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BIRDWATCHING

Just some of the regular crowd that appears at our feeder. This first batch of photos were taken on February 2, 2007.

male bluebird Here's a handsome male bluebird. Last year a baby bluebird took an almost perpetual post on the top of the feeder support after he was fledged and clamoured for mama bluebird to feed him. Patiently she brought him grubs or picked him out seeds from the feeder. This one treats the deck so familiarly that I wonder if he is that baby.
male bluebird and almost hidden pine warbler The bluebird and an almost hidden pine warbler on the suet cage. We thought these warblers were goldfinches in winter garb. My bad—the beak is wrong for a finch.
pine warbler This pine warbler has the suet all to himself. Some of them are quite yellow, which is why we thought they were goldfinches for so long. We kept the suet up all summer last year, despite the advice not to. The birds loved it.
pine warbler Here's another angle on that yellow.
pine warbler Here's one of the very yellow ones. Maybe the "greenier" ones are female?
pine warbler and chickadee A pine warbler waits his turn for the feeder while Mr. Chickadee picks at his lunch.
chickadee and flying titmouse This chickadee looks on as the titmouse makes for the feeder. It's hard to get a photo of the little chickadees; they move like quicksilver! Some of them were on the deck today, pecking up the seed I'd dropped refilling the feeder, but I couldn't get a good shot through the screen.
titmouse Here's a jaunty tufted titmouse. We thought the chickadees would be the bravest and try the feeder first, but it was the titmice. I love their big eyes!
a couple of titmice A couple of tufted titmice at the feeder. I have seen at least four at one time "cruising" the area. They chase each other off most of the time.
titmouse and nuthatch One of the titmice watches a white-breasted nuthatch attack the feeder. The latter are such untidy eaters!
white-breasted nuthatch Here's the white-breasted nuthatch in his natural position: upside down! They are such messy feeders; I watch them shoveling half the seed on the ground. No waste: the sparrows and the mourning doves, occasionally the other birds, too, go down after it.
white-breasted nuthatch I have no idea what he was staring at, but his "You lookin' at me?" stare was so funny I had to take his picture!
brown headed nuthatch These little brown-headed nuthatches are also extremely brave. I have seen them come to the feeder when we had friends sitting in the chairs on the deck. Our friends were astonished.
brown headed nuthatch The little "brownie" surveys the feeder.
brown headed nuthatch How could you resist a face like this?
Carolina wren "The wren, the wren, the King of all birds!" Our Carolina wren acts like he knows this old St. Stephen's Day rhyme; he always walks about with his head and his tail up.
dapper chipping sparrow Look at this dapper little chipping sparrow! He looks like he's going out to dinner at a nightclub! (Maybe that's our feeder: the Autumn Hollow Country Club!)
sparrow Here's another chipping sparrow at the feeder. You almost can't tell him from the seeds, so I blurred a bit around his outline.
downy woodpecker This is one of the female downy woodpeckers at the suet. I have not seen a male all day; I wanted a photo of him. He has a bright red spot right at the back of his head.
house finch This male house finch gives everything the once-over. Mr. and Mrs. House Finch only call at the Country Club occasionally.
yellow-rumped warbler This fellow is a yellow-rumped warbler. He also, as you can see, has bright spots of yellow near his wings.
yellow-rumped warbler I managed to take this warbler's photo as he was hopping down the deck rail—notice his feet aren't touching the wood! A good look at the yellow spots near the wing and just a faint trace of that between the wing at the rear that gives him his name. I believe this guy is a male since he has that pale blue on his back.

The mourning doves never did come on the deck while I was taking these photos. Sometimes one or two line up, placid and coo-ing, on the rail, pale brown and white. Mostly they feed underneath. Yesterday when the weather was raw they were lined up on a branch across from the deck, fluffed up and half asleep.

One of the red-headed woodpeckers was about today, too, but flew off as soon as I picked up the camera.

February 3, 2007:

male downy woodpecker Got him this morning! Mr. Woodpecker is considerably shyer than the missus. He flew away from my movement toward the camera several times before he kept on at the suet cake, staring suspiciously at me all the time. She just comes over and eats. "It's just one of those silly humans. Who cares?"
mourning dove Here's one of the mourning doves checking out the pickings from the closest tree. They keep their distance until it's in their best interest to fly down.

February 16, 2007:

chickadee at suet Here's one of those cute little chickadees attacking the suet.
red-bellied woodpecker This guy is extremely watchful, so this pic was taken from a distance and not anywhere near as sharp as I'd like. According to the book, this is a red-bellied woodpecker and that the red spot on his belly is hard to make out. Why they didn't name him after the more obvious red crest is a puzzle, but I'm not an ornithologist.

March 9, 2007:

woodpecker at suet Here's our elusive red-bellied woodpecker in better focus. He's a big fellow. Notice the red crest that goes from his beak all the way over his head to the back of his neck.
red-bellied woodpecker with pine warbler Now here's a second red-bellied woodpecker sharing the suet with a pine warbler. Notice the crest is not solid from beak to neck, but has an interruption of the red color. Is it a female? A young bird? Moulting? (Later: It's a female.)

January 17, 2008:

At the new bird feeder—taken with a new camera. :-)
Chickadee at the new feeder Here's a chickadee at the new feeder. The perches can be rotated so they can fit smaller or larger birds. Anything heavier will bend the perch.
The white-breasted nuthatch checks out the new digs The white-breasted nuthatch checks out the new food source.
Coming in from below. The nuthatch wants to check it out from his natural position.
On the rail. The white-breasted nuthatch on the rail. He always looks pissed. :-)
Brown headed nuthatch. One of the brown-headed nuthatches helps himself. There were four at the feeder at one time or the other.
Titmouse with seed. The tufted titmouse has helped himself to a seed and is eating it here.

January 18, 2008:

Never get tired of watching these guys!
Bluebird The bluebirds seem to prefer "grazing," picking up the dropped seeds from the messy eaters above.
What did I hear? Mr. Bluebird has gone on the alert. I wonder if there's a Mrs. in the area somewhere?
Female Downy woodpecker "Mrs. Downy" (woodpecker, that is, has a nibble at the suet.
pine warbler Here's one of the pine warblers. You can see why we thought they were goldfinches in winter garb originally; but that's not a finch beak.
brown headed nuthatch One of the brown-headed nuthatches has grabbed himself a seed. These are brave fellows: one flew within a foot of me while I was fixing the feeder this afternoon.
chickadee and nuthatch A Carolina chickadee and a brown-headed nuthatch share lunch.
upside down nuthatch Nuthatches will be nuthatches. Upside down is rightside up!

February 2008:

house finch House finch.
Sparrow in the snow A song sparrow takes advantage of the seed put out during the snowstorm.
Pine warbler If the pine warbler has to go upside down to get the suet, so be it!
Pine warbler in the snow Pine warbler in the snow.
Chickadee I love this guy's face: "You lookin' at me?"
Tufted titmouse A tufted titmouse samples a seed.
Red-headed woodpecker And at last, that elusive red-headed woodpecker!

February 2009:

Yellow-rumped warbler Well, look who's shown up again: a yellow-rumped warbler. This one is much more brown than blue, but it doesn't look exactly like the photo of the female in my bird book. I don't think it's a male; they're more blue and white than brown (at least in the book).
Yellow-rumped warbler Whatever sex this yellow-rumped warbler is, it sure is bossy: at one point it was chasing all the other birds away from the feeder!
Yellow-rumped warbler feeding He—or she—eventually helped itself to a bit of corn from the suet feeder.

Okay, I received a nice e-mail from someone which I don't think I still have. Anyway, the nice woman told me this was a female.

May 2008:

Yes, I know these are "older," but I found them just recently when I was going through my photos. They were with a bunch of photos labeled "Mother's Day." If you've ever wondered why birds look like hell during the summer, it may be because of babies like this one.

Mr. Cardinal looks a bit stressed. If Mr. Cardinal looks a bit stressed....
Grown youngster begs for food. ...that's because two feet away from a full bird feeder, this youngster hasn't gotten the hint yet watching Dad eat and is demanding to be fed.
Cardinal feeding #1 So Dad feeds him...
Cardinal feeding #2 ...and feeds him...
Cardinal feeding #3 ...and feeds him...
Young cardinal flutters to be fed. ...but all Baby Dear can do is beg for more.
Puhlease? Feed me? "Puhlease, Dad, can I have some more?" Maybe his name is Oliver. :-)
Sigh, says Dad. ::sigh:: says Dad. What's a father to do?
 

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