The bird feeders have all been stocked up for the visiting feathered friends. From inside the warm and dry addition, sitting comfortably in the lazyboy, white hot chocolate within reach, the excitement now comes from watching the birds. The camera is at the ready, sometimes even on the tripod, in case something interesting flies into view. The birds are quick movers, however, and shy, often dining on the side of the feeder that faces away from the house. This results in the much dreaded bird
butt backside shots. Persistence is required.
The Black Capped or Carolina? Chickadee is small enough to reach into the squirrel proof suet feeder…
Added: Randy says “No black-capped Chickadees even close to you, has to be a Carolina Chickadee.”
Great delight is generated by each and every bird that comes to hang here, the regulars like the Chickadee can be counted upon for endless visual interest. But on occasion a new guy/gal will come a’knockin’. Woodpeckers abound, as evidenced by the drills in the dead bits of the multitrunk silver maple that is the largest tree near the house. Identification for this novice birder can be risky, could this be the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker? (Sorry the photo is so dark, it was raining and taken through three panes of glass.) Added: Randy says “The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a juvenile, the white on the sides of the wing make it an easy ID.” What would we do without dear Randy?
There is much activity outside the range of the camera by birds that do not visit the human supplied feeders. On a cloudy, rainy, dreary day, the camera cannot see color, turning the view to shades of grey.
But the human eyes could make out that the two on the wire and the little one zoomed in the above shot are Eastern Bluebirds. There were four birds checking out a bluebird house nearby that is mounted on a post in the Azalea Walk, flying back to the power line for some discussion. I hope this foretells of a family of bluebirds nesting there next spring, or perhaps they plan on using the house for sleeping quarters on cold winter nights.
At the farthest reach of the zoom on the Canon SX1, a large group, a flock perhaps? of Cedar Waxwings is identified after the photos are loaded onto the computer. The telltale yellow tip on the tail feathers and the elegant swoop of the cap help make the identification without more light to help the color in the image to be revealed. The Waxwings stop by twice yearly here, the most exciting being one spring a couple of years ago, from whence the photo on the blog header originated. The post about it can be read by clicking here-Thirsty Throngs or at the top of the sidebar.
While sitting in the lazyboy, pondering the meaning of the universe as we waited for the technician to come to the house to revive our internet service, four days without it nearly brought about an emotional meltdown, a larger than usual bird was spotted in the upper branches of the mature maple of the neighbor behind us known as Ferngully Sibling. Many shots were snapped as the wind outside was fiercely howling, parting the breast feathers of the believed to be hawk. This appearance may explain the sudden stillness at the feeders where there had been bustling activity just moments before.
The bird then turned his/her back to the wind. This is believed to be a Cooper’s Hawk, with the rust colored stripes on the breast and rounded long tail with chevron markings. A beauty, truly, and a first sighting ever for my life list.
We welcome all the birds here, being a certified National Wildlife Federation Habitat. Click here for more info on making your garden such a place. Houses, birdbaths, feeders, berry bearing plants, the pond kept unfrozen with the running of the pump, no pesticides used and brush piles maintained are things done to help keep our flying friends safe and happy. They repay us by merely showing up, a good return on the investment.