Feeder Highlight Reel...

From Oak Harbor, Ohio, Kim writes: In Kenn’s last post he offered great information about White-winged Crossbills, including areas to focus your search for them in the field. I just wanted to add that you shouldn’t rule out a visit to your feeding station! Several years ago a White-winged Crossbill visited one of my feeders (in central Ohio) for a couple of days. This individual went strictly for sunflower seeds, and had no trouble using that wicked-cool bill to reach through the screened sides of the feeder to pull out seeds, which it scarfed down like a champ!

The feeder was a large hopper-style with plastic-coated wire sides. I actually got a photo of “my” bird, and--if you stop looking at the cool bird for a second--you can see the type of feeder I’m describing so rottenly.

Aren't they just the coolest birds?!

Kenn and I don't keep life lists, per se, but we do keep a list of birds that we see in our yard. Ahem...Okay, we also count birds that we see FROM our yard. In fact, full disclosure here, there have been a number of times that we were out running, spotted a bird that we thought we could see from our yard, and sprinted all the way home to get it for the yard list. Crazy? Yeah. But hey, wouldn't you race home to get a Bald Eagle or a Trumpeter Swan on your yard list? Be honest now....

We've had some really great birds on our yard list, (and lots of good exercise racing home so we could count some of them too...) but the crossbill remains one of my all-time “yard bird” highlights.

If anyone else is willing to share their own favorite yard birds, I'd love to hear about them.


  1. I saw my first red-headed woodpecker at my hanging feeder a few years ago.

  2. What a great yard bird! Was it eating peanuts? I've had great success attracting woodpeckers with--what my bird feeding supply store refers to as--"Peanut Rejects." : ) The're out of the shell and a bit broken up, but apparently still pretty yummy if you're a woodpecker.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I get the regular yard birds. The most exotic bird I have had eating at one of my stations is a red bellied woodpecker. I am in New England so am hoping some of the northern birds will pay me a visit soon.

  4. At this point just about any bird at our feeder is a favorite bird!

    We started "seriously" keeping track of what we see just a couple of weeks ago and love it. We get a lot of Titmice, Nuthatches, Carolina Chickadees, and Cardinals but our favorites so far are the Red bellied and Pileated woodpeckers that climb down the sweetgum trees to "attack" our suet feeder. It's funny to see chunks of suet fly into the air as they peck at it.

  5. my favorite yard bird is probably the woodcock I saw displaying in the field behind my house a few years back......plus the occasional screech owl who hangs out in the windbreak and drives my feeder birds crazy

  6. The red-headed woodpecker was eating the regular millet, sunflower seed, and cracked corn mix in my feeder. It wast the last thing I ever expected!

  7. Kim:

    Just found your blog and haven't had a chance to read much yet, but I wanted to put in what has to be the coolest yard bird ever - Osprey!

    That might not be so unusual in some areas, but I am in SW Ohio, about 5 miles from the Ohio River and about 15 miles from East Fork State Park, which has been known to host Osprey.

    I have seen one twice, both times in May. Once, circling my neighbor's pond and the other time, one was carrying a fish and landed in a tree across the road. I set up my (newly acquired) scope and watched it devour more than half of it's meal before flying away with the leftovers.

    Other cool yard birds from teh past include bobwhites, horned larks, and a ring-necked pheasant.


  8. My coolest yard bird must be the Long-eared Owl that I found in a hemlock in the woods. I have also had a Hoary Redpoll with 100+ Common Redpolls, which got local birders rushing to my place!


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