The Types Of Birds That Will Fly In Eastern Idaho And How You Can Attract Them To Your Yard


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on May 9, 2020.

The chirps from the trees in my garden were unmistakable – the evening grosbeaks had arrived. About thirty of them with their turquoise beaks peeling the sunflower seeds quickly emptied the two feeders.

Later that day the Cassin finches with their bright red mules arrived and it was time to buy another 40 pounds of black oil sunflower seeds.

Two days later, the few pine siskin numbers had exploded with the little brown birds dominating the American goldfinch with thistle seed socks (niger). Expecting a few fruit-eating hummingbirds and Bullock’s orioles to appear, I pulled out the hummingbird feeders and scattered halved oranges around the yard. It wasn’t long before a Bullock’s sneaked up to feed on one of the oranges.

This week on a trip to Lake Henrys to check ice and deliver fishing flies to Drift Lodge, I stopped at Harriman Park. At the Last Chance Fishing Plot, a large group of yellow-rumped warblers, including the Myrtle subspecies, were feeding on the hatching insects. Even a few yellow warblers were busy filling their bellies.

Now is the time to attract colorful birds to your garden and area. Migrating warblers and other colorful birds seek nutritious material as they migrate north over the next two to three weeks. This is a good time to reload or turn off the feeders. Water is also very important as they need water, shelter and food to maintain their fat stores during their migration. With cooler night temperatures, natural foods do not grow quickly, so food stations will be essential for their migration.

Bill Schiess, EastIdahoNews.com

I will be turning off these feeders in the next few days. Birds use storm systems to travel and often birds from outside our area will be separated during a storm and ‘blown’ out of their way. With all the rain and wind forecast for next week, we should see some strange birds arriving before next weekend. Last season I saw a Rose-breasted Grosbeak appear with a flock of Black-headed Grosbeaks, a very rare sighting in Rexburg. Several years ago I found a summer tanager in Market Lake that stayed there for several days.

The best food for larger types of birds is probably black oil sunflower seeds, either in the shells or just in the seeds if you don’t want to deal with the mess the shells cause.

Next, I love the niger seeds in the seed socks for the finch and siskin families. They love them. Many fruit-eating birds like orioles and hummingbirds like feeders of sugar water or halved oranges.

Finally, I also like peanut flavored suet patties for woodpeckers, chickadees and other nut-eating birds. Be aware that starlings also like suet and will swallow it quickly.

Insectivorous birds aren’t attracted to bird feeders, but a few birdhouses built for swallows and house wrens will attract them to help you get rid of the nasty mosquitoes and gnats that bother you. For the past few years we have had flycatchers and western flycatchers nesting in our backyard to help control insects.

I would like to encourage anyone who has a strange bird in their yard to contact me through EastIdahoNews.com so it can be documented. I would also love to hear about some of your experiences with attracting birds to your garden.

I hope you have a great time watching not only the colors of the flowers, but also the number of colorful birds you observe.

EveningGB5 20
Bill Schiess, EastIdahoNews.com
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