February is National Bird-feeding Month. The Sunday Stills photo challenge has shared this theme three years in a row to educate the public on the seasonal journeys of birds, and help bring awareness to keeping wild birds fed during the harsh winter months in the northern hemisphere.

“National Bird Feeding Month is a chance for bird feeders, watchers, and anyone else who is feeling in the spirit to extend a hand out to our flying friends.”

National Today
Hummingbird quartet at feeder
The feeder has called!

I included these Annas hummingbirds from when I lived in California. Although I haven’t personally seen hummers in 2021, they do live here in Spokane, WA, but they usually migrate south for the winter.

This year, dozens of local birders have reported hummers are wintering in various areas of Washington state including Eastern Washington. According to a birding group I follow on Facebook, many avid birders have provided warming areas and heated feeders to help these hummers stick around since they are not migrating like they used to. Please feel free to share your ideas if you are a PNW birder with your experiences, theories, and ideas in the comments.

Although the temps were COLD, the sun was out all week and birds were flocking around the neighbor’s established feeders.

This pretty Anna was part of a family of hummingbirds that lived near my Dad’s home in the Sierra Nevada foothills. They were so tame and focused on feeding, I could get ridiculously closer with my lens’ zoom!

Some Ideas for Celebrating National Bird Feeding Month (source)

Put a feeder in your yard
If you haven’t already, put different feeders in your yard to attract different kinds of birds. Foods you can leave out include birdseed mixture, lard, and beef suet, meaty canned pet food, brown or white rice, crumbled bread, and much more.

Add a place with water
Birds struggle to get non-frozen water in the winter. If possible, adding a heated birdbath, fountain or even a large bowl of warm water would help greatly. Birds often gather in places where food, shelter, and water are reliable, so try to be consistent and generous.

Do some bird watching
Keep an eye on the birds that make a pit stop in your yard. Maybe the one that stops to use your water, the one who feeds, or the one that sings on your fence. Either way, try and spot the pattern and identify their species.

I hope my half-acre backyard can attract birds this season now that 8 trees have been planted. In any case, I will follow the advice listed above and put a couple of feeders out this weekend. The change of seasons from winter to spring cannot come soon enough.

“With March comes in the pleasant spring, when little birds begin to sing; To build their nests, to hatch their brood. With tender care provide them food.”

Unknown

Does a change of certain seasons bring more birds to your feeders, or fewer? If you can feed your backyard birds this February, you can be the change by extending a helping hand to our wonderful birds.

Umm, You’re Not a Bird, Deer!

Soon we will have to put 5-6 foot fences around the new trees to keep the deer from nibbling the bark and the tender new shoots. Mule deer will try every trick in the book for a tasty treat!

Feeding deer
Deer trying to eat from bird feeder

As you can see, these stubborn mule deer will eat anything! This is my oddsquare entry this week!

No Feeders Needed

Bald eagle eating fish
Bald Eagle Feasting on a Fish

In late November we took the one-hour drive to Lake Coeur D’Alene in Idaho to view the winter fishing grounds of the American Bald Eagle during the kokanee salmon run. Several other photographers and I had our eyes on a couple of eagles as they fished. Reward!

Enjoy a past gallery of birds feeding.

This was captured in Baja, Mexico in 2010. Old cell phone shot!

Falcon feeding on a fish
Falcon snags a fish

Communicating with Nature

“Birding is our most democratic way to connect to nature, because birds are everywhere – from inner cities to the deepest wilderness.”

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

Communication is Marsha’s theme for Writer’s Quote Wednesdays this week as she explores the art of socializing and relationship-building. What better way to accomplish this than with our fellow bloggers? Marsha challenges us to quote our blogging friends!

“Relationships are like birds. If you hold tightly, they die. If you hold loosely, they fly. But if you hold with care, they remain with you forever.”

What does this have to do with feeding birds? It may be a stretch (but that’s what I do with these challenges, right?) If you don’t believe birds socialize, just check out Wayne’s posts from Tofino Photography as he discusses his relationship with his Bald Eagle buddy “The Daredevil” in one of his recent comments:

“I always so enjoy spending time with him (the Daredevil)! I always smile! When I talk to him he sometimes makes these funny faces at me as if he doesn’t have a clue what I’m saying.”

Wayne, Tofino Photography

For more information on feeding birds during winter months, visit Audubon Guide to Winter Bird Feeding.

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who share their bird photos.

I am looking forward to reading how you feed the birds during any season. Please join me next Sunday for the monthly color challenge–amethyst. To give you an idea, the range of the colors is below.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Bitmoji Birding

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131 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Are You a #Bird Feeder?

  1. I hope you get many visitors in your backyard Terri. If (I mean when) I have my own house (I live in an apartment now) I will definitely have bird feeders during the winter. The most common birds visiting the bird feeders here during winter are bullfinch, great tit, and blue tit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that closeup of the humming bird, Terri. Actually, you have lots of lovely shots here. We had to get rid of our bird feeder, as we were attracting too many unwanted critters. We did hang a hummingbird feeder at our cabin though, and so loved watching them. The most interesting animal I saw eating from a bird feeder was a bear in Alaska. Our friends had strung the feeder on a line trying to keep it out of reach. The bear climbed on the patio, pulled down on the string, and when the feeder was just short of his mouth, sucked out the seeds with his powerful breath. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Christie, and for stopping by! I’m hearing more about folks having to take down their feeders due to unwanted critter attraction. That story of the bear eating from the feeder sounds hilarious and slightly scary! They’re omniverous!

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  3. I fed the backyard birds for years, then a new neighbor moved in and left his dog out 24/7/365 and never cleaned up – within months we had a rat problem. The pest control service said to stop feeding and watering the birds – it broke my heart. I feed the hummingbirds, but two feeders, got one hummingbird and I named her Hope (a Ruby-Throated Hummer). She is fickle and shows up sometimes, mostly not. I feed the birds at the park where I walk every day. They come looking for me when I start on the trail.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I was devastated Terri as I fed them for years and had a butterfly garden as well. My hummingbird is rather fickle about showing up – two feeders, no “Hope”. I like the Annas Hummingbirds you showed. I know Wayne (Tofino Photography) follows your blog and his posts about his Annas Hummers at dusk sipping merrily are also a delight to see.

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  4. Have a great week too. Your photos are stellar. I was just telling Amy I am on a mission to scare away the birds from my strawberries. Like your deer, the are fabulous fun and…in my way. I guess I should look though from older photos.

    It must have been fantastic to see the eagles at Lake Couer D Alene. It is a beautiful area anyway, but to see that. Just wow.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. Once I heard about Lake CDA, we now go there every season to watch the eagles hunt. There are quite a few nearby the lake we live near but I would have to go sit by the lake–I’m waiting for warmer weather! Anything from your archives about birds would be welcomed!

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  5. Terri,
    I’m a little late this week, but I never miss Sunday Stills. Your pictures are so very good. I love the Grosbeak–we don’t see those very often. The Wild Turkeys are interesting because the ones in East Tennessee are much darker in color.
    Helen feeds sunflower seeds to our birds. We have Red Cardinals, Chickadees, Finches, both Gold and Purple, Blue Jays, and Towhees. Feeding is discouraged in our neighborhood because the dropped seeds attract skunks, so we pull the feeders inside in the summer.
    Keep up the good work and have a great week! Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joe! We have seen wild turkeys everywhere, even here. I fell over when I realized they could fly as shown in the one image of them on tope of the telephone pole at our old home. Are you still enjoying SoCal? Supposed to be quite warm this week there! Funny about the skunks. Poor birds, they can’t catch a break, can they?

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  6. We are blessed with many birds visiting our garden, but our winters are now so mild that there is plenty of food for them, Terri. However, I am terrible at taking photos of them because they seem to know the right time to fly off. The other problem with birdfeeders is that because we live by the coast, seagulls scare all the little birds away whenever any food is put out.

    The birds you have featured are so colourful and different to the bird population we have. I’ve never seen a hummingbird other than in pictures or on film, so it’s great to see them close up in your photography.

    And you got to laugh at those cheeky deer trying to get in on the act with the bird feeders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Hugh! Feeders can be tricky as you say because they can attract unwanted guests! I’m glad you like the hummingbirds. They are such amazing little things and can get quite tame to let me take some pics and territorial. They will guard the feeders and will chase off bigger birds. I’m hoping to attract some now that we have trees planted!

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  7. I need to ask Becky how she goes about bird feeding. We have several cats in the neighbourhood and I don’t want to lure them to waiting on the birds. There are a couple of lemon trees in the gardens at the back of ours and the babies flutter about in Spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Paul! Sometimes the feeders bring unwanted critters–we hated the darn squirrels, but I often saw possums, raccoons and crows thinking they could push away the hummers. Boy were they wrong–those hummers were frightful!

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  8. Wow… what a beautiful bird image collection! Love the first hamm capture. Lovely deer. 🙂 The Bald Eagle is my favorite. Some years ago, we had woodpeckers raised babies in our backyard. I’ll be back with a few photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Terri, great post and you have a lot of birds! This past year (we) in our part of the world were asked to stop feeding the birds through bird feeders………the birds were dropping dead from the feeders……something toxic the birds were spreading. I have always been “a bread over the fence girl.” That way, I get a birds and critters! Now, the birds know this and wait for me in my spot and then the squirrels show up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cady! I hope for more birds to visit our backyard this spring. I follow a birding group on Facebook and people offer caution and tips on best practices for feeding birds. We used to have so many squirrels in our yard and trees in Sacramento, I don’t miss them!

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  10. Last year when we stayed home due to Covid I did the Birdfeeder watch project for Birds Canada.I loved doing it and seeing all the birds survive despite the cold and snow. We only get hummers in the summer . They do not stay for our Ontario winters.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s good to know February is bird-feeding month, Terri. I feed hummingbirds all year round. There’s a baby hummingbird born in my garden in 2018 and it’s still around. It doesn’t go anywhere. His (it’s a Ruby throated male) mama and perhaps one sibling come by every now and then. In the summer, I feed mourning doves, house finches, sparrow, and a few beautiful birds that hopped in every now and then. You got beautiful birds. 🙂

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  12. Nearly a decade ago now we used to feed magpies a slice of bread in the evening…until our young labrador pup decided any food on the ground was dog tucker, and hunted them. Probably bead was not all that healthy in their diet anyway. A proper birder feeder is on my list of projects to build this year ….someone hopes!

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  13. These are all such great shots Terri, the deer eating from the bird-feeder is my favourite! You have such an array of shots and they all tell a great story. I also note you’ve changed your theme – nice 🙂

    I wrote a post recently about the Empty Nest and so didn’t do a new post this week – I’m hoping it’s OK to share it here with you.

    The Empty Nest

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  14. Here on Kiawah we are a stopover for many amazing bird species, and our resident birds are amazing as well. Each year our naturalists do a bird count and attach tracking information to the birds they capture, measure and release. Residents are invited to participate and it’s truly fascinating. One of these days I’ll do a photography outing with them but in the meanwhile, my post this week features a few birds, including my header, so I’ll link to it here. https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2022/02/06/lens-artists-challenge-185-change/. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Gorgeous capture and details of the Anna! Great shots of the Eagle eating its fish and all your gallery shots, Terri. That Acorn Woodpecker is a delight, I would love to see one of those, very pretty! Yes, I am a bird feeder also, not only do we all provide for the birds, it brings delightful entertainment and is quite the stress reliever!! 🙂 And distractor, lol, seems house chores come second fiddle to bird feeder watching some times. 😉 I have three feeders but really do not take photos of my birds at them, except when they are sitting on top of the wire, to add to my wire series. I like to photograph the ones up in the trees watching for a chance to score their turn at the feeder or chillin’ after filling their belly.

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    1. Thank so much, Donna! My camera does a great job with the littles and the huges, LOL! When we lived in Sacramento, I’d try to get work done in my office which overlooked our deck and of course several trees and bird feeders–huge distraction! I always had my lumix ready and would sit still right outside and stalk the birds! It really is a great stress reliever!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL I have that setup now. 😉 I am watching birds right now while I am reading blogs and having my 3:00pm coffee. Camera is ready at the back deck door ten feet away. My binoculars are on my desk. I love it!!

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  16. I started feeding birds when we lived in the Seattle area and continue most of our until we went to live in a senior facility. There is a perfect area here and I see feeders on neighbors’ yards. I find water is the most you can add for the birds. The Idaho bird list report seeing Anna hummingbirds wintering in the Boise area. Most of my feeding birds are not very good. Keeping deer out of orchards has long been a problem. There was a late deer hunt to discourage deer feeding in the orchards of Eastern Washington state.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know so much about our area, BL, it’s always a pleasure to read your tidbits of knowledge about Idaho and Washington. This weekend, I put the long bird feeder out. I’ve seen a few flitting around the neighbor’s yard, so maybe they’ll stop by my backyard for a treat!

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  17. Terri, Yes, I am a bird feeder! I never knew there was a National Bird Feeding Month! I have one feeder filled with seeds and when the hummingbirds are around I have three hummingbird feeders. Love your deer photos!

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  18. Great photos, Terri. I love the “you’re not a bird, deer!” My brain read the word dear instead of deer. As I scrolled I thought I would see a picture of Hans. Imagine my surprise when the “dear” I pictured turned out to really be deer. And mule deer, no less. LOL Thanks for including the link to Tofino Photography. Great way to use quotes from our blogging friends. It’s a great way to communicate. BTW, I read a book you’d like yesterday. I couldn’t put it down. It’s called Talk to Me by T. C. Boyle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marsha! We had a fun day in Coeur D’Alene yesterday. I found a perfect sofa on sale and a…totem pole…6 feet tall! More about all that later! Heehee, glad you liked my odd deer and its headline. Your book sounds good! I think I got burned out reading so many non-fiction and text books all these years, I haven’t read any lately!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I look forward to seeing your new couch. A totem pole, that wasn’t on the shopping list was it? LOL

        Since I did my interview with the “What’s On Your Bookshelf?” gang, I want to read more, review less. I reviewed so many books a few years ago that I totally burned out on reviewing. Not only that, I’d get requests from authors to read their books and they would send them to me unsolicited by email. It got so that I was reading so many books on demand that I didn’t have time to read for pleasure. Natalie and Donna, Deb, Jo and Sue have given us permission to read what we want to read and not have to do a review. That appeals to me because 1. I keep track of what I’ve read, and 2. I can still read for pleasure.

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      2. That’s an important point, Marsha. I feel that I want to share a brief review of the indie authors I read that are fellow bloggers. I get the best books by mostly reading bloggers’ books. I have to admit the totem pole has been on my wish list for 20 years, and more acutely so since we moved to the Northwest. A Seattle artist sent the one I got and some other wood sculptures to the Furniture store we visited. I’m researching how to authentically paint it.

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      3. Yours is unpainted? I missed that. What a wonderful post opportunity of the process of painting a totem pole. I’d need numbers that matche the right colors and then I could paint in the lines.

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  19. We’re loaded with zooming hummingbirds in the summer, Terri, but I don’t see them in the winter. I know that keeping full and fresh nectar is extremely important in the spring before the flowers are out to feed them. During the winter, we feed thrushes, doves, and of course, the jays, and a cheeky owl. Plus the chipmunks and squirrels and occasional deer. Lol. Beautiful photos. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Diana! I would love to have a cheeky owl near us, I do hear them randomly at night. Your backyard sounds amazing. This is when I miss my former backyard, but I will give it time. Our mostly bare backyard likely needs more shade before the hummers hang out. Our neighbor’s yard is full of deer and birds, but they have huge pines and have established their area, so the birds go there first. We did have some swallows last spring trying to roost in the grill, so we stopped that quickly! I have to buy more hummer liquid, I think mine froze, LOL!

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  20. I had to laugh at your question asking if I am a bird feeder. Several years ago I would have said NO! But since then, I have purchased 2 feeders. And then we feed stray kitties and the birds share in the kitty food. So, YES, I am a bird feeder.
    Always enjoy your photos and awestruck by your captures. The falcon feasting on its cactus perch. The colors of the woodpecker. The amazing hummingbird shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Leslie! You know I have to come up with a catchy post title 🙂 How nice to get the feeders going and feed the kitties and birds! Hopefully the kitties don’t get any grandiose ideas about a feathered treat!

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  21. A wonderful collection of photos for your take on the #SundayStills challenge, Terri. Lately, we’ve been “invaded” by a large flock of grackles at our Arizona home. A future story on my blog will feature some images of these marauders who have created more problems than they should.
    One hummingbird in our neighborhood spends time high on the tallest branch of a neighbor’s tree. He is usually not there in the morning, but throughout the day, he makes his rounds, eventually returning to his high perch where he can keep an eye on what’s going on around him. Unfortunately, the tree is too far away for me to get a good photo even with my 300 mm telephoto.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, John! I have to admit only a few cell-phone photos in this post, but I was pleased with the first hummer and the eagle, of course! Those little hummers are SO territorial and aggressive–but strong and mighty! It’s crazy that some local birders are reporting seeing them her in Eastern WA this time of year.

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