In the last 12 years since we moved to Idaho, we have had the privilege of seeing yellow finches behind my in-laws’ house most summer. Before my MIL passed away in 2010, the kids and I would be asked to fill the thistle feeders in their flower garden while they were on vacation and we would see plenty of finches. However, in the last five years since we moved into the house across the street, we have never had the privilege of seeing a yello finch on our side of the road. I had pretty much decided that the reason for very few birds in our yard was because a) we weren’t putting out bird feed since we have chickens and don’t want them eating chicken feed, and b) living on a corner where all the cars go by and kids go by, we felt like there was too much activity.
This spring/summer things have chanaged. We started out with way too many starlings living in the bushes on the berm off the front corner of our lot. Since these bushes had beome somewhat overgrown and needed severe trimming after five years of relatively no trimming, I asked DH and DS to please cut them back and get rid of any starling nests they came across. It was getting pretty frustrating to go out and try to do yard work and have them dive down at you. They particularly liked to sit on the peak of the garage roof and scold or fly off and poop all over my vehicle. Time was taken, bushes were trimmed back–some more severely than otheres–and three nests were removed. This didn’t completely discourage the starlings, but did encourage several other birds.
We started seeing more robins, sparrows, quails, and even a killdeer or two. These birds really liked to come play in the front yard and herb bed when we flooded the whole area with irrigation water. It has been a pleasure to look out our front window at different times of the day and see different birds doing their “thing”.
Imagine my delight today when I pulled in after returning from the grocery store–not a favorite chore of mine to be sure–and was waiting for DD to come open the garage door. The vehicle was running and yet, less than a foot away on the rose bush along the side of the driveway, there was a bright yellow bird, an American Goldfinch.
This isn’t the greatest of pictures as I had to pull it out of another shot, but if you look closely you can see him. His color was brilliant yellow. I was using my phone camera and couldn’t zoom in fast enough before he finally lost his nerve and flew over to the bushes on the berm. It was only just the one, but I have to admit it would be tempting to put out a thistle feeder for him in the front just to have him return.
DH and I were talking recently about all the different birds we have been privileged to view in our front yard, and we have been toying with the idea of putting out a hummingbird feeder before fall migration to the south as we have seen them at his parents’ house in the past. Now with seeing the goldfinch, I am sorely tempted to put out both kinds of feeders in the front. We don’t want them in the back around the chickens, but it would be lovely to have them in the front. Something tells me we will have to talk again!