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The Zen Birdfeeder
Nancy Castillo is the co-owner of Wild Birds Unlimited - Saratoga Springs NY.
Interests: - photography and digiscoping - podcasts - traveling - ukulele (beginner) - the chicago cubs - food with coconut in it - panfishing - learning new things
Recent Activity
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When bird feeder activity declines in the early fall, we usually write it off to the abundance of “natural food sources”. Well, what exactly do we mean by that? Here’s just a sampling of the natural foods that become plentiful... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2019 at The Zen Birdfeeder
Tara, my guess is that you have a House Finch. Check it out: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/House_Finch/
Toggle Commented May 28, 2019 on Adults Acting Like Children at The Zen Birdfeeder
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Joyce, you're a great observer! Keep up the good work!
Toggle Commented May 28, 2019 on Adults Acting Like Children at The Zen Birdfeeder
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When I heard the “feed-me” call, I recognized it as the begging cry of fledgling Purple Finches. Persistent and seemingly never-ending, the “feed-me, feed-me, feed-me” was coming from the area most frequented by these pretty finches. But is was May... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2019 at The Zen Birdfeeder
Hi Karyn, Thanks so much for your thumbs up! You asked about a favorite feeder besides the cylinder feeder. Well lately, I’ve been big on open tray feeders when matching a No-Mess Blend PLUS a WBU Bark Butter Quick Bite. It turns the tray feeder into a literal bird buffet - sunflower, peanuts, white millet and suet, all on one feeder! I love it and the birds do too!
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2019 on Birds Have Wings at The Zen Birdfeeder
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Thanks Ellen! Glad you’re still reading!
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2019 on Birds Have Wings at The Zen Birdfeeder
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Pie, thanks for the thumbs up! I'll try to do a better job in 2019 to post more often! Thanks again for the encouragement!
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2019 on Birds Have Wings at The Zen Birdfeeder
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Tristan, besides the response "birds have wings", we know that the availability of natural foods, weather, change in surrounding habitat, and presence of predators all contribute to fluctuations in the traffic at our birdfeeders. Thanks for reading the blog and commenting!
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2019 on Birds Have Wings at The Zen Birdfeeder
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Yesterday was a Project FeederWatch day and there were few birds around to be counted. A few chickadees, a few titmice, a couple downies and hairies. A few others too, but only one jay. That was weird. Any day that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2019 at The Zen Birdfeeder
Via email from Jack Wolfe of Huntsville AL: I am Jack Wolfe living in Huntsville Al. I have finished reading your email about the loss of Mr.Cardinal. We love our Cardinals also but we are blessed with a couple nest each year in our yard. We no longer attract Purple Finch we did at one time.. Every couple of years we may see a few Pine Siskin's but not very often. I shared your message with my wife over coffee we both enjoyed reading them.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2017 on A Cardinal Loss at The Zen Birdfeeder
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Ooh, Diane, that loss of the mom with known babies is especially tough. Moral of the story: when we deeply observe nature, it comes with the good and the bad. Good luck with your next bluebird family and thanks for your comment.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2017 on A Cardinal Loss at The Zen Birdfeeder
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We had a fatal window strike last week, a male cardinal. I found him laying in the seat of the Adirondack chair that sits beneath our front windows. I had been sitting in that chair about 12 hours earlier, so... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2017 at The Zen Birdfeeder
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We're not really bird chasers, or twitchers - those who travel long distances to see a rare bird for their life list. Sure, a Great Gray Owl would be a life bird for both of us, but we both keep... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2017 at The Zen Birdfeeder
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If you are finding things a bit unsettling and stressful lately, just turn to the birds. Watching and enjoying the birds at your birdfeeders in your own yard can take your mind off all the craziness in our world. Birds... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2017 at The Zen Birdfeeder
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We're slowly coming out of another debilitating ice storm. Even from inside, we've heard the sharp cracks and messy tumbles of nearby trees or large limbs. Our beloved plum tree has for the second time in just weeks been brought... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2017 at The Zen Birdfeeder
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As I sit in front of my pellet stove enjoying a cup of Bird-friendly® coffee on a cold January morning, a wonderful world awoke outside my windows: The sound of the snowplow woke me this morning. When I looked out... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2017 at The Zen Birdfeeder
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It's called a "Ruby-crowned Kinglet", so where's that ruby crown? This perpetual motion machine of a bird is hard to capture a good view of, let alone capture an image of. And even when you can, seldom does any sign... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2016 at The Zen Birdfeeder
Marvin, I know it sounds odd, if all you have ever seen is a whitish throat, never dark or red, you may never have caught an adult male at your feeder. Sounds hard to believe, but that is my thinking!
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Brynn, I'm pretty sure it's mold or fungus growing on the debris. Rake it up, throw it away in the trash. To keep it from coming, keep the debris under the feeder from accumulating by raking frequently.
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We had eight Pine Siskins pass through the yard yesterday. Here's one of them (on the left) sharing a birdfeeder with a Purple Finch. This is about the earliest we've had Siskins in the yard and we hope they find... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2016 at The Zen Birdfeeder
Cindy, the red dye is (1) not needed and (2) not metabolized, but passed through the hummingbird. No harm has been proven but most hummingbird experts say why risk it if it is not needed. First Nature sells red nectar because unknowing people buy it. They don't want to lose the $$$. Our store doesn't sell it and we actively encourage people to just make their own clear nectar with sugar and water. Birds before bucks.
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S.Huffman, rake it all up and bag it for the garbage. Do this regularly - it makes your birdfeeding station safer for the birds!
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Thank you Lucy!!!!
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Pat, thank you for being a good feeder steward for your hummingbirds!!!
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Anita, birds definitely prefer LIVE mealworms. They are alive and juicy, providing moisture as well. Dried mealworms are dead and dry. It's easy to understand their preference, isn't it?
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