I’ve moved the bird feed in the backyard so that it’s up higher than it was before, and I’ve changed the seed mixture from all seed to a combination of seed, nuts, and fruit. I’m amazed at the change in the number and variety of visitors in just 24 hours!

img_0161_cr.pngimg_0162.jpgMrs. Cardinal: Her mate has been around too, but he’s camera shy so I haven’t got his picture yet. Actually, I think there may be two separate pairs of cardinals; they come in from opposite directions and always leave the same way they came in. But I’ve yet to see more than one male and/or one female at a time, so I could be wrong.

img_0160.jpgAnts on the Hummingbird Feeder: Does anyone know how to alleviate this problem? They’ve got a regular convoy going. At any point in time, I can see at least 4 – 6 ants going in either direction. I’ve moved the feeder a couple times, but they keep finding it. The hummingbirds don’t seem to mind, and it’s not that I begrudge the ants some of the nectar; but they’re carpenter ants and they’re on my deck.

Whilst having my coffee this morning, I also saw a woodpecker, and at least 4 other varieties of wild birds that I can’t identify. Clearly, I need a bird book!

UPDATE:  I’ve ordered a bird book from my friends at Amazon.  In the meantime, I went to enature.com and, using their excellent field guide, I’ve identified all but one of my backyard visitors.   They were the red-bellied woodpecker, tufted titmouse, brown thrasher, purple finch and ruby-throated hummingbird.  The one I can’t identify is a deep blue, almost purple, cardinal-sized bird with some black on the wings and back.  Nothing at their website for my part of the country even comes close.