Bird Watcher's General Store

“A Cape Cod Destination Icon For 40 Years”

ask-the-bird-folks-newspaper

Ask The Bird Folks

Mike O’Connor, the owner of Bird Watcher’s General Store, wrote the popular article, Ask the Bird Folks, for The Cape Codder newspaper every week for over 22 years. His goal, is to answer some of life’s most challenging questions. You know, bird questions.

Read through the most recent and past articles below, consisting of questions asked by readers and real people like you, and maybe you’ll learn enough about birds to write your own article.

Also popular were the bird illustrations by Catherine Clark that accompanied Ask the Bird Folks from the beginning. Her drawings can be found hanging on refrigerator doors throughout the country.

Keep your eyes on this page ─ if Mike writes more articles, they will show up here.

 

Oriole Identification

Oriole Identification

Dear Bird Folks, As you promised, the orioles we saw on our feeder in May (but seemed to disappear in June) have returned big time. Now we have more than we can count. We are wondering how we can tell the duller female orioles from their fledglings. – Rita, Simsbury,...

Mystery Bird Monday

Mystery Bird Monday

Dear Bird Folks, Could you please tell us what bird is in the attached photo? It looks like a giant titmouse. - Jeff, Kingston, MA   No problem, Jeff, I’ll be glad to help identify the bird in your photo. And while I’m at it, I’ll also identify a handful of other...

How Bluebirds Decide On A Nesting Box

How Bluebirds Decide On A Nesting Box

Dear Bird Folks, Since April, we’ve had a male bluebird singing from a tree in our yard. He even goes in and out of our birdhouse, chasing away any bird that gets too close. Yet, there’s no nest. What gives? - Sharon, Eastham, MA   I’ll try, Sharon, I’ll try to...

Hummingbird Feeders That Do Not Drip

Hummingbird Feeders That Do Not Drip

Dear Bird Folks, Do they make any hummingbird feeders that actually don’t leak? – David, Brewster, MA   Yes, David, There are indeed hummingbird feeders that don’t leak. They’ve been around for at least forty years, and probably longer. Dripping feeders are a...

The Garden In The Woods

The Garden In The Woods

A visit to the Garden in the Woods: Behind our shop we have a small garden. Over the years we’ve filled it with whatever plants we thought looked pretty, and, of course, whatever plants happened to be on sale that week. One day a lady told me that the plants in our...

Common Nighthawks

Common Nighthawks

  A new yard bird: A new “yard bird” is simply a bird species that you spot in your yard for the very first time. It’s different than seeing a “life bird,” which is spotting a bird you have never seen before in your life. (Pretty complicated stuff, eh?) Seeing a...

Kingbirds Attack Hawks

Kingbirds Attack Hawks

Dear Bird Folks, For the first time ever, we have a pair of Eastern Kingbirds in our yard. Do you think they’re just passing through or might they be nesting nearby? Also, what can I do to keep them around? – Paul, Sudbury, MA   Let me check my calendar, Paul, A...

A Yellow-Headed Blackbird Visits Truro

A Yellow-Headed Blackbird Visits Truro

A Yellow-headed Blackbird comes to Truro: I work with a fairly new and considerably younger staff these days, so whenever the phone rings, I tend to eavesdrop on the conversation. It’s not that I’m nosy (although I am); I just want to stay close in case I’m needed to...

Burrage Pond

Burrage Pond

Looking for birds in Hanson: Yes, you read that right. I went looking birds in Hanson, MA. Why? Because Mary Jo suggested it, that’s why. Plus, I’ve been searching for an off-Cape site to visit ever since I stopped writing about local birding spots. It’s been brought...

Baby Woodcocks

Baby Woodcocks

Dear Bird Folks, Please take a look at the photo on my phone and tell me what birds these are. They appear to be a mother bird with babies and I found them huddled under some vegetation along the side of my driveway. – Bill, Eastham, MA   Those are woodcocks,...

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron

Dear Bird Folks, An off-Cape friend sent me a note about a Tricolored Heron that was being seen in Harwich, but she didn’t know the exact location. Have you heard about this sighting? Do you know where it was, and if so, can anyone go there to look for it? – Ida,...

Wild Turkey Nests

Wild Turkey Nests

Dear Bird Folks, I was surprised to learn from one of your columns that Wild Turkeys sleep in trees. They seem too big and clumsy to be able to fly that high. What about nesting? Do they also build their nests in trees? – Jackson, Falmouth, MA   You are so right,...