On gloomy Saturday mornings, sitting by my window with a hot cup of chocolate and my camera, it all became worth while. My yard was alive with song and color--red cardinals, gray-blue jays, taupe mourning doves, black and white woodpeckers, and native sparrows in every shade of brown and gray.
It’s fascinating just to sit and watch the birds interact. Some are bullies and some are pacifists, some silly and some sly. The blue jays can be heard long before they arrive. Loud and assertive they scatter smaller birds when they fly screaming into the yard. Cardinals, on the other hand, take flight at the least sign of danger-- real or imagined. A blowing leaf can send a group of timid cardinals into terrified flight. The red bellied woodpecker is a pretty laid back bird, not aggressive, but no birds get too close to him either. Since he spends his life hammering on wood, I expect a peck from him would seriously hurt another bird. He probably sees himself as the Rambo of birds, not looking for trouble, but not running from it.
The hairy woodpeckers and the red bellies weren’t as impressed by my homemade peanut butter concoction; they are loyal consumers of the Kaytee brand.
The little nuthatches are a delight. They are into every nook and cranny, even landing close to the windows and peering in at me. They grab a seed or a beak-full of suet and fly off somewhere to hide their treat for later enjoyment. Wonder how many sunflower seeds they have stashed under my shingles?
The chickadees have to be one of my favorites. They are never still. High energy, curious, bold. They flit from feeder to branch with their prize and hammer the seed open with tiny beaks while holding it with tiny toes. Chicka-dee-dee-dee they call constantly. I can’t watch these obviously happy little birds and not smile.
The starlings are tough guys form the hood. They come in gangs and intimidate with sharp stiletto beaks and their comparatively larger size. They aren’t my favorite birds but they get fed with the others. Flocks of starlings do a good job of insect patrol on my yard in the summer. From a distance they are a singularly ugly bird but up close they have an interesting coloration.
Winter bird visitors to my feeders: Cardinals, White Breasted Nuthatches, Blue Jays, American Tree Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, White-crowned Looking back, it was
Looking back, it wasa very long winter here, but signs of spring are beginning to appear. The trees have a green haze of tiny leaves. Plants are slowly waking up. The daffodils and forsythia are blooming just a couple weeks later than usual. Often gardeners have annuals planted by May first--not this year.
Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, English Sparrows, Hairy Woodpeckers, Downey Woodpeckers, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadees, Gold Finches, House Finches, Cow Birds, Juncos, Red Polls, Mourning Doves, Starlings, and one Red Tailed Hawk.
The birds of summer are returning now. More later.