Tag Archives: bird feeders

Peanut Butter Suet, a Delight in Siouxland, Sioux City

16 Apr
A downy woodpecker eyes a feeder in the backyard of a residence Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This past year I have been pleased with seeing more fine feathered visitors in the Siouxland area. At least for me. I began putting out some “peanut butter” suet for those visitors and much like one of those noted peanut butter brands shown in TV ads, this particular suet must have been made with similar stuff. One particular downy woodpecker ate its fill and then proceeded to find a place to clean its bill. Maybe it will stick to insects a bit more next time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A downy woodpecker tries removing some suet from its beak after eating at a suet feeder in the backyard of a residence Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A downy woodpecker tries removing some suet from its beak after eating at a suet feeder in the backyard of a residence Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A downy woodpecker tries removing some suet from its beak after eating at a suet feeder in the backyard of a residence Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A downy woodpecker looks for grubs in a dead branch in the backyard of a residence Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa.

Backyard Birds in Siouxland, Sioux City

3 Dec
A white-breasted nuthatch flicks its tongue as it eats a snack at a feeder in the backyard of a residence Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa.

With the changing seasons, now fall into winter, I am not certain which little guys will stick around for the winter visiting feeders in the neighborhood. As I traveled about Siouxland this year I sometimes found myself enjoying watching winged creatures closer to home than at some nature preserves. It was also nice to just be able to sit on a deck and drink coffee and watch the antics provided by these small neighbors. And slowly, very slowly, I am learning a bit about the different species. In particular, I have learned there are more than a dozen local sparrow species and sometimes telling them apart is not easy. So I am finding my learning curve a bit long in the tooth.

A downy woodpecker eats a grub it found in a dead branch on a tree in the backyard of a residence Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa.

Summer and fall is winding down for some backyard visitors, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summer and fall is winding down for some backyard visitors, in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have learned it takes a bit of patience to sit quietly watching these skittish creatures come eat and fly off, some species like the white-breasted nuthatch and black capped chickadee barely landing before flying away with a meal to eat elsewhere and then returning some more and repeating this pattern continuously. Other birds, like the sparrows will sit and munch a while before leaving.

A sparrow grabs a snack as summer and fall winds down for some backyard visitors, in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summer and fall is winding down for some backyard visitors, like this sparrow in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summer and fall is winding down for some backyard visitors, like this house finch in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I would guess I have taken in excess a few thousand images of birds in my neighborhood, trying to improve on the photographs of the ones previously taken. Tweaking the technique and then hoping for that extra second or two before the little creature bolts to “safety”, although learning when they may come back for more and figuring out time of day for feeding habit. Surprisingly I found that mid-afternoon seems to be a feeding time as opposed to early morning and early evening, both of which I have found the birds feeding. But education in any form is always good and am already looking forward to next year when the weather warms up a tad and the birds are once again active.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A backyard visiting sparrow makes his presence known, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Possibly a female cardinal snacks a snack in a backyard, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A house finch chews on a seed in a backyard, in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Common house sparrows snack at a feeder at a residence in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter’s Return to Siouxland, Sioux City

24 Nov

Sometimes one hopes for the best in what seems to be a wacky year. And even in Siouxland one hopes for a longer, quiet fall before winter returns and with it colder temperatures, snow to shovel and barren landscapes mostly devoid of color.

A woodpecker enjoys a meal even as a new winter snow falls, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter has returned to Siouxland and this time future forecasts for the month of November are not as rosy with temps staying fairly normal or below. The brief “Indian summer” that visited recently has left for warmer climes, leaving behind a white landscape.

A sparrow seeks shelter in a bush from falling snow, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I like winter, but mostly when it produces some sunshine and temperatures that hover in the 20’s and 30’s, not the below freezing temps and 25-30 mph wind gusts that create a windchill of -20 or more. Maybe that makes me a fair winter weather kind of person, with the hope of getting out still and taking country drives, only being careful not to spend quality time in ditch on some backroad enjoying winter’s beauty.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A woodpecker enjoys a meal during a winter snow, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland’s Spring Brings More Snow, Sioux City

25 Apr

The last of the recent Siouxland snow is just about gone, except maybe the deeply shaded areas. It was surprising to see snow again, even small amounts, fall from the skies this past week. It is after all, April, and late April at that. Now forecasters say temperatures may hit the high 70’s, even possibly 80 degrees this weekend. I am ready for spring, not summer though. Although the warmer temperatures will feel nice. And I am sure my feathered guests will enjoy this change in weather, because the last couple of days wasn’t so kind to them either.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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