The birds that visited on Thursday

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We were among those in the US of A who got a nice covering of snow on Thursday. I don’t mind it yet, although as March approaches my attitude might change.

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The windows beside our kitchen table make me feel like I am safe and warm in a magical place where I can watch the birds who come to visit.

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Our feeders attract a lot of small birds, like this Black-capped Chickadee. (I hope you will correct me if I misidentify something. I don’t claim to be an expert, just a fan.)

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The Tufted Titmouse is one of my favorites. I think it is lovely.

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One of Mark’s favorites is the Yellow-shafted Flicker. It’s a larger bird with unique markings. A week or two ago, I saw another one in the exact same location, but it was dead-still. I mean, it did not wink an eye or flutter a feather. At first I wondered if it was sick, and then I realized there was probably a hawk in the area. I stepped outside and sure enough, a hawk was perched high in a sycamore stalking the feeders. This poor flicker, somehow knew it, had gotten caught behind the feeder, and was making every attempt to be invisible. He or she got away alright this time. It amazes me to see the birds respond to their predators.

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Speaking of sycamores. I just love them. This is my favorite one. I made a background for this blog out of this photo by layering it over a white background in Photoshop and making it largely opaque.

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I think this is a little Junco. They are a distinctive small bird with their slate-gray backs and white breasts.

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I have houses for the birds, but so far not many are using them. Do you see the squirrel on the small tree leaning to the left? He or she sat there for the longest time.

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Here’s a close-up of it. It might be a youngster. The other day I saw several juvenile squirrels running up and down the trees. They are fun to watch. I suspect they were driving their parents nuts with cabin fever. I didn’t realize the squirrels had babies this time of year, although truthfully, I don’t know when they were born. It’s hard for me to imagine what that clump of leaves in the top of a tree looks like when it is full of juvenile squirrels and their parents.

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We’re keeping the squirrels well-fed too. They love the peanut feeder that Mark keeps on the deck. Arthur works hard chasing them off the feeder when we let him out. He takes off around the deck corner, sprinting on three legs.  But if he happens to get lucky and trap one, he is the first to back off. I think he’s probably afraid of them.  He makes a good show of it, though.

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A little House Finch,

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American Goldfinch,

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and White-throated Sparrow all came to call.

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As did the Nuthatch,

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and the Downy Woodpecker.

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A Mourning Dove huddled in the cold nearby.

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The male Cardinal always makes a show,

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but I love the female Cardinal with her subtle coloring. Very classy.

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And, the Blue-jay. We seem to have quite a few Blue-jays this year. I am becoming rather fond of them, even if they are a bit of a bully around the feeders.

I also saw a Carolina Wren and a Red-bellied Woodpecker, neither of which I managed to photograph. Next time.

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Although this isn’t a bird, and visited on the 26th of December, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the possum. He is, after all, benefiting from the bird-feeders.

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Finally, again not seen yesterday but worth mention, Mark heard the owls’ calls, and spotted them in the tree early one morning right before Christmas.

It pays to keep your eyes and ears open around here.

If you are somewhere bundled up from the cold and the snow, I wish you the warmth of a glowing fire and a nice hot toddy. If you are somewhere warm and sunny, I don’t want to know about it.

Happy New Year.

~~~~~~

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15 thoughts on “The birds that visited on Thursday”

  1. Wow! Gorgeous photos. They are worthy of becoming a calendar or something! Hope your holidays were good. Mine was spent in Louisiana with grandchildren. I always miss my grandparents & my Aunt Vera so much during the Christmas season. Especially being near their old home. I had every intention of spending Christmas in California, but my 76 year old mom became very ill & was hospitalized & my plans changed. I’m dealing with my parents needing me now more than ever & living 2000 miles away. It is heartbreaking. We made it another year though. God is in control.

  2. ok, I missed something. Why is Arthur only running on three legs? Also, I had a “Murder” of very loud, noisy crows hanging out in my neighborhood. So much fun to watch and listen to.

  3. Great photos, Christine!! What a view you’re so lucky to have. I have to say that the Titmouse is one of my favorites, too. We haven’t even been filling our feeder and I feel mightily guilty as our temps plunge subzero here. Happy New Year!

  4. I’m so impressed by these photos, Christine, and the fact that you know all these little beauties names just astounds me. Have you ever considered doing a book of some sort with your nature photos?

  5. Hi Christine .. Happy New Year – gorgeous photos .. love the house finch … but all the bird shots are just wonderful .. have a happier year – Hilary

  6. Happy New Year, Christine. And thank you for the bird identification. The white-throated sparrow, of which we have many, has been driving me crazy. I couldn’t figure it out. Your photos are wonderful. I’m partial to the female cardinal, too. She is, indeed, classy. 🙂

  7. You’ve got a world of white!

    Beautiful pics of the birds, of course, and it’s not surprising that a possum would come around for a bit of fallen seed. Anything to supplement the diet. Deer tend to lick up bird seed on the ground as well during the winter for that same reason.

  8. You had quite a number and variety of birds that day. Good thing I don’t have your lovely breakfast nook and surroundings, I wouldn’t get anything else done. You’re doing a great job with bird IDs.

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