Wildlife From My Backyard Window

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Living in the country has always been a dream of mine. My husband and I moved here 28 years ago and we have been feeding the birds the entire time. We get a huge variety of birds and I do not have pictures of them all. Most of the pictures below I took in the past few days from inside my house, through the window and with my phone camera so please don’t judge the quality of my pictures. Yes it is time to buy a new seed feeder too, however, the birds don’t seem to mind!

 

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The first thing I see out my backyard window is this pond I put in with Koi size Goldfish. Most of my goldfish have been eaten by the Blue Heron and Egret that love to visit for breakfast, I have 5 fish remaining that are about 7 – 8 years old. I leave the fish in the pond all year long. In the winter I put an air stone in to keep the water from freezing and so the fish can breathe. I do not feed the fish from mid October until April because they are hibernating.

 

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A Swallowtail Butterfly is always a welcome sight. If you have never planted a butterfly bush you should.

 

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This Hawk was injured and was sitting on the steps to our front porch. After we caught it we took it to a rehabilitation center a few miles from our house.

 

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Snakes love to visit and the snake that shed this skin left it for me under a downspout extension.

 

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Hummingbirds come every year and they eat out of the Oriole feeders too. Once the Orioles leave, I change over to Hummingbird feeders to help keep the wasps from getting into the feeder. I make my own Hummingbird and Oriole food which is just 1/4 cup granulated sugar to 1 cup water. The mixture is boiled and then cooled to kill any bacteria. Coloring the water red is not necessarily as the red food coloring is not good for the birds and they will eat from the feeder anyway. My Orioles always leave by summer but the Hummingbirds stay until early October.

 

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We get Egrets and Blue Herons every year at our pond.

 

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My poor husband found this hornets nest in our apple tree when they attacked him while cutting the grass!

 

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The Blue Jay wasn’t happy that the Red-Bellied Woodpecker was in his Spot.

 

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I was picking blueberries when this fawn came to visit. Mama was no where to be seen.

 

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My husband found this hawk dead in our yard. It probably was hit by a car.

 

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The Oriole tells me when the food is gone! The other birds that eat the seed do the same thing only they will tap on the window too. The only time they do this is when the need food.

 

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The Bluebird surprised me by showing up early and before I could get the screens up.

 

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We get frogs in the pond too. In this picture I had a net over the pond to keep the Blue Heron and Egret from eating my fish.

 

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The Robins are one of the first birds to migrate here. Our lawn is full of worms which they love. My granddaughter took this picture for me as the Robins don’t come close to the house.

 

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A male Cardinal coming in for a landing with the Grosbeak.

 

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The female Cardinal is here all year long along with the male.

 

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A male Goldfinch just checking out the other birds.

 

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The Female Cardinal, House Finch and Morning Dove look like they are waiting for the door to open!

 

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A female Goldfinch drinking from the Oriole feeder. They also eat the oranges and grape jelly on the other Oriole feeder.

 

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The Grackle birds scare all the other birds away and throw the seeds everywhere.

 

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Blue Jays are here all year long.

 

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Getting mooned by one Oriole, while a male is on the back of the feeder. You can see him through the glass.

 

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The Orioles and Gold Finches actually get along.

 

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I have a migration of Orioles that come every year. I put 3 feeders out a week before they migrate here. That way I make sure they nest here. I go through multiple jars of grape jelly and 1 orange every other day.

 

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House Sparrows seem to come in groups.

 

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Morning Doves love to sit here.

 

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The Female Orioles are so dark this year.

 

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This Red Headed Woodpecker surprised me by showing up for the first time ever this year.

 

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Last but not least is my nightmare since moving in here. The ugliest looking thing on our 2-1/2 acres. The Moles have done so much damage to our yard, asparagus, rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries and the entire vegetable garden every year. They make tunnels under the ground digging through all our fruit and vegetable plants which dries out the roots and kills the plants. We do not spray our yard so we have grubs and tons of worms that the Moles love to eat. I killed this one in early spring by sticking a smoke bomb in an active tunnel. The next day this is what I found.

Thank you for sharing our backyard with me. Being stuck at home is never boring at our house, it is like living at the Metro Parks. Of course we have the typical skunk, squirrels, opossum, raccoons, woodchucks and more but most of them come out at night and I do not have pictures of them.

http://www.InDianesKitchen.com

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149 Comments »

    • I bought them from the store. I think they are like a nerve gas. They only work if they are near the run where you put it in. I have probably used 20 and only 2 have worked but killing the mole.

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  1. Absolutely lovely…and nice photography, too. When my sister and I were kids, the best present we ever bought our mom was her first camera so she could photograph the birds that came to visit her garden and bird feeders.

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    • Thanks Lena! It took me many years to get use to the snakes, I still don’t like them! Twice I had them get caught in the netting at my pond! One died and started to decompose before I found him. It was so gross getting him out. The other had eaten something, maybe one of my fish and when he went through the hole in the net he got stuck by the lump in his body from eating! It was caught right at the filter that I pull out and clean everyday. My husband tried to cut him out of the net but he was aggressive so I had to use a shovel to cut his head off. I don’t like to kill nature but it was him or me! Lol

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Did you know that the common feeder goldfish you buy in stores is a nice addition to ponds? They are extremely inexpensive and I have had them winter over some for 3 years until something catches it. They grow fast!

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    • That is what my koi size goldfish are..lol I paid for 100 feeder goldfish for $10.00 about 8 years ago. I figured as small as they were I would put 50 on each side. When I got home and counted them, there was closer to 150! Then once they got bigger and some eaten, they started laying eggs! One year every spot in the ponds were covered in eggs, even the filter system. To keep them from being eaten by the egret and blue heron I put a net over them. I did that for years and this year I removed the net and floated black plastic milk crates in the ponds. The fish hide in them and under them and the birds haven’t eaten them yet. I also added a non toxic blue dye to make it harder to see the fish. So far so good!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OK Diane – spill it: How do you get such beautiful pics of your birds?? I have a great 35mm camera but cannot get my birds to sit still long enough for me to run get it and get back to take the pic?!? Your pictures are AMAZING!! And what is with the Egrets & Herrons in your yard?? Do you live in WI yet? Maybe a swampy part? LOL So jealous…not only a great cook but a fantastic photographer too!!

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    • You are so kind! I just sit in my Lazy Boy recliner, zoom my iPhone camera and shoot. They are right outside the window. We have fed them for so many years They could care less about us unless the food runs out. The only reason I get the Egrets and Blue Heron is because they are hungry and want to eat my goldfish! We live in Ohio, no swamp here…lol

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Some wonderful photos!!! Love it!! Alas, I too am plagues by moles and voles. The latter I find particularly annoying as they eat the roots of the grass! The worst lawn culprits are the boars who seem to bring in a plough in their grub hunt! Stay Well.

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    • Hi Joanna! I have an Recycled Plastic Poly-Lumber Oriole feeder. If you Google it you will see the picture. They cost about $40 and worth every penny. I have had mine for years and the Orioles love it. It has two cups for the jelly and two spikes to put the orange halves on. I also have two Oriole sugar water feeders. It won’t matter where you put it as they don’t care. I have a sugar water feeder right outside my window and they are there all day long. The other two feeders are about 50 feet from the window and next to my pond and bird bath. Good luck because it is so much fun watching them!

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  5. Wow, such a beautiful menagerie of wildlife, gorgeous yard! What part of the country do you live? It looks a lot like the Northwest? Thanks for sharing the view from your window of life Diane. That was a treat! C

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  6. Wow your backyard seems amazing. Awesome on the hawk rescue and I loved all the bird photos! Poor mole! When I lived in Seattle we were plagued by moles but our two miniature schnauzers at the time would hunt them and my husband even kept a chalk board with a running tally of which schnauzer killed more moles (they are natural “mousers”).
    When I lived in Central Oregon, we used to have a lot of bird feeders, but neighborhood kitties would sit underneath them (or hide in the bushes near them) and we used to joke that we were creating a: Natural Selection Convention at our house because any birds not paying attention would be grabbed by a kitty!

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    • I wish I would never have to leave. I dread the day we move, when we downsize. It is a lot of work and the older we get the harder it is getting. We are hoping to stay another 10 years. Thank you Katie!

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing these and all the stories behind them. I love your yard. It seems so peaceful. The pictures are really good so don’t apologize.

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  8. Wow! Amazing birds, but I think I like the spiderweb best. Question about moles – would it make a difference to put chicken wire (or something similar) under all the vegetable beds? Or gravel? Or are moles like squirrels – able to get around anything?

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    • They can tunnel down pretty deep and stay underground. They will dig through any type of soil they can. If there is stone, they just go deeper. If I put the chicken wire in they would go on top of it and/or below it. It was a nice thought though!!!! I have tried every suggestion on the internet…gum, glass, smoke bombs, traps and even a buzzer rod that you put in the ground. I have been lucky 3 times with the smoke bombs and that’s it. The only sure fire way to get them is to step down the mounds and runs then sit and wait for the dirt to start popping up. Then I manual remove the little critter with my small 2 prong pitch fork. I usually don’t bother with them except when they get into the garden or flowers. 2 & 1/2 acres and guess where their favorite place is…ugh.

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  9. WOW, what beauty you can see out your window. The photos are wonderful thank you for sharing them. Sorry about the moles and the damage they have made. It brings me joy to see you have so many birds coming to your backyard. Hugs

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    • It is so peaceful and wonderful seeing so much wildlife. I have always been an outdoors girl. I use to camp all the time before I met my husband. I even had a motorhome. He hated camping so we compromised by moving here. This place reminds me of camping. We have had many peoples camp out in our yard. So much fun!

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      • You and I would get along very well. For years I camped out on the river every weekend in the summer with hubby and friends. Your place is just beautiful and I would having a place like that. I love it out with the wildlife.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes we would! As a child we camped every weekend on a river until a flood destroyed our camper (we left it on the site). We fished, hunted for mushrooms and asparagus. My Dad liked collecting Indian relics so he got permission from farmers and we walked the fields for arrowhead etc. We didn’t have a lot of money so we enjoyed nature.

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      • Sorry about your camper. Those floods while on the river are no fun. We almost got washed away in one in northern OK. I really miss those camping times they were so much fun. Too old now though to camp.

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  10. I loved seeing all your visiting friends! I hope to see all those birds when we get back to Pennsylvania!

    and yes… those darn moles are horrible! and not very photogenic!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. PS I had the crazy-mole-subdivision when I lived in Days Creek. And then in the summer the black faced hornets would move into their holes and attack me when I mowed the lawn. I feel for your husband!!

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  12. I enjoyed all the birdie pics, Diane, thanks for sharing! I grew up and lived in the country until a few years ago when I married my second husband and moved into town where he lived. I sure miss it.
    Over the last couple of years, moles have destroyed my yard as well. I don’t spay my yard either; I read that the runoff of pesticides, fertilizers, and week killers (mostly from people’s yards) has gotten into our groundwater, and is also bad for wildlife. I’m hoping they’ll eventually find new hunting grounds, but I’m not holding my breath. 😬😬😬

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      • In all these years I have had luck twice with smoke bombs and nothing else. My only true method is to walk down all the mounds and sit there with a small 2 prong type of pitch fork. As soon as the ground starts to move I stab and get them. It can take hours and even days. With the grandkids here I can’t spend all that time outside so I thought I would try the trap.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I loved this post Diane and I am so envious of what you see from your window – the pond is pretty and peaceful with that bench out there and I’d want to sit there all day. I miss feeding the birds which I did (and had four birdbaths as well) for years and had to quit after we got rats from the neighbor behind. I gave away everything – feeders, food, treats and birdbaths that year. First it was the food and water had to be eliminated and then the Polar Vortex of 2013-2014 blew through and I lost so many perennials, even bushes, that I never replanted again. Maybe when I am retired as I would like to see birds again. I’ve never had a hummer or oriole feeder though and would like to try them. I agree about the butterfly bushes – they are magnets for butterflies. I had the butterfly houses too. This is such a beautiful sight to see before I shut down my computer for the night – thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Loved your post, though my heart sank at the end. I was going to joke about the next uses for the cheese cloth, and suggest that the bluebird might be an Indigo Bunting.

    However, I’m sad that you feed all the other animals and allow grubs to live but then kill the animal you are leaving the grubs for. I know that was not your intention, more likely do not want to use pesticides, although the outcome is the same. I can’t imagine dying such a horrific death.

    I was not expecting this finish to such a lovely to post about all the wildlife you feed, even those you’ve saved.

    Love you but sad.😥. Maybe TMI.❤️

    On Thu., May 7, 2020, 10:27 a.m. In Dianes Kitchen, wrote:

    > indianeskitchen posted: ” Living in the country has always been a dream of > mine. My husband and I moved here 28 years ago and we have been feeding the > birds the entire time. We get a huge variety of birds and I do not have > pictures of them all. Most of the pictures below I took ” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue I work hours and hours to grow food for us to eat. I have asparagus, blueberries, rhubarb, strawberries, an entire vegetable garden, hundreds of bulbs, flowering trees, cherry tree etc. To work as hard as I have and then have a mole destroy everything I have done is not happening. I don’t care about the lawn but once he went through our garden the war was on. BTW I have mouse traps in the basement too. They don’t come in very often but when they do I have to stop them. They have eaten holes through my walls! I love my animals but the ones that destroy my hard work have to go. I appreciate where you’re coming from and your honesty Sue. Have a great weekend. ❤️

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    • We called the next day and they said it seemed fine the next day and must have been stunned so they released it. When we found it, it wouldn’t move it’s wings so we figured it broke it’s wing. We were happy to hear the good news as well June.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Those were great pictures Diane! How lucky you are to have such a scenic backyard with so many different year round visitors. Except for the varmints of course…..I hope I don’t have my vole/moles back this year under the deck…..I’m suspicious of the digging already….

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for sharing Diane! I too love living in the country. Being in Australia our wildlife and foliage is different, however, the peace found in nature is universal. You may be interested in Glory Glory Hides (a Facebook page): our friend in Ireland takes STUNNING wildlife photos! Greetings from the Southern Hemisphere, Annabel

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! You are so right Annabel, nature is very universal. My husband and I were just talking yesterday and I told him Australia is on my bucket list. I would love it there!

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  17. Fabulous pictures!! The hawk was amazing. You never see them up close. We just moved to the country and we see the wildlife. We started to feed the birds and are amazed at who stops by for food. You have quite the back yard. Looks like a peaceful location to live. 💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautiful captures , how I love to be in such surroundings and take pictures of nature . The first picture of the cob web with the water droplets is fantastic.The captures of the birds are also awesome ,so many different varieties of them !

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  19. Aaron and I just enjoyed all these wonderful pictures! Thank you for sharing your beautiful country sights! Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow, Diane!

    P.S. I’ve cooked several of your recipes lately and they’ve all been delicious!

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    • I am so glad you and Aaron liked them. When I worked I brought my autistic woman to my house every day I had her. She loved watching them through the window. We went to all the parks we could find to enjoy all the critters. But they couldn’t come close..lol If somebody was walking a dog I had to warn her and then stand between her and the dog or she would climb right on top of me…lol I still pick up my clients occasional and we go out to dinner to catch up. I’m glad you are enjoying my recipes. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Diane, I can see how you’re always so creative and can absolutely relate to the joys (and the significant frustration) you describe. I remember my “country” and “semi-country” gardens with great pleasure and pride and even now, with my little postage stamp herb patch, I find so much comfort in watching things grow. God bless!

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    • Thank you Angela! We just bought all of our garden plants today. I have one raised bed with perennial herbs and have another with the annual herbs. Then of course all the other raised beds go for veggies. I have had two huge meals of asparagus so far and the rhubarb needs picking. Next up…planting!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you so much for sharing. I miss the country and the hummingbirds. The mice – not so much! ❤️

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  22. Oh, Diane, I loved visiting your backyard with all those wonderful birds! You have a grand variety. I have to put up my hummingbird feeder. I have not yet seen a Grosbeak at our feeder (oh, the joy!). Your yard is a blessing, thanks for sharing!! 👍❤️

    Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia bluerockhorses.com

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