2015-05-14 / Nature

Backyards Offer Ideal Birding Perch

By Jack Kelly


A pair of northern cardinals feed from the ground and collects seeds that have been knocked from feeders. Males are highly territorial, sometimes even attacking their own images in windows and car mirrors. Courtship among Cardinals includes energetic singing, shared feeding with the female, and posturing on the part of the males. They are monogamous in their relationships and the pair bonding is thought to be very strong. A pair of northern cardinals feed from the ground and collects seeds that have been knocked from feeders. Males are highly territorial, sometimes even attacking their own images in windows and car mirrors. Courtship among Cardinals includes energetic singing, shared feeding with the female, and posturing on the part of the males. They are monogamous in their relationships and the pair bonding is thought to be very strong. A journey into the beauty and majesty of the natural world can be as easy as hanging a birdfeeder near one’s home. Feeders can be hung from porches, fire escapes, trees, or just about anywhere. The best locations are in a southeastern exposure, with trees, bushes or shrubs nearby to provide avian visitors protection from predators.

Feeders are a year-round window into the behaviors of birds and can be enjoyed by any age group. Depending on the season, dozens of species can be observed. This activity can lead to a lifelong appreciation and understanding of nature and bird watching. For more information on stocking bird seed types, suet, and other questions, visit allaboutbirds.org.


This chipping sparrow is a summer migrant to our region, as well as southern and western Canada, and winters across the southern United States, Mexico and Central America. This fairly tame and curious bird is drawn to feeders and often nests near buildings. With a wingspan of 8.5 inches and a body length of 5.5 inches, the small bird can often be seen in the company of bluebirds and warblers. This chipping sparrow is a summer migrant to our region, as well as southern and western Canada, and winters across the southern United States, Mexico and Central America. This fairly tame and curious bird is drawn to feeders and often nests near buildings. With a wingspan of 8.5 inches and a body length of 5.5 inches, the small bird can often be seen in the company of bluebirds and warblers. The 33rd Annual Conanicut Island Spring Bird Count will be held on Sunday, May 17, from 6:30 a.m.- 12 noon. Birders of all ages and experience levels are invited to join in the springtime fun. Participants will meet in the Jamestown Police Department’s conference room at 6:30 a.m. For more information, call Candy Powell at 401-423-1492 or Evelyn Rhodes at 401-423-0258.



An American goldfinch, often called a“wild canary” for the breeding males' shimmering, lemon yellow plumage, eats seeds at a feeder. It will also take seeds and buds from trees such as sweetgum, birch and elm. This petite, colorful bird is 5 inches long with a wingspan of 9 inches, and can be found across much of Aquidneck Island. An American goldfinch, often called a“wild canary” for the breeding males' shimmering, lemon yellow plumage, eats seeds at a feeder. It will also take seeds and buds from trees such as sweetgum, birch and elm. This petite, colorful bird is 5 inches long with a wingspan of 9 inches, and can be found across much of Aquidneck Island.

Jack Kelly, a native Newporter, is a wildlife photographer and nature enthusiast who enjoys sharing his experiences with others. Jack Kelly, a native Newporter, is a wildlife photographer and nature enthusiast who enjoys sharing his experiences with others.

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