The Lake Hills City Birds

Mourning Dove

I know most people do not want to hear this on a bird BLOG but Mourning Doves are the most frequently hunted species in North America. I enjoy watching these beautiful birds in my backyard. There is no hunting going on in my backyard. I also understand that these and many other species of birds have found their way to dinner tables around the world. It seems in today’s society the thought of an animal being used to feed a family is offensive. Yet, they are okay stopping by KFC and getting a bucket of chicken.

These beautiful birds are a buffy tan – brown with some pinkish tones on some. They have black spots on their back feathers. They are 9.1 – 13.4 inches long. They weigh between 3.4 – 6.0 oz. And have a wingspan of 17.7 inches.

This one has pink talons wrapped around the shepherd’s hook. They perch anywhere. I often seen them up on the power lines. They perch up there in a line.

Seeds make up 99% of the Mourning Doves diet. They can be seen sitting in my bird feeders for hours gobbling down the seed. Mourning Doves eat roughly 12 to 20 percent of their body weight per day. A lot of people mistake these birds for pigeons.

In the video below you can see them enjoying the bird bath.

The Lake Hills City Birds

Yellow-rumped Warbler

This is my first time seeing this bird in my backyard. There was a large flock of them in the trees. They move quickly and are difficult to video and photo. This bird is also called a Myrtle Warbler, Butterbutt, or Yump. Females are more dull, with brown streaking on the front and back. They still have a yellow rump.

In the winter, Yellow-rumped Warblers find open areas with fruiting shrubs and scattered trees. Our backyard borders a large city park with plenty of open areas, there is a stream when it rains, and plenty of old trees.

This bird is 4.5 – 6 inches with a wingspan of 7-9 inches. They weigh between 12 – 13g and have a life span of approximately 6 years. They eat fruit, sunflower seeds, mealworms, peanuts, suet, and sugar water. It was a pleasure getting to see them as they visited my backyard.

The Lake Hills City Birds

Blue Jays

I have several Blue Jays in my backyard. I often see a pair together. I’m assuming that is a male and female. Blue Jays often mate for life, staying with their partner all year long.

These are beautiful birds with bright blue feathers. They have several shades of blue on their back feathers. They are white underneath. It looks like they have a black necklace around their neck. Blue Jays are easy to identify. They are the larger of the songbirds.

Blue Jays prefer tray feeders rather than hanging feeders. They love peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet. I believe peanuts are their favorite. You can see them flying off with peanuts in the video below. I have a video on my YouTube channel of a Blue Jay enjoying the birdbath. They also stop by the bird bath for a drink of water regularly.

Blue Jays also like insects, acorns, and I’ve seen them enjoying chestnuts from the tree in the backyard. They’ve been known to raid nests for eggs and seedlings.

In my backyard they live in the cedar trees along the back of my property line. They stock food to eat later. They can be an aggressive bird towards the smaller birds. I’ve seen Mockingbirds stand their ground with the Blue Jays though. Blue Jays are a beautiful bird to watch in the backyard. It is also fun to listen to the many sounds that make as they communicate.

The Lake Hills City Birds, Uncategorized

Tufted Titmouse

This little songbird is in my backyard year-round. It is the size of a sparrow or a little smaller.  Their Length is 5.5 – 6.3 in, weight is 0.6 – 0.9 oz, and wingspan: 7.9 – 10.2 inches. It is a beautiful little bird that is sort of a silvery gray color on top. It has white feathers underneath with a rust-colored patch under its wings. There is also a black patch above the beak and on the edges of the feathers.

When they fly, they remind me of a cartoon character. They seem to flutter about from place to place. They love peanuts. Anytime I put peanuts in the feeders they are the first to show up. They get one peanut at a time and quickly fly back to the nest. I jokingly called them hoarders. An article I read about them confirmed that they are indeed hoarders. They hoard food in the fall and winter. Their storage sites are usually within 130 feet of the feeder. In the summer they eat mainly insects. I’ve seen them eating plenty of seeds and peanuts in the fall and winter.

Another interesting fact about Tufted Titmice is they do not gather into larger flocks outside of the breeding season. The pair will remain on the territory. Oftentimes, one of their young from that year remains with them. I always see two or three here in my backyard over the winter. In the spring I see a lot more.

I have dog hair hanging in the backyard for the birds to use in their nests. I’ve seen this bird get plenty of hair for its nest. They nest in tree holes and nest boxes. They use holes that the woodpeckers made as nests. I have several large dead limbs that I’ve seen them going to. I’m assuming that’s where their nests are located. I don’t trim back dead tree limbs unless they are near the house. Otherwise, I leave them for the birds. These little birds are so much fun to watch in my backyard. I hope you get the pleasure of having some visit your yard as well.

The Lake Hills City Birds

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

The Lake Hills City Birds

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

These little birds are difficult to get a photo of because they are so quick. They are constantly flicking their wings. I was not sure what type of bird is was when it first showed up in my backyard. From afar I thought it was a Pine Warbler because of the size. When I finally got one on video, I was able to identify it as a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Both male and female measure between 3.5 – 4.3 in. They weigh between 0.2 – 0.3oz. They have a wingspan of 6.3 – 7.1 in. They are olive green birds. They have a white eye ring. They have a white wing bar and blackish bar in the wing.

The first time I saw a male, I thought it hurt its head. It looked like a blood stain on the top of his head. I did not realize that was the ruby patch that can be seen on males. I’ve read that the patch usually stays hidden unless he is excited. I believe these birds are nesting in my very old pine trees in the backyard. I see them flying to and from the tops of those trees a lot.

For food, they like insects. I see them foraging through the leaves on the ground, through my garden, and in the trees for insects. They also eat seeds and fruits. I have seen them on my feeders a lot this week. I’m happy they’ve made my backyard home.