Fall Feeding Frenzy

by Mary Ellen K. on September 30, 2011

Fall-Bluebird

In Northern Wisconsin, the days are getting shorter, the nights cooler and the leaves are beginning to set the woods a blaze with color. It is my favorite time of year – not just because of the change in season that you see in the landscape of our area but also because the bustle of activity in the woods now that fall has arrived. Just as people say, you can predict a cold winter or a storm coming by the things that the animals and birds in our zoos and backyards do, same is true for me with the signs of fall’s arrival.

Sock Finch Feeder

Outside of my window at work this week, I have loaded my three tube birdfeeders and two squirrel-proof birdfeeders twice in 5-days. I have had tons of finches, chickadees, and nuthatches just gorging themselves on the black oil sunflower seeds all day long. Yesterday, I saw the arrival of a Blue Jay. At home, my dog, Jager is eagerly chasing the squirrels that are stealing from our feeders and packing away for winter. The duck and geese are beginning to streak the skies heading south for the winter. The deer are seen more at the trees edges, foraging for the greener grass and foliage. All of these are signs to me that my favorite season is taking form.

Cedar-Waxwing

One of my favorite experiences that I see unfold every year outside my office window, here at Drs. Foster & Smith, is the flock of Cedar Waxwings stopover on their way to warmer climates. Once the leaves have completely fallen from the 4 berry trees outside my office, I can expect them. The trees are bare except for thousands of berries. If they pass by over a weekend, I miss them. But if they stopover during the work week, I get to enjoy the sight of hundreds of Waxwings devouring every last berry. Within 2-3 days, all of the berries are eaten and my visitors are gone just as fast as they appeared. It is an incredible sight.

What is happening in your backyard this fall? Take the time to notice and please share with all of us about the species that stopover.

[CLOSED] Enter our Red Seed Bucket Giveaway *:

For a chance to win this cool seed bucket, leave a comment on this post telling us what’s happening in your backyard this fall!

We’ll pick ONE LUCKY WINNER on Monday, October 3, 2011 at Noon CST. (Bucket only, seed not included.)

wild-bird-seed-bucket

Fall-Birds

The following are interesting articles about fall wild bird feeding, migrating and clean up tips:

Drs Foster Smith Pet Supplies logo

* One entry per person. No purchase is necessary to participate. You should be a legal resident of the United States and 18 years or older. Void where prohibited. Shipping to winner will be supplied by Drs. Foster and Smith. One lucky winner will be chosen at Noon CST on October 3, 2011. Winner will be announced on www.dfs-pet-blog.com/2011/09/bird-feeding/. Sponsor: Foster & Smith, Inc., P.O. Box 100, Rhinelander, WI 54501-0100. Employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter. Winner will be notified by email, and must reply with their shipping information within 7 days. Failure to reply within the 7 days will forfeit your prize.


Mary Ellen and her husband have two children and Jager, a lab/husky mix adopted from a local rescue organization. Mary Ellen did not grow up in a household with any pets, but it took only a few months working at Drs. Foster and Smith to make her realize she had to have one. She is a merchandising manager here and holds a BS in Business Administration and Marketing from Marquette University.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Anthony Katulski September 30, 2011 at 8:57 am

Seen everything from finches to ducks in my yard! So cool!!!!!!

Lisa Sexton September 30, 2011 at 9:13 am

We’re having a busy fall in the backyard this year! One of my passions is watching the birds and so far this fall our brown thrasher is back eating the homemade suet along with a pair of red-bellied woodpecker’s. We also have several pairs of bluebirds along with bluejay’s, finches of every kind and of course my beloved cardinals. I have a picture, taken in our backyard last winter, of a tree with 21 male cardinals in the tree at one time. We also had 16 humminbirds here all summer long. I have a picture where I captured 11 at one time at one of the feeders. You can’t beat birdwatching if you’re looking for enjoyment and relaxation! I’d love a pretty red pail to hold all the seed we go through!

Angie September 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

Well the summer birds have all left for the winter and the male & red cardinal seem to be the boss of the feeder again. I love feeding and watching the birds in my yard. It is so relaxing!

Arianna Gonzalez September 30, 2011 at 9:27 am

Hi.
I am a lab technician at the Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center. Here at the LBVESC we have a variety of native plants and animals. We also have a bird feeding station for migrating birds. Our science center is located in Laredo, Texas right on the US/Mexican border. We have several feeders set up and we have seen an assortment of beautiful birds in our feeding area.

Tammy Kniffin September 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

Great information

Nina September 30, 2011 at 9:30 am

My Blue Jays are back. They disappear every summer and don’t come back for their peanuts until the weather cools off. The squirrels are enjoying the peanuts and foraging in the sunflower seed casings for a missed kernel. The Chickadees, Nuthatches, assorted finches and the occasional Blue Jay are also enjoying the sunflower seed.

Karen September 30, 2011 at 9:51 am

We have Quail at our feeding station in the backyard here in Arizona. Have watched the babies grow since spring and there’s now about 15 that come every morning. Great fun to sit outside, eat breakfast and watch the birds.

Bonnie September 30, 2011 at 9:54 am

We have a ton of birds. We added a special feeder last weekend. My son’s 8 year old Guinea pig Brownie died. (Yep I said 8 years) He wanted a special place he could talk to Brownie. So Brownie now has a beautiful bird feeder, a perfect sitting log and a small rocky path. We hope the birds like the feeder and visit Brownie often!! We will keep it nice and full.

Kathleen Schwabenlender September 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

Chicadees love the thistle socks and cardinals and other smaller birds eat the seed in the squirrel proof feeder. (I use see with hot peppers so even if the squirrel figures out the feeder, he’s not going to like the taste of the seed. But the birds still eat them.)

Marge Heinemann September 30, 2011 at 10:10 am

I too have been loading my tube feeders like crazy. The squirrel destroyed one plastic feeder getting at the seed so I just bought a squirrel feeder. I hope he gets the memo to go there instead of the finch tubes. I too have had the finches, nut hatches, and chickadees working over my 2 tube feeders outside the front window. Such a show they put on. Blue Jays and chippies hit on the old see that I empty out of the feeders when I put the new in. The little sparrows vie with them for seed under the feeders. I have Blue Jays in the tall trees behind my house and watch them teaching their young to fly.

Amber September 30, 2011 at 10:22 am

right now, it’s all about hummingbirds. we generally don’t have them during the summer because it’s ridiculously hot here…but this time of year, all kinds of hummingbirds are migrating through the area. we’ve got a couple of feeders out, and the cats aren’t sure what to think of ’em. seriously, i have to be careful what i wear outside of our house. one nearly beaned me in the head a while back when i was wearing a bright pink bandanna on my head.

Jennie Smith September 30, 2011 at 10:35 am

Just put out my bird feeders also… first day I had 3-4 birds come in, then after that I’ve had a bunch – they must have went and told all of their friends that the feeders are out now for the season! 🙂

Terry Parrish September 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

Right now I’m still seeing Hummingbirds, and of course all the regulars are here. This morning before sunrise I heard a Wren singing and of course a duck quacking on the lake.

Kim . September 30, 2011 at 11:36 am

We are busy trying to make the ultimate bird habitat in our backyard! We recently got a new fence, which will keep predators out of our back yard and make the feeders safer. (we were having issues with ferrel cats attacking our birds). With the addition of our fence, we have added a few multi-feeder poles and are offering many different types of seeds to see the most variety. Right now we are seeing many types of birds….but we are hoping to see once more a painted bunting this coming spring! We saw one a few years ago (right on our back porch!) and didn’t know what on earth it was…and that’s what sparked our interest in learning more about birding. We are also happy to support several cardinals, redwing blackbirds, finches and woodpeckers. We love your site because it offers so many different types of seeds, feeders, and advice. The other bird we hope to attract is an oriole….hope we are lucky enough to see one someday! We are birders for life now, thanks for all the help!

Natalie Noble September 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I’ve seen a few hummingbirds. They love our honeysuckle and clematis. By far the most activity in our backyard right now is from all the squirrels. They know what’s coming!

Martha September 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm

The cardinals are eating the berries on the holly, the Northern mockingbirds are keeping an eye on the feeders, while the purple and house finches are happy with the flowers in the garden. Not to mention the hummingbirds, who are still busy and visiting their special feeders.

Trish September 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm

The hummers are going to make me go bankrupt this fall! I have several feeders that I fill multiple times a day! I have never seen so many! And every once in a while I get a visit from a woodpecker who likes to wake me up at zero-dark crazy!

katie grant September 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I love my feeders!!! I have a wrap around porch which covers two sides of my house. In the fall when the humming bird feeders come down I have a variety of 12 bird feeders (16 with hummingbirds). Also four suet feeders each holds two suet blocks. I also use 3 bird baths to fill with food for the squirrels so that they leave the bird food alone. It is a feeding frenzy at our house! The dogs love to sit at the patio window and watch esp, the squirrels. We have birds swooping in and out all the time. They are so fun to watch and the squirrels are the most spoiled squirrels on the block. I fill their feeders with black sunflower seeds, and critter mix, also I buy the mixed shelled nuts by the bulk and throw a handful in each day in their feeders. Its funny when they try to take off with the walnuts that dont fit in their mouths, they usually take off half carring and half rolling them. They also love torilla chips, it is all very entertaining for both me and my dogs. They will all be spoiled from now threw the winter.

Ellen B. October 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Thanks for sharing your backyard stories! Such an exciting time of year for wildlife. The winner of the red seed bucket is Marge Heinemann. Congrats, Marge! I will contact you by email to get your shipping information.

Dog Dry Skin January 19, 2012 at 2:27 am

I am lucky to have birds in my neighborhood all year round. Mostly, I hear their call at dawn. There must be several species, as each has a distinctive voice. By the time I wake, they have flew off. Now, the phrase “Early birds” remind me of my feathered visitors.

Clara Neville June 9, 2014 at 9:54 am

I want a red bird seed bucket that is made of metal. Do you know where I can find one?
Like the one you gave away in 2011

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