Starlings, chickadees and hummingbirds; oh, my!

A hummingbird stops by for a treat. (Photo by Kathryn Spira)

Just right outside my bedroom window are six different bird feeders.

One is filled with sunflower seeds, one with a suet cake, one with thistle seed, then a bell-shaped hanging seed sculpture and two hummingbird feeders. 

The thistle feeder, in theory, was supposed to attract goldfinches, but I haven’t seen many. Herman did get a photo of one, which I include here.

The suet cake, made up of seeds and suet fat (similar to lard) for binding the seeds together seems to attract the widest variety of birds, but the starlings are the main customers as they bully most other birds off. I have noticed woodpeckers stand their ground against the starlings.

Speaking of woodpeckers, they are my main customers at the bell.

A hummingbird stops by for some nectar. (Photo by Kathryn Spira)

I just finished watching several YouTube videos on baby hummingbirds, their nests and nesting habits. And I have to tell you, I was watching these videos with my mouth agape. I must have said, “Wow!” To myself a dozen times. It was fascinating to watch.

I have to say, hummingbirds are the most fun to watch and make me feel very peaceful, especially when they sit to drink the nectar and suddenly stop flapping their wings. The feeders are only about ten feet from where I am in bed, so they are easy to watch. The bell seed-sculpture is about 12 feet away, and is lots of fun to watch Mr. and Mrs. Woodpecker feed, sometimes upside down. It’s really interesting to find that the male of the species is more colorful than the females. 

I include some photos Herman took of the feeding birds. I and my cats are entranced by the bird activities, while Oscar is mostly guarding against squirrels and chipmunks stealing the bird’s food. He chases them off with a shrieking, high-pitched bark through the closed window and they scamper off to the woods.

Speaking of leaving I must bid you adieu as its dinner time, and I must take the opportunity to eat while my stomach calls for it. I hope you all get to enjoy some of the Caroga Music Festival concerts in the coming days as I have. For their schedule, go to Cheers! 


a bird beak stops for a snack. (Photo by Kathryn Spira)

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake, in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website You can also follow her on Facebook under Kathryn Phillips-Spira, where her columns will also be posted.

A goldfinch perched on a feeder. (Photo by Kathryn Spira)

A goldfinch at one of the feeders. (Photo by Kathryn Spira)