Central Maryland Backyard Birds

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Northern Cardinal

What birds can you expect to see in a backyard in central Maryland? While every property is different and will have a different mix of birds, many are pretty typical. I live in a suburban neighborhood between Baltimore and DC. Our yard has a lot of mature trees and is within a mile or so of ponds and other water. These are the birds commonly seen in our central Maryland backyard.

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Flocks of Nuisance Birds At Feeders

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Part of a Flock of Red-Winged Blackbirds and Common Grackle nuisance birds
Red-Winged Blackbirds and Common Grackle

How do you get rid of a flock of nuisance birds? Late winter to very early spring can be a stressful time of year for the backyard bird watcher. You put out the regular foods in the regular bird feeders for your regular birds . . . and a noisy aggressive mob of Common Grackles, Brown-Headed Cowbirds, Red-Winged Blackbirds and European Starlings show up. These flocks often take over feeders, push other birds out and eat huge amounts of seed. What can you do about it? Here are some options:

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Attracting White-Throats, Juncos & Other Sparrows

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Dark-Eyed Junco Eating Nyjer Seed in the Snow
Dark-Eyed Junco Eating Nyjer Seed in the Snow

When I was a kid, we called Dark-Eyed Juncos “snow birds.” Until I started bird watching later in life, I thought that was their actual name. To us, seeing a snow bird was a sign. It meant that it was going to snow, leading to snowmen, snow forts, saucering down the side hill and a day off of school. I suspect this childhood joy may still be a little part of the reason that I still love these little birds today. Even today, when I know that birds don’t cause the weather, I still feel joy when I see the first of the juncos and their winter pals, the White-Throated Sparrows arrive in mid-fall. Here is what I do in my yard to make sparrows happy during the winter.

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