Friday, February 1, 2008

Common and Not So Common Feeder Visitors

The delightful little chickadees were happy that I got out in the snow and gave them some not so frozen seeds.The Carolina Wren was making itself happy going from feeder to feeder picking his favorite seeds for breakfast.
As you can see the Birds are thoroughly enjoying the pine tree that is down. They aren't complaining about it being horizontal rather than veritcal. This just tell me that I am going to get several evergreens planted along this part of the garden as soon as possible. White-crowned Sparrows liked the cover the downed pine afforded. We were just commenting this week that we hadn't seen as many White-crowns as we normally do during winter. Perhaps this winter was too mild to bring them in to the feeds thus far. A song sparrow was sitting under the feeder muching away this morning.
The Dark Eyed Juncos were dining amongst the masses.

Of course Mr and Mrs Northern Cardinal were getting their fair share of the yummies. The Cardinals seem to be paired up already.
It is such fun to watch them courting. The male sings and carries on so. They feed each other. Such a loving display of affection.

Cardinal is one of the birds that I actually know the latin name. Mainly it is because it is so like their common name. Cardinalis cardinalis. See I told you it was easy.

The only other bird I know the Latin name for is the European Starling. This Latin name is so appropriate for it I couldn't help but to remember it. Sturnus Vulgaris, now if that isn't appropriate I don't know what is. This vulgar bird is somewhat pretty in its winter plummage but it is a nest hole hog and a feeder hog.
It was a very Sparrowy day here. We had 7 sparrows counting House Sparrow which is actually in the weaver family and Juncos which is in the sparrow family. We didn't get a picture of the American Tree Sparrows. They stayed over by the limb pile this morning.
We had our first Chipping Sparrow of the year. It looks to be almost in full breeding plummage. You can tell it isn't an American Tree Sparrow because it doesn't have a black spot in the middle of its breast and the line going through its eye is black instead of brown. Those are the main differences but there are other more subtle differences. Here you can see the size difference comparing the Chipper to a House Sparrow. The Chipper is a small dainty bird compared to the House Sparrow. We often find that the Chipper lines its nest with Luna's fur. It won't be long until they are singing their songs of "my territory". There were three White-throated Sparrows jumping around enjoying a seed breakfast.
My Dearly Beloved called me to the window this morning to see our latest feathered visitors. The Crow is not a usual garden bird for us. They do seem to nest in our neighborhood somplace but since they are so secretive I have never been able to track down the nest.

We received a skiff of snow last night. I guess this is forcing birds we don't often see into our garden. We watched this group of crows as they waddled around under the feeders looking for someting that interested them. We figured that they were attracted to some natural suet that we have in a cage on the Ash tree where they were perched.

A Cooper's Hawk swooped in on them. It pulled up right before it hit one of them. We think it was just trying to get them out if its hunting territory. Surely it wouldn't have taken one of them. This is why they are all sitting in the tree facing away from the house. They are keeping an eye on the Cooper's. One of the crows turned around to look back at the feeders and it got its tail feathers pulled. I figure it is an adult telling the young one to pay attention to the predator in the tree across from them. A lesson learned.
I know I know, enough already with the bird pictures. I can't help myself. This is the first time my DB has used his new camera. I wish there was more light and he wasn't shooting through the windows but at least he has been inspired to get his camera out and use it. After all he got it way back at Christmas. Hopefully by gardening season he will turn his lens to the garden. Plus the American goldfinches are beginning to turn their sun kissed yellow. That should be more inspiration.


  1. Very nice Lisa. I'll make in my new home a better place for birds. I can't waiting for the next Indiana's bird trip. Very nice pictures. Great blog. Let me see if can do one.

  2. Lisa, don't worry about too many bird pictures, there can never be enough! You know so much about the birds social life, I need to learn more. Thanks for inspiration.

  3. Wow,chipping sparrows already! Is that early for your area? I need to check my notes, but I don't think I've seen one earlier than March.

  4. Gabriel, I am sure eveyone would love to watch your new garden grow. I don't think I have seen a blog from Puerto Rico. You should definitely start a blog about it. I know your pictures would be outstanding.

    Frances, I am glad to be an inspiration to such a creative spirit as yourself.

    Entangled it is a little unusual to see a Chipper in breeding plummage at this time of year. We do see one every once in a while during winter. Jan 7 is my earliest date and that was in 99.
    I usually hear them singin at beginning of March and I know they are here sooner to look things over. I am a terrible record keeper.

  5. P.S. Gabriel please write a little in English too. My Spanish is more limited than your English.

  6. These are terrific photos, Lisa, what kind of camera did DB get? I'm suffering from cardinal envy, of course, but the photo I like the best is of the crow getting his feathers pulled. I really LIKE crows, intelligent and personable birds that they are; but of course we get just a few in the yard, not hundreds like some places do.

  7. Wow, these are GREAT bird photos! I enjoyed them all and they are also familiar visitors at our Wisconsin home. Love watching their antics.

  8. Lisa,
    I have enjoyed your blog for many months now and have finally set up one! While not the gardener or birder that you are, I hope you'll visit my blog. Thanks for the courage to do this!!

  9. Lisa,
    I love the pictures of the birds. I find their company consolation during the cold days of winter.

    Heirloom Gardener

  10. Well Jodi the camera is a Rebel of some sort. Don't ask me about the lenses. He bought one and already has a couple others he can use. If you want to know more I could ask him to respond to you. He can talk all that Fstoppin' light adujustin' talk I can't seem to get into my head.

    I love Crows too. They are such characters. Have you read any of the books by Bernd Heinrich? He did a study about Crows and although he is a scientist he writes readable books.

    Hi Teri, I am glad you like them. We had fun watching the birds this a.m.

    Hi Beckie, Welcome to the blogging world. You wouldn't happen to be related to me would you?? You don't have to admit that publically if you don't want to. Send me an email if you would like.

    HG, you are right on about the birds being so companionable and entertaining.

  11. I don't know how you tell all of the sparrows apart. I have so many around and I don't know one from the other. I really need to get a good pair of binoculars that I can see through with my glasses off, maybe that would help.

    I hope the pine needles all fall off your tree before you have to dispose of it. I loved mulching with my pine straw in Alabama. I'm sure the birds are enjoying it right now too.

  12. Once again, superb images of your lovely birds. We have so many house finches. I don't know if I've seen a picture lately here on your blog of them, unless I just missed it. They're the ones with the reddish feathers, right?

  13. Thanks for the photos of your extended family.

  14. Thanks for this lovely post chockful of birds! It was great to see all those birds in your garden and how very different some are from mine. It think the only sparrow absent from your garden was Captain Jack Sparrow!

  15. This is my first visit to your blog ... I have put you in my "Favourites" terrific photo's... I am looking at the snow and thinking cool thoughts as it is full summer here in Western Australia and today was 37°c phew!
    Britt :-)

  16. Robin I hope the tree is gone before the pine needles fall off. In my experience those needles cling to the trees for a long time before falling off.

    I do like pine mulch. I use it, or I should say Used it, around my hydrangeas to try for blue flowers. Ha, that didn't happen.

    I also liked it on pathways. It is wonderful to feel the needles under foot.

    Robin you can get binoculars that work well with glasses. There is usually a cup on the eyepiece that you fold out when you don't wear glasses or fold down when you do wear glasses. If you talk with Eagle Optics they can guide you to the price range and specifics you need and want. And no I don't have any connections with Eagle Optics except that Ihave bought many items from them and know of others that have done so and they are satisfied.

    Hi Kylee, yep most likely you have House Finches. THey are everywhere. I didn't have DB take pictures of them because they are so common. They are very nomadic and we sometimes have hordes of them here and soetimes just a few. I like to hear them singing their love songs.

    Hey Marvin, I do love those little birdies like family. I also encourage visitors.

    Yolanda "Captain Jack Sparrow" would be my fantasy bird if he were to appear in my garden. :)

    Britt, thank you for stopping by. See you again...

  17. Dear Lisa,
    Never too many bird photos!
    I enjoyed seeing your birds so very much. Please give my "thank-you" to your DH!
    Crow pulling the tail feather is a grand shot. Seeing the birds in relationship is the best.
    I have been waiting for Chipping Sparrow to return. My favorite little sparrow. I liked the size comparison shot too.

  18. I love the bird pictures! I am so impressed with your knowledge of birds. We get very few birds around here.....

  19. Thank you Q.

    Sherry, maybe it is all those kitties,kids and dogs around your house right now. When your nest empties somewhat then the birds will fill your garden so you don't have that empty nest syndrome.

  20. Hi there, Lisa :-)

    A brief power cut earlier today crashed my comment here :-(

    What a great post - so nice to see garden birds running around someone else's garden for a change! Different birds too is such a treat. I do love your cardinals!

    How quickly the birds have adjusted to the new temp landscape of your garden - nature is great isn't it! Keep these photos coming please :-D

  21. All such wonderful videos and I love seeing them all! Many great feeder birds that I have not seen in a while! High five!

  22. No such thing as too many bird photos--you've gotten a nice variety of visitors.
    The wren's my favorite--a real personality bird!

  23. I LOVE your bird photos, Lisa. Bird feeders and their visitors make me very happy. The white capped sparrows are beautiful. I've only seen one, personally. You can post as many bird pictures as you like - I'll enjoy every one of them.

  24. What a great selection of bird photos, the first pic looks like our coal tit.

    A great post, Mike.

  25. GHT, good to hear from you. Glad you like the bird pictures.

    Mike, I wish we could photgraph like you do. Some day we will figure out all the ins and outs of photography. Thanks for stopping by.

  26. P.S. Mike, the powers that be are about to rename our chickadees tits so that we are in step with the Europeans. I don'tknow why except that they do look a lot alike. This means all new bird field guides. I wonder if the powers that be are in cahoots with the publishing companies. I see no benefit of doing this.

  27. Your possibly right there, I have to say though I really like the name Chickadee.

    Ive posted some GS Woody pics for you to see. Mike.

  28. Thank you Mike. The photos are great!!

  29. I LOVE the bird pictures. You have a very nice variety visiting your yard!

    Funny about those crows. They are so very smart.

    --Robin (Bumblebee)

  30. I'm so jealous of your white crowned sparrow! Oh, I'd love to see one here. No Chipping Sparrows here, yet (my fave sparrow).

    You have a great variety, Lisa! Thanks for the "bird" post :o)


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