First Time Garden Visitors in 2014


Okey-dokey, it may be time to show the birds in my garden, at least the newcomers this year.  This was the first time Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have made the garden home. There are three breeding pairs visiting daily and they really kicked the color in the garden up a notch. Check out the birds visiting…


The female is dull in comparison to the male and some males have a more vibrantly colored breast than others. One male in the garden has such a bright breast patch.


The Baltimore Orioles are also visiting, but not nesting pairs like so many other birds. I was told by the birders they prefer Welches Grape Jelly, so I will be getting that for them besides the fruit I put out. I do have a post on the Orioles nesting coming up from a birdwatching trip. Had an experienced birder not pointed it out, my friend and I would have never found it.


The Red-Tailed Hawk was attracted to all the flying color too. He went away hungry though.

We have the Wood Thrush too.  Some very unusual birds in the garden this year.

Wood-Thrush-2 Wood-Thrush-4

The finches are more common, yet have not been quite as numerous as they are this year. There must be five breeding pairs of Goldfinch and at least eight of the House Finch.


The breeding plumage of birds at this time of year is stunningly wonderful. I have bluejay and cardinal pairs, along with nuthatches and Downy Woodpeckers. They have been regulars for years.


What I have to say that really is fortunate, the starlings and grackles are keeping out the House Sparrows. I am really surprised at this too. If not for the pesky squirrels, the garden would be my happy place. The goldfinch below is snarling at a squirrel.


It seems to be a larger selection and number of birds this year compared to years past and I was wondering if others have experienced this? It is not a change in food offered either.

I am still in PA having a wonderful time visiting a few well-known gardens. Maybe a few new birds will find my lens. See you soon.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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30 Responses to First Time Garden Visitors in 2014

  1. quarksire says:

    wow kewl i got some of those red breasted guys here this year in colorado..the yeller ones though nope don’t see no yeller birds in colorado.kinna strange..they were all over california… kewl bird shotz 🙂 Q

  2. Those colorful birds are gorgeous, but I love that hawk photo!

  3. swo8 says:

    You’ve got some lovely photos there of the birds. We have a fair number here now too, but the early morning bird song is not as vibrant as it used to be.

  4. Nick Hunter says:

    Nice post Donna. Similar species here, but not as “new or first-time” visitors. BTW: look at the reddish brown bird closely — I believe you’ll find a long tail and bill and, the clincher – yellow eyes. If so, you have a Brown Thrasher.

  5. Beautiful photos as usual, Donna. We have the same species here on the Eastern end of Lake Ontario. Also, we have the woodthrush but I haven’t been able to photograph them yet. Lucky You!

  6. Rose breasted grosbeaks and Baltimore orioles must really be on the rise this year because so many customers have told me that they had them for the first time. That’s encouraging!

  7. Diane says:

    Oh my gosh Donna! Your backyard looks like mine here in Michigan…seriously! I had 3 nesting pair of rose breasted grosbeaks (male and female), two pair of baltimore orioles, lots of lesser goldfinches and other finches, a bullock oriole, the ubiquitous robin, a nuthatch, many redwing blackbirds, at least one red tail hawk in the pasture in the front of my property, and some type of warbler I have not been able to identify! I plan to do a post shortly on the birds, but my pictures are NOT anywhere near as spectacular as yours! Yours are, as always, simply stunning! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  8. Hi, Donna – I cannot agree with those who recommend Welch’s Grape Jelly for the Baltimore Orioles. They visit “The Acre” every year and are lavished with my homemade jams and jellies. They really seem to like them better than store bought jelly. And, I am certain the homemade stuff is much healthier for them, too. Aren’t the Grosbeaks wonderful? Their song is just a lovely, too. Thanks, as always, for sharing.

  9. alesiablogs says:

    So good to see such beautiful birds in your garden. I have not seen my blue jays yet. boo hoo…But I have seen some other colorful birds that are unusual for me.

  10. Brian Comeau says:

    Hi Donna, Beautiful shots. The first few photographs, I’d be curious to now what you were using for a lens.

  11. What a nice extended tour of your garden. The photos are sharp, varied and you obviously contracted with your birds, for there is no other explanation for their cooperative posing. All that was missing was a comfortable chair and a hot cup of mint tea….
    Jeff Zablow
    Pittsburgh, PA

  12. This is the first year I’ve successfully lured orioles to my feeder. But apparently they were simply migrating through because I haven’t had any at the orange feeder for more than a week. It sure was fun to watch them while they were here, though. We also had indigo buntings at the feeder–another first. We’ve seen them in the past, but not at the feeder. I thought maybe they were nesting here, but I haven’t seen them recently either. I’m hoping the roaming neighborhood cat didn’t get them. Great photos, Donna, and I hope you’re having a great trip!

  13. Lucky you to have such a wide variety of birds there. Here it’s been the normal sparrows, chickadees and starlings. I’d love to see some of those colorful birds at my feeders.

  14. Paul Caron says:

    Beautiful pictures, Donna! Though I would not give starlings too much credit as they are also an invasive species of bird.

  15. Alisha says:

    I have never seen such beautiful birds, they are so lovely, all pictures are amazing Donna. I am looking at these pictures again and again.

  16. Rose says:

    Lovely to see all your garden visitors, Donna! The rose-breasted grosbreak is one I’ve never seen before. Listening to the bird songs is one of the delights of working in the garden.

  17. I love watching birds in my yard too. Your pictures are gorgeous!

  18. We have few birds in our garden because of cats – though a pair of pigeons which nested in our bay tree last year are here again for their next brood. Sometimes we have blue tits and great tits and gold finches. Sparrows come and go – but little to compare with your flamboyant birds. Isn’t the word ‘oriole’ lovely?

  19. Patty says:

    Magnificent Grosbeak. Well heck they are all wonderful. Hope they stay awhile for you Donna.

  20. My Heartsong says:

    As the saying goes, you build it and they will come! Great shots!

  21. No wonder you have such great visitors, Donna! Gorgeous photos!!! 🙂
    Happy weekend! 🙂

  22. bittster says:

    I really need to be a little more observant of the birds in the yard. I haven’t noticed as much singing this year and there are many more cowbirds and grackles flying around. Maybe once the spring labors in the garden wrap up I’ll have more time to visit with the feathered folk!
    Beautiful pictures as usual. I can only wish for a grosbeak sighting 🙂

  23. I don’t think I have ever seen a goldfinch snarling. We have many of the same birds in our gardens.

  24. catmint says:

    Such a number and variety of birds, Donna – so pleased the numbers are up compared to past years. And the photos – very impressive. Enjoy PA, I hope some new birds will present themselves to your lenses.

  25. All of this and a flying hawk too in your backyard…phenomenal.
    The goldfinch caught snarling at that squirrel is my new buddy! Birds are no dummies…squirrels are NOT cute & cuddly!HA!

  26. Debra says:

    As always, thank you for sharing these beautiful shots. I love watching how different creatures react to each other. The more I watch the more vocabulary and nuance I see. I used to think calls and chirps and such were mostly for the benefit of like creatures but not anymore. Even before the blue jay arrives he/she most definitely is broadcasting its imminent arrival. Most have the wisdom to make way. When the wrens see the cat lounging on a chair they let everyone know not to bother visiting. The warning sound for ‘cat’ is distinctive. Even the squirrels have a broad repertoire of calls and sounds.

  27. Love to see your pictures!

  28. WOW. And the first birdie’s face is just too sweet Donna.

  29. Wow Donna you have so many great birds visiting…our orioles love the sugar water so we have a feeder that has fruit , jelly and sugar water….they still only go for the sugar water and we have a few pairs…

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