Wintery Birding Wonderland

Today is the day I will be championing my front and backyard. Last year I had traveled far and wide in North Texas in pursuit for bird diversity. Winter has changed my tune. My wife and I set out to reconfigure our front and backyards this past summer hoping to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. I had no idea adding new bird feeders we received for Christmas would make our yard the envy of the entire neighborhood.

Our yards are small compared to most. The front yard consists of a single oak tree (we think…) growing erratically, but acts as a “safe space” when birds are in need of retreating from my wife’s garden near the den window. I think safe spaces are much needed in small sanctuaries for birds. Birds have adapted pretty much to the sound of cars driving by. People and predators do have a habit of coming too close. I speak from experience when I say that birds won’t come around to your house if they don’t feel they can retreat somewhere safely and quickly. And you don’t need a large tree for them to scatter in. A simple large native bush will suffice!

Photography of a male white-crowned sparrow at feeder
White-crowned Sparrow in my front yard
Photography of a female white-crowned sparrow perched on my front yard tree
White-crowned Sparrow perched high on my front yard tree
Profile photography of a female white crown sparrow perched on my tree
A female White-crowned Sparrow perched on my tree
Photography of a female cardinal perched on my front yard tree
One of many female cardinals coming by to the feeders early in the morning

Soil and limestone prevent my wife and I from planting large trees. We planted four Crape Myrtles which continue to grow well despite the hard soil conditions. The birds have designated them safe spaces, flying from feeder to feeder.

Photography of Three House Sparrows perched on a Crape Myrtle in my backyard
House Sparrows perched on a tree in my back yard
Photography of a male house finch perched on a tree in my back yard
A Male House Finch perched on a Crape Myrtle in my back yard
Photography of a Junco perched on my rose bush in my back yard
A Junco perches on my rose bush in the back yard. This will be the last year the Juncos will be able to enjoy my roses.
Photography of a Bewick Wren perched on a tree in my back yard
A Bewick Wren enjoys the sun perched on my Crape Myrtle in the back yard
Photography of a Redwing Blackbird perched on a tree in my back yard
First and earliest sighting of a Redwing Blackbird perched on my Crape Myrtle in the back yard

I am celebrating the most winter diversity in my front and backyard than any year I can remember. Proving that anything is possible as long as you have a plan and stick to it.

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