“Momma, another bird!” my two year old daughter cries out, as a loud “THUD” rattles the house. That’s right, our new house, finished only four short months ago, seems to be a bird killing machine. We only wanted to have a few bird feeders, so Mya could have some “eye candy” while gazing outside. Needless to say, moving them a little further from the house, has helped a little. So no rabbit hole this time, it’s straight into the bird’s nest.
This is where my mind took this scenario. What kinds of birds are in the Western Maryland / Deep Creek Lake area? What kind of food are they after? Why are they hitting our windows, even after moving the feeders away from the house? How do I get them to stop hitting the windows, I know domesticated cats take a toll on bird populations, but houses?
Basically, there was no go to site to find the answers to all my questions, at least that I could find. Next step, what are the bird species of Western Maryland. Thus, our flight to the nest, seems to be taking off. Literally go to any search engine, and type in birds in Western Maryland. There are 436 species documented, with new species being added from time to time. I’d love to give you a breakdown on what they are, but sorry, no momma has time for that!
Next step, is to research some of the Western MD birds, I have personally seen on our feeders. Pleated woodpeckers, trying to give me a heart attack, pecking at our house. Baltimore Orioles, blue-jays, cardinals, and yellow finches. Watching my daughter look through the wrong end of the binoculars, at these birds, on a daily basis, is the cutest thing ever.
Baltimore Orioles, I remember the baseball game I went to, mainly because of the oriole’s mascot. Now I know, that it actually goes deeper. George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, was a 17th-century nobleman, whose coat of arms used the same colors. Learn more about the Baltimore Oriole here.
Such a beautiful bird, I’ve always been a fan of its bright orange color. Which oddly enough, is one of the items you can use to entice this bird, oranges. The also like jellies. The site listed above, also goes into great detail, about their mating rituals, as well as migration patterns.
Blue-Jays, sound a little like that friend we all have. You know, that friend that says they are a vegetarian, yet eats a few things, not on that menu. The friend that says they don’t like being in big groups, and then tend to pop up, amidst a big group. Reading about the blue-jay is interesting, at least from this site. It says they tend to be vegetarian, that is, other than a few beetles and grasshoppers, I think you see the trend. Like I said, we all have that friend and more often than not, they are beautiful, just like the blue jay!
Best site ever, for learning about this fun bird, which can be found in Western MD. That’s right, fun cardinal bird’s school projects. What an educational and fun way to learn about this bird. Please visit this site. Basically it explains why this particular bird could run into our windows. It states that these birds are very territorial. So much so, that they have been spotted fighting their own reflections. Another cool fact, the men are the brightly colored red, where the females have a muted coloring. I find it the opposite in humans, but I could be biased, I am a female.
Yellow finches, all I can do is stare. It’s like watching the sun in flight. These birds, with a truly all vegetarian diet, can be easily stressed out. The site below suggested, viewing them from a distance. My two cents would be, leave all wildlife alone. The only reason to touch a wild thing is if it’s in danger, and you’re either putting it out of its misery, or you can take it to someone who can help it. Find out more about yellow finches here.
Where to start, with the Pileated woodpecker? After digging around, I found a few things. This site is very informative and easily navigated. So I have to admit, I wanted some idea about how long we would be co-existing with this bird. The longest known record, as of yet, was a 12 year and eleven month old pileated woodpecker. So, I’m feeling pretty good about outlasting the one in our area. It states they stay in pairs, but I’m pretty sure this one is a lone ranger. It mentioned homeowners not being very keen on them, due to the fact that they like dead wood. Guess what, the site is right. Also, it said a big part of their diet is ants. Guess who has ants right now? This girl! Wow, this research is really starting to make sense of things.
Dear birdies, why do you slam into my windows? Is life really that bad for a bird, and that’s the only way out? So, I had somewhat of an idea, it also helped that I asked this question via my Facebook status. Basically, the birds do not see through our transparent windows. Also, it said that some see their reflection, kind of like the cardinal I mentioned earlier. I love all my friends and family on Facebook, but you tell me what you think of their suggestions. Leave the window open, put streamers on the outside of your windows, and put decals on the windows. The even more ridiculous ones, I blocked out of my mind. Yes, I love these beautiful animals as much as the next normal person. No I’m not willing to make our new home, look like a carnival ride. I will however tell you, what has helped tremendously. Put screens in your windows. The bird deaths have gone way down since we have done this!
What to do about all the feathery smears, the birds leave on your windows? Sorry 409, sorry Windex, and other window cleaners on the market. Click this site to make your own cleaner! Also, please let me know how it works. I’m already made fun of for being cheap. Although, this may not be the most educational experience you have today, I hope it was a fun one! Fly high my friends, and until my daughter naps again, be well.
photo credit: Steve took it via photopin cc
photo credit: Eric Bégin via photopin cc
photo credit: bobtravis via photopin cc
photo credit: Kelly Colgan Azar via photopin cc
photo credit: PhotosByDavid via photopin cc