Find out what Project FeederWatch is, its history, and more
Find out how you FeederWatch, when you can FeederWatch, and what you'll need to do to get started
Review these instructions carefully before you count and enter data
Find out about types of feeders and types of foods, and where to place your feeder
Feeding Birds FAQs
Explore the winter distribution, food, and feeder preferences of common feeder birds.
Find out about color and plumage variations, bald heads, and deformed bills
Unusual Birds Gallery
Find out about bird disease and identifying the signs of bird disease
Sick Birds Gallery
Find out how to identify birds and download identification tools
Learn how to help birds as they seek out food sources, nesting habitat, protection, and more
Find educational resources for teachers, group leaders, and families
Find an article archive packed with lots of great bird study information
Learn about house finch eye disease
Review content from current and past BirdSpotter photo contests
Keep up to date with the latest FeederWatch happenings
These are exemplary FeederWatchers!
Send us your photos! Show us your count site, your birds, or you watching your site with loved ones!
Visit our live FeederWatch feedercams!
Cornell Lab of Ornithology feeders
Ontario (winter only)
See what birds occur the most by region
Explore species by state/province
See where FeederWatchers are
Graphs of regional population trends and distributions
Explore papers that have used FeederWatch data
Lab scientists analyze the data submitted by FeederWatch participants.
See birds well outside their winter range submitted to Project FeederWatch.
Start here for data entry and personal data review and exploration
Keep live track of your counts using the FeederWatch mobile app
Arcade, NY, United States
As we all know, by feeding the birds, we end up feeding or attracting other wildlife. Birders go to great lengths to keep this from happening, but sometimes (often) this fails.
Last winter’s weather in the North East was long and brutally cold. Many animals suffered. We found a starving blue jay and gave it to a re-habber, but the bird died after a couple of days.
Then the starving deer came! Deer never come near our house in the daytime. But last year, a herd of 12 white tail deer camped out in our woods – day and night. Like clock-work they would single-file march to our feeding stations at certain hours, the ones for the birds and the ones for the squirrels. (Yes – we feed the squirrels too.) We could clearly see the ribs on several of the younger deer. We did not have the heart to scare them away. I even clipped off the ends of hemlock branches and “planted” them in the snow for them to munch on as they walked by.
We watched them daily for most of the month of March! And, of course, I had my camera at the ready. I took this photo of a deer checking out the squirrel/bird bowl attached to a tree. When I looked at the photo, I saw the UNEXPECTED – the deer’s ears turned backward! I had luckily just caught this deer in the act of listening to me in the house!
Now, I knew at the time that deer have maneuverable ears. But a photo is worth hundreds of words, as they say. And my husband and I were very amazed to actually see this ability in action first hand. I did some research and found out that deer have 2 square feet of surface area in those soft sensitive ears and intricate muscles that allow them to move them without turning their heads. These radar-dish ears – enable them to be spot on in locating sounds.
Week 15: The Unexpected
What do I hear? "Just a deer!" You try this with your ears.
This is a really good photo made even better with the informative description you wrote, Donna. So interesting! Now I love the dear deer’s ears even more than I used to. I see that your picture came in late (it’s even the last entry for this week and season). As much as I’d love to vote for your photo entry, it won’t count. That’s frustrating, but I voted anyway.
Thanks Ellen! I really appreciate your comments. And thanks for taking the time to read through my very lengthy description. I thought my experience needed a longer description to explain why this scene does fit in with this week’s theme – since there is not one bird in the frame. Although, there were many feathered friends just a few feet away from these deer.
PS to Ellen
BTW….My photo was submitted with Birdspotter on Saturday. When I checked on why it was not showing up, I was told there was an invalid hold on my entry and this could not be cleared till Monday. The problem was not because of this photo – but because of a glitch in the system with an earlier submission. (Complicated) So, I too am sorry it was entered late.
Beautiful, and interesting photo. Thank you for sharing it! Those deer look so beautiful with the pines and snow. Awesome image
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.