Enjoying the Birds

April 30, 2004

Particularly at breakfast time, we enjoy the birds that come to our bird feeders. The songs of the birds are heard even before daylight, and some birds come to feed right at dawn.

This redhead woodpecker is one of our favorites, and one of the biggest birds that come. We get a lot of doves, which may be a bit bigger.

Two pairs of cardinals have visited us a lot this spring. This dramatic male has gotten quite friendly, coming to the feeder on the glass at the end of the den.

This female cardinal is sitting in the leaves of the oak tree just outside our window.

This cardinal at left above is even visiting the suet feeder. They don't usually hang on the suet feeder, but this one is having a go at it. The one at right above is on the feeder in the middle of the back yard. The handsome fellow at right is following their more usual pattern of foraging on the ground.

A couple of red finches are daily visitors to the window feeder to get sunflower seeds. A couple of brown finches and some bright yellow ones also visit. They put everything else to shame with their ability to turn and shuck sunflower seeds in their beaks while they are sitting there.

There are lots of robins in the yard, but I haven't gotten a decent picture of one of them yet this year.

I considered myself quite fortunate to get this shot of a brown thrasher. They don't hang around much at our house, although Mark sees them quite often just down the street.

This bluejay was an early morning visitor, as they usually are. He is sitting in one of the oak trees in the back yard.

This female cardinal was backlit by the early morning sun on May 3.

This cardinal pair came to the platform bird feeder.

The nuthatch, with his tuxedo feather pattern and preferred upside-down position, is one of my favorite visitors to the suet feeders. I love his distinctive, laughing call.

The jay arrived early in the morning and foraged among the daylillies below one of our birdfeeders.

Though we sometimes fuss about the greediness of the jay in taking food from other birds, he is beautiful and really shows off his blue colors against the green background.

Mother nuthatch feeds a hungry youngster. Whoa! The young one is bigger than Mama! Building it's baby fat has made Mama slim and trim.

I think the shot below catches both parents in the act of feeding the young bird on the left.

The hungry young nuthatch waits impatiently on the tree for Mama to bring lunch.

Mama nuthatch makes another trip to the suet feeder just below. Flying up to the tree, she meets the eager youngster.

This friendly woodpecker is also one of our favorite visitors. I take this to be a female downy woodpecker. They are very fond of the suet feeders. They land on the tree and go through a standard security routine, looking in all directions, before descending to the feeder.

These were later photos, May 27. The bluebirds had been coming to the feeders this spring, and now they brought their three youngsters. Note the traces of blue on the tail feathers of the young bird at left. The parents watched from a limb above.

Thanks to Ken Hunter for the loan of his long lens for capturing these images of the birds.

New life in the springtime

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