Time for a bird party! Let's have some fun with our feathered friends and learn a few little-known facts about our backyard birds!

 

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Blue Jays
Cardinals
Juncos
Finches
Verdins
Chickadees
Hummingbirds
Orioles
Titmice
Catbirds

Blue Jays

Blue Jays aren’t blue

Known for their striking feather pattern and boisterous personalities, Blue Jays are among some of the most recognized backyard birds in North America. But did you know that Blue Jays aren't actually blue? Many brightly colored birds, like the Northern Cardinal, produce a brightly colored pigment, but a Blue Jay's feathers don't contain any blue pigment at all! Instead, they contain a brown pigment called melanin. Due to a phenomenon called light scattering, our eyes only perceive the feathers as blue.

blue jay on bird feeder

Feeder pictured: Stained Glass Hopper Feeder (Model# WWTF2-UV2)

Cardinals

There is a rare yellow cardinal

Eyes playing tricks on you? Surprisingly not! On very rare occasions, a genetic plumage variation called xanthochroism results in boldly colored yellow Northern Cardinals. It's estimated that there are two to three yellow Northern Cardinals spotted each year, making this golden bird one in a million!

yellow cardinal

A cardinal’s love is forever

Did you know that cardinals mate for life? During courtship, male Northern Cardinals express affection by feeding their females seeds in a method known as “beak to beak.” If use your imagination, you could say that the birds look like they are kissing!

cardinals kissing

Juncos

The Snowbird

🎵 Gone away is the Bluebird 🎵 Here to stay is the…snowbird? 🎵

Did you know that the Dark-eyed Junco is nicknamed the snowbird? Staple winter residents, these birds are said to bring with them snowy weather from their wings.

dark eyed junco

Finches

Bird igloos

Have you ever heard of a bird igloo? Goldfinches have been known to make small burrows underneath the snow to help keep them warm in the wintertime. How else do they stay warm? The Goldfinch is the only known finch species to molt twice a year. After their late summer molt, they develop an undercoat of soft feathers to help insulate them in cold temperatures.

goldfinch in winter

You are what you eat

What makes the American Goldfinch appear so sunny yellow? It turns out with this species, you are what you eat! The bright yellow feathers on a breeding male Goldfinch is caused by the bird’s diet. Carotenoid pigments from the plants in its diet give the birds their colorful appearance.

goldfinch at tray feeder

Feeder pictured: Hanging Platform Feeder (Model# WWCF23)

Verdins

The desert dessert lover

The Verdin can be found in the southwestern most states of the USA as well as northern Mexico. While they're typically found foraging in trees and foliage for insects, these birds have are known for having a sweet tooth and often snack on fruits and even nectar from hummingbird feeders!

verdin at mason jar hummingbird feeder

Feeder pictured: Mason Jar Hummingbird Feeder (Model# MJF1)

Chickadees

Chickadee-dee-dee

Can you crack the code? Chickadees communicate with intricate calls to convey information to their flock. Sometimes there is only one dee at the end of the chick-a-dee call and other times there are multiple. The more dee notes in a chickadee-dee-dee call, the higher the threat level!

chickadee at tube bird feeder

Feeder pictured: Vintage Deluxe Easy Clean Tube Feeder (Model# WM4-S)

Hummingbirds

The only bird that can fly backwards

Bringing home the award for the most agile bird in the world, the hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards!

rufous hummingbird

The 150,000-calorie diet

Out of every species in the animal kingdom, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird has the fastest metabolism of them all! Needing to eat every 10-15 minutes to retain energy, these tiny flyers consume the equivalent of 150,000 calories per day for their metabolic rate.

hummingbirds at illuminated hummingbird feeder

Feeder pictured: Illuminated Hummingbird Feeder (Model# GHF7)

Orioles

One unlikely pollinator

The Baltimore Oriole is one unlikely pollinator. They help pollinate several tree species as they transfer pollen from tree to tree while eating nectar from their flowers. You can attract them to your backyard by offering them nectar, grape jelly, and orange halves!

oriole at oriole bird feeder

Feeder pictured: All-In-One Oriole Buffet (Model# OFP1)

Titmice

One seed at a time

The Tufted Titmouse typically selects one seed from a feeder at a time. They shell it and hide the kernel within 130 feet of the feeder from which they obtained it.

titmouse at bird feeder

Feeder pictured: Funnel Flip-Top Squirrel Resistant Feeder (Model# PSP2)

Catbirds

The snacker

The Gray Catbird eats mostly berries and insects, but these birds will also round out their diets with bird seed. They've even been known to snack on a bizarre assortment of items including donuts, cheese, boiled potato, and corn flakes - although we'd recommend something more nutritious!

catbird at tray feeder

Feeder pictured: Hanging Platform Feeder (Model# WWCF23)

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