Gardening is for the Birds

I love gardening and I love birds and the two go hand in hand.

At our last home in Seattle, our yard was a Certified Wildlife Habitat, which means it was wildlife friendly; we planted native shrubs and trees, had water sources, and feeders. I hung nectar for the hummingbirds and seed and suet for the others, but it was the chickadees that captured my heart.

I didn’t take many pictures in those days so I can’t find any of the birds. But I did manage to find a few of my garden to share.

At our new home in Renton – it will always be new to me though we’ve been here 12 years – we’re surrounded by evergreen trees. We’ve also added shrubs and water sources, including a stream that turns on with the flip of a switch where birds come to drink.

I still love the chickadees. I hear them calling to one another in the trees above before they drop down for a drink.

They share their home with other regulars

and even welcome rare golden headed visitors.

Golden Crowned Kinglet
Townsend’s Warbler

And how could I forget the beautiful Anna’s hummingbirds who come by daily to feed?

Now before I go, I have one more thing to show you.

The Snag

A few years ago we noticed one of our evergreen trees was dying. We had an arborist come and take a look and he suggested that rather than removing it, we should leave a snag for the birds, as nature does. We’re so glad we did! The flickers love it. We even had an owl one night – what a treat! 🙂

Sharing this with Sunday Stills Challenge because it’s National Bird Feeding month and I’m a bird feeder! 🙂 .

~ Susanne

38 Comments on “Gardening is for the Birds

    • Thanks so much John! We weren’t sure at first about the snag as neither we nor the neighbors liked how it looked! 😄 But now it’s part of the landscape and the birds love it! I’m really glad we left it. 😊

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  2. Your “new” garden is amazing as I’ve noted before, Susanne. And what a wonderful place for birds to gather, feed, drink and feel safe and loved! I’m sure they thrive and give you hours of pleasure. The hummer is spectacular and so colorful! I’m sure the snag is a haven for more birds! Great owl capture–working on one of those myself!

    • Thanks so much, Terri! I’m happy that so many birds visit daily; I truly delight in watching them! And I’m always happy to catch a male Anna’s Hummingbird showing off his color!😍

      And I’m so glad we kept the snag. The woodpeckers love it and seeing the owl was a bonus, though I hope to get a better picture the next time he drops by! 😄

  3. You create paradises, Susanne! 🙂 Neat snag and wonderful bird captures. Chickadees are my favorite, too. Red Sky Gallery in Lake Forest Park is featuring Shoreline artist Paul Lewing this month, including a great painting called ‘Madrone & Chickadees’ from his ‘Bark & Birds’ series (#23 in the list on the page below). I bet you would like it:

  4. Wow! You have a bird paradise! I’m terrible at bird photography… I usually take pictures of empty branches moments after they’ve flown. We have some Flickers who visit along with some woodpeckers. They insist on putting holes in the porch posts!

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I’m fortunate to have birds living in, or visiting my backyard daily so I got lots of practice! 😊

  5. Very nice, Susanne. You’ve created two great gardens there. Chickadees are such cute little birds and any kind of sighting or photo of an owl is a treasure.

  6. You did well to photograph the owl. We have owls in our oak trees, but I have never seen one yet. I only ever hear them calling at night.
    (Did they build the new houses behind you yet? I can’t remember.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Thanks, Pete. It was such a thrill to see the owl. And yes, there’s now a quiet neighborhood of big, expensive, box houses behind us. I used to have so many more birds in my yard when the woods were still there.

  7. Beautiful yards, both of them! The first one looks like an English garden. Your chickadees look different from ours, is that a Mountain Chickadee?

      • Ok, we have the black-capped one, and I have seen the chestnut backed one somewhere but not around here. Great blog post!

  8. I hope at some point your “new” habitat will be visited by some brown-headed cowbirds. I think those are still in western Washington, we had them at our farm in Maple Valley years ago. And we have them here in the Willamette Valley. Why these birds? Because they have calls that sound very much like babbling creeks! Perfect imitations of water coursing over rocks in a shallow stream. The first time I heard them I went looking for a leaking water pipe bubbling out, but then our old-timey farm manager who had a lifetime of wildlife and wild bird knowledge explained that the sound was actually coming from a nesting flock of these plain brown birds!

    • Interesting. I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing the brown-headed cowbird but I’ll keep a watch out and will be listening for its call.

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