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For the Birds

picture of Bird House

We've been having some bird activity around here this week. A couple of house wrens have been building a nest in our birdhouse. We read that they sing the most when they are nesting and we enjoy hearing them sing first thing in the morning and throughout the day.

Here's a picture of a house wren:

picture of House Wren

picture of Wren Nest

We have also had a very distinguished bird visitor at our feeder for the last several days; a Rose Breasted Grosbeak. He is very beautiful and we have really enjoyed seeing him.

Here's a picture of a Rose Breasted Grosbeak:

picture of Grosbeak

Last week when I stopped by Walgreens to pick up a few things I found that they had the Easter Peeps on sale for 18 cents a box. I bought a few boxes and used them to make this sunflower cake:

picture of Sunflower Cake

If you are interested in making it some time you can find the recipe here.

I don't think I will make the cake again, but I will post the recipe for the chocolate frosting that I used, as it's a good one:

Good Chocolate Frosting

1 stick margarine or butter
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup milk (may not need all)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt the margarine and then stir in the cocoa. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar alternately with the milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Frost cake immediately as this hardens as the butter cools. This is enough for a layer cake or two dozen cupcakes.


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7 Comments on “For the Birds”

  1. #1 Ann
    on Apr 28th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I am VERY JEALOUS about the rose-breasted grosbeak! Have never seen one of them.

    Might your wren be a Carolina wren? They are the ones that sing so beautifully. Just curious.

  2. #2 Becka
    on Apr 28th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Ann, we, too, are thrilled to see the grosbeak. He is lovely. This wren is not a Carolina Wren–we have those too. This one is more plain. He sits on top of the birdhouse and sings his little heart out.

  3. #3 b.j.
    on Apr 29th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I have seen one of those grosbeaks, but didn’t know what it was! Thanks for enlightening me. I wish I could figure out what kind of bird it is that is so often singing so sweetly outside my window. It is small, mostly brown with redder chest, head, and body. Can’t find it on the internet.
    My sister has swallows nesting in her hanging ferns on the porch!

  4. #4 Danette
    on Apr 30th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    We had a pair of rose breasted grosbeaks last year. They are so beautiful! I keep watching for them this year, but maybe they came to your house instead. The sunflower cake is very cute and I’m going to use the frosting recipe for Michael’s bday cake next week. Have a good weekend!

  5. #5 Ann
    on May 2nd, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Are the grosbeaks still around? If I remember right they just migrate through here. We’ve got a rufous-sided tohee on the side of our house – I can hear him often. Once in awhile he skitters through the underbrush.

    Yesterday I got a desk and its location is such that I will be able to see the activity in our butterfly garden this summer. That will be a treat!

  6. #6 Becka
    on May 2nd, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Ann, I think the grosbeak has moved on. We haven’t seen him for a couple of days now. We have towhees also. That’s actually what I thought the grosbeak was when I first saw him.
    It’s great that you can place your desk so that you can see the activity going on in the garden. Our birdfeeder is just outside the window beside our kitchen table so it’s a wonderful spot for noticing the birds and other animals that come up onto our deck.

  7. #7 Carrie
    on May 3rd, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    That is the cutest use of Peeps I have ever seen! I’m a huge fan.

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