Saturday, February 1, 2014

Blogging is for the Birds

It goes without saying that we've been delinquent in posting to the blog.  We've done a little painting in the foyer/hallway/kitchen.  Replaced the light fixtures in the powder room.  And completed a few other odds and ends.  But for now, we're going to post about our birds.

We have two seed feeders and one suet feeder hanging from the ash tree in the back yard.  Being that I knew almost nothing about birds, it's really amazing and interesting to see all the different varieties that we see come to the feeders.  Here's a main sampling of our avian neighbors:

Finches - Lots of finches.  As far as we can tell, they look like House Finches, with the males being the ones with the nice red accents.  They come in groups throughout the day, thoroughly chowing down on the Safflower seeds. 

Juncos - C tells me that they're also called Snow Birds.  They don't show up in the numbers as the finches, but there are a good number of them.  They do eat at the feeders but when the finches are monopolizing the roosting spots on the feeders, the juncos are more than happy to eat the seeds that are knocked to the ground.

White-Crowned Sparrows - A little less prolific than the juncos, these distinctive sparrows tend to stop by a few times a week.  The white/black striping on their heads make them very easy to spot.  We see these guys out on the feeders, on the ground under the feeders, or out in the front yard eating the berries off our Burning Bushes.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet - We usually only see one or two of these grey-ish yellow birds at a time.  The yellow is subtle but the striping on the wings really stand out.  And they'll get seeds wherever they can.  If the feeders are unattended, they'll sit there and eat.  When the other birds are around, they'll hang out on the ground with the Juncos and eat the seeds there.

Cardinals - Good ol' Cardinals.  It's a little surprising how few of these we see.  But when they do show up, especially with snow on the ground, they're impossible to miss.  As far as we can tell, we have a male (seen in the photo) and a female.  The female has been spotted in the front yard eating the berries off our Burning Bushes.  The male has been spotted at the feeders.  Also, he is not intimidated by the finches, juncos, or any of the other smaller birds who quickly make room for him on the feeders whenever he wants to get a bite to eat.  The smaller birds don't leave, but they do know it's probably not a good idea to get in his Excellency's way.

The Woodpeckers - These are our rock stars this year!  They're pretty shy and only show up now and then.  But when they do, it seems like a special event.  We have two.  As best as we can guess, the first one is a female Hairy Woodpecker.  She goes for the suet:

Our second woodpecker is a male Red-bellied Woodpecker.  This guy is striking with that red mohawk of feathers on his head.  It's not a stretch of the imagination why we call him Sid and the female Nancy.  Like Nancy, he pretty much only eats the suet, however we tend to see Sid more frequently than Nancy.  Whenever they do show up, it's usually when none of the other birds are around.  And when they do arrive, it feels like we have celebrities among us!


That's all for now but I hope to post something soon about the new colors and features in the house.  But for now, we're enjoying the colors that have showing up in our backyard everyday.  Stay warm!

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