A pileated woodpecker was just pecking at a tall dead tree across the street.
I haven't seen a pileated woodpecker in years, but this is great habitat for them. Lots of forest with plenty of ant-ridden dead trees within.
The hummingbird feeder isn't hanging from the eaves of the house this year. The siding beneath the kitchen window was getting quite dirty from sugar-water splashes and hummingbird excrement. Besides, ants were coming up under the siding to get to the feeder hanging from the eaves.
No, this year I hung it from the red maple at the southwest corner of my yard. It provides cover and perches for the birds and the ant problem is, so far, much less than last year. Then again, last year was a bad one for pestilent ants - probably because of all the rain driving them up from the ground.
I have a small songbird feeder at the northwest corner, hanging from the weeping cherry. I've settled on black sunflower seed for that feeder; mixes usually contain a lot of millet and I have not personally seen a songbird (other than perhaps sparrows) willingly eating millet. It just gets cast around the feeder on the ground, where it germinates.
Coming to get the tasty sunflower seeds, I have the regulars: black-capped chickadees, occasional goldfinch, cardinal or nuthatch, and of course the magnificent crested fuck-wit is endemic. None of these birds shows any interest in millet. The occasional sparrow is so occasional as to be unimportant in seed selection.
Once in a while I'll put some seed in an old cat dish on the railing of my deck, so I can see the birds from my bedroom.
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