33 PM
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Jane here is a picture I drew of a bluebird nestbox using Google SketchUp. Sketchup is a FREE 3D CAD program from Google that takes only MINUTES to learn.

These nestboxes should be placed on a fencepost facing a clear area, preferably facing East. It is best to have them AT LEAST 100 yards from any buildings or other bluebird boxes but you may sTILL get bluebirds if you put them close to your house. I have before.

Chickadees, Titmouses, Wrens, and Nuthatches may also use the nest boxes and this is great! They are wonderful birds to have nest in your yaRD, TOO. I used to build and put up 100 or more of these nest boxes every year but don't have enough room for a work area right now.

NESTBOX- Suitable for bluebirds and many other species
[Linked Image]

#99633 February 8th, 2007 at 11:41 PM
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Thorny,
How high up do you put it? I face my neighbors yard and I think they won't mind if I put one in their yard. But, I'm still thinking our fence post.

It turns out that my neighbor who passed away 1 1/2 years ago had a pair of bluebirds that lived in his back porch flowers... so, I think the bluebirds around here might be flexible.

#99634 February 8th, 2007 at 11:57 PM
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About 5 feet above the ground. Sorry, I forgot to mention that.

#99635 February 9th, 2007 at 02:34 PM
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tree swallows will move ino bluebird houses too thumbup
And Jane if you put more than 1 bluebird house up, 2 blubird families will not nest close to each other but will nest near other species.

#99636 February 9th, 2007 at 03:06 PM
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Thanks Wrennie,
That's cool. If they will nest near other birds it just might work. I just cant get anywere near 100ft from the other activity. I probably can't do 20 ft.


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