Feathered Visitors

American Robin

It had been noticed that the birdbaths were all dried up and the pond was a quart low.

American Robin and Rufous-Sided Towhee

So yesterday we cleaned the baths and topped up the pond, having to reattach the hose that had been disconnected due to below freezing temperatures recently.

Northern Cardinal- male

It is a good thing those housekeeping tasks were seen to, because unexpected visitors came calling this morning.

Northern Cardinal-female

The telltale noise of scratching on the metal roof by many bird feet alerted us that it would be a good idea to grab the camera and set up shop on the loveseat in the bedroom that faces out towards the pond, for the birds would be thirsty.

Hazel the cat was rudely moved from her perch on the wicker chair situated above the heat vent and the bedroom door was closed tightly to keep her out. Then the glass slider was opened just wide enough for a clear view of the slope that contains the pond and looks upwards towards the Zen Garden with the koi bowl birdbath by the split rail fence. The sound of feathered wings fluttering away at the human noise did not deter the camera wielding pajama clad gardener. They would be back.


It is often wondered if the birds and other wildlife recognize me as the creator and caretaker of this garden space, or am I just another dangerous human that should be avoided.

Black-Capped Chickadee

I try to tread lightly on the Earth and respect the other creatures. Do they know, I wonder, that they are safe here?

Cedar Waxwing

Unlike the day featured on the header photo and featured on the Older Posts of Interest on the sidebar when dozens of thirsty cedar waxwings descended on the pond, click here to read it, there were only a few such visitors today.

Grackle,(thanks Lisa)

But there was a good variety of feathered friends who did stop by for a drink and a bath.

It is mornings like this that prove the worth of all the toil and treasure spent on the garden. I revel in it.


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16 Responses to Feathered Visitors

  1. Mark and Gaz says:

    They all look adorable! Little birds like those are always a welcome sight in the garden 🙂

    Hi Mark and Gaz, thanks for stopping by. The diversity was impressive, within just a few minutes. I love them all.

  2. Valerie says:

    It is exciting to see the different types of birds that stop by. Some are just passing through and need the drink and some food before heading out again. Valerie

    I think you are right, Valerie. The cedar waxwings pass through here, accompanied by many robins, twice a year, early spring and fall. The Towhees are only seen in the winter. The word must be out about the pond here, it is a very popular spot for the birds in the cold months. I love them all.

  3. Katie Doan says:

    I always think of the birds that gather round my garden as flying flowers. Movement, color, drama – they have it all! Thanks for another lovely post!

    What a sweet way to think about the birds, Katie, and thanks for being so kind. I don’t notice the birds nearly as much when there is so much greenery around the garden, but as the leaves fall and I am not working like a maniac out there, the birds are as good as, or better than flowers.

  4. Thanks for sharing a special moment in your day. I felt that if you reading this aloud before you hit “post”, it would be in the hushed voice tones used by golf commentators.
    By the way, are those the reddish tips of a euphorbia teasing in a couple of pictures?

    HA, Michaele, you make me laugh! Hushed tones, yes that is what it would be to not scare the birds, they are quite skittish. Movement too, I had to be a statue with the camera at the ready, even though I was inside the house. The Euphorbia ‘Chameleon’ is having the best season ever. I don’t think it has ever been as pretty as this year. It has seeded all over the place, too, so there is a lot of it around.

  5. Leslie says:

    What a wonderful variety! I would be so excited to see those cardinals…I just love them!

    Thanks Leslie. The cardinals are our most numerous birds after the Carolina wrens. I sort of take them for granted because of that, but shouldn’t. They brighten the landscape, especially in winter.

  6. sandy lawrence says:

    Oh, that precious chickadee! I love all the birds but the chickadees and the industrious little wrens have a special place in my heart. The tiny lesser goldfinches we have with us all year ’round, and they are my favorite colorful birds that I see in my area. I guess I like the tiny ones – such a miracle that they can survive and thrive, so delicate are they.
    Thanks for these marvelous bird photos, Frances; a great way to start my day – maybe yours, too!

    Thanks Sandy, for visiting and adding in to the conversation here. I love the little birds, too. The Carolina wrens are everywhere here and quite bold, not flying away as I am working outside. They once made a nest inside the shed, but there were no eggs laid. The chickadees like to fuss at Kitty when he is outside with me.

  7. You are indeed a great photographer, getting so many small creatures in focus in your lens. Thanks for the share!

    You are ever so kind, Shenandoah, thank you. These photos are not very good, but good enough to be able to identify the birds.

  8. commonweeder says:

    I am so jealous that you can watch the birds around your house. WE have cats so we don’t feed or water the birds near the house, but we do have many bird feeding trees – and a pond. We just can watch the birds enjoying them.

    Thanks Pat. There are some neighborhood cats that do mischief here, and other critters that can do harm to the birds and the fish in the pond. Sometimes there are losses, it breaks my heart but that is part of the food chain working. I only put food in the birdfeeders in winter, even though there are many berries here. I like to watch the birds and wildlife from the warm lazyboy.

  9. Cindy says:

    WOW, all of those in one morning! I wish we saw more cedar waxwings here.

    Hi Cindy, thanks for visiting. Yes, it was an unusually diverse group that day. I wish we had the cedar waxwings all year here, they just pass through in spring and fall. At least we get to see them then.

  10. Sandy & Richard says:

    I love birds so much, masters of flight, artists in constructing nests, and their songs varied and wonderful.
    They brighten my day, especially in the spring. At the moment I’m watching two Gold Finches build their nest in the Wisteria, on the side of the garden shed.
    I love the bright colours of your birds, such magic photographs Frances.

    Hi Sandy and Richard, thanks for sharing your experiences. I understand how you feel about the birds, I feel the same and especially like to hear them sing and talk amongst themselves.

  11. Bluejays are scarce around here for some reason. Love your pictures.

    Hi Garden IAC, thanks. Some people don’t like the bluejays and shoot them even. We like them all.

  12. Elizabeth McLeod says:

    I miss the red cardinals and eastern bluejays that your garden beckons. Here in the West, we have stellar jays and all types of finches come to our feeders. The most spectacular birds that always delight are the pileated woodpeckers. Do you have woodpeckers come to your garden? Enjoy the avian s that fly in and out! They delight us as well.

    Hi Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by. We do have woodpeckers, several types of them. They love to visit the suet and sunflower seed feeders I fill in winter, and the pileated lives in the tall pines at the edge of the property. There is no mistaking his hyena like call as he flies from tree to tree.

  13. I do believe that the birds know who is working for them and not against them. Great photos. I love the blue jay on your frog and you caught the irredescense on the grackle. wonderful.

    Ah, thanks Lisa. I didn’t know if these were large enough to be grackles, but will change the caption. You would have loved watching the various birds visiting the pond and birdbaths that day, and probably have spotted even more than I did.

  14. You caught such a variety of birds in a short time with your camera. That’s the perfect location for the water, so easily viewed from your house. Like Elizabeth mentioned, I also miss the cardinals from when I lived in the east. We do get jays, which like to leave peanut shells and the odd peanut in my garden that my neighbour puts out for them. There’s no danger of a peanut farm starting here though.

    Hi Shade, thanks for adding to the conversation here. Cardinals are certainly eye catching, as are the bluejays. Sweet of your neighbor to think of the birds. We were lucky that day to capture so many different birds by the pond.

  15. I put out a heated birdbath in the winter that is often full of many different types of birds. I haven’t filled my birdbaths since Sandy blew through but your post has acted as a reminder. 🙂 We have many of the same birds except for the wax wings. I’ve never seen one in person.

    Hi Casa, thanks for adding in here. We run the pond all winter with the pump keeping the water from freezing. Birds gather there for a drink, especially when all the other birdbaths are frozen solid, as does happen sometimes here. The wax wings are rare, I would love to see them more often.

  16. Another faire post! 🙂 Jack

    Thanks, Jack.

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