Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Morning Feeder Birds

Like most of the eastern coast, I am snowed in today, so decided to take advantage of it by spending some time watching my feeder birds which never fails to disappoint. I woke up late at 6:30 this AM while it was still fairly dark out and I could see shadows of birds I was guessing were the Dark-eyed Juncos deciding to make my yard their first fuel stop of the day vs the weeds they usually consume before gracing me with their presence. Soon after the female Northern Cardinal that is a morning regular came by too for a breakfast of safflower seed I had just refilled the night before.
I was soon to find out she was not alone as another joined in which provided a few minutes of entertainment as I watched them chase after each other only to see them eating side by side a few minutes later.
The winds were fierce and the snow relentless as various birds started coming to my feeders. The picture above was not enhanced in anyway except for lightening it some, the shadow on the bottom was due to my window frame.
I also had a record number of White-throated Sparrows today who were all underneath the feeders taking advantage of any spillage that may come their way.
I also had my first arrival of House Finches this season and when they come, I go through seed rather fast as they have voracious appetites. I had 12 of them total this AM which is double the number from last year. Will be putting out another thistle feeder to make sure the American Goldfinches still have their feeder and continue to be diligent in cleaning as the House Finches are usually the ones that carry that awful finch disease my goldfinches got last year.
Then of course there were the Song Sparrows with another record number. I am guessing these are the sparrows from across the street where there are at least a half dozen of them. Word must have gotten out that my feeders were filled to the rim so they came to help empty them some.
And then the Dark-eyed Juncos, which are always my most numerous of birds where I will have ranges of 4 to 25 at times.
Perched on top of a sunflower that I allow to remain up for the winter as additional food for the birds.

Another Song Sparrow giving the eye to a junco before attempting to attack. I noticed some very interesting behaviour today and that is the Song Sparrows and American Tree Sparrows like to go after Dark-eyed Juncos who will retaliate in return. The White-throated Sparrows are rather passive and don't participate in this pecking so they get left alone in return. The only thing I can think of is defending of food sources, but little do they know there will be a steady source of food for them this winter in my yard so they really don't need to worry about that much. Interesting to watch though!
Another House Finch picture. Doesn't he look happy winter is here!
Had both the male and female Downy Woodpeckers in my yard today where one was always perched in an area tree.

While the other was at the suet feeder.
A picture of the various weeds I have in my yard that I allow to seed in late summer as an extra food source for the birds in winter and as you can see it is very much appreciated.
And then my favorite feeder bird as of late which is the American Tree Sparrow. I can actually hear their "tink, tink, tink, call from my kitchen window and soon enough one lands nearby for ID like the one above.
This one had a lot of spunk and will as it eyeballed the satellite feeder thinking of ways it could get on there for some sunflower hearts.
These types of feeders are made for smaller birds and sparrows have a hard time using them as you can see above.
That didn't stop this determined sparrow from trying though.
Success!! It brought its seed to the top of the feeding station for consumption.

A very cold American Goldfinch looks my way.
Some half way decent shots of a Tufted Titmouse for a change.
Actually got another so I just had to share!
One of the prettiest birds to see on a snowy day which is the male Northern Cardinal.
And a very miserable looking Blue Jay coming to my feeder for lunch.

Now off to do some shoveling and maybe light hiking nearby for photos and fresh air. Take care everyone!


The Early Birder said...

Your snowy conditions make it tough for the birds but it's great to see how many species appreciate your feeders. Nice shots Kim.

Brooks Rownd said...

That's wonderful - I am envious of your sparrows etc. We don't get to enjoy any migratory variation where I am. Just the same dang zebra doves, mynas, cardinals, etc in the yard all year long. :(

madcobug said...

You got a lot of pretty bird pictures right at home. Good for you feeding them. I feed them here also. Helen

Shelley said...

You're having quite the array of winter bird visitors! Loved that cardinal - they always look so gorgeous against the snow!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Thanks for this lovely assortment of birds.The scenes look very snowy,but the birds are well cared for.

MaineBirder said...

I love a good snowstorm and the birds it brings to the feeders. You had a busy yard, WOW!

Excellent photos Kim! Thanks for sharing.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year 2010!

Birding in Maine

A Scattering said...

Kim, you're such a pro at this now! Lovely shots. Merry Christmas!

Penelope said...

I love the wing in motion and the second tufted titmouse photo. Nice to see so many birds, and so many kinds, enjoying your feeders.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kim, I love seeing your backyard birds since I have so many of the same ones here. They really depend on us --when the weather is so bad, like it is for you alot in winter.

BUT--even my birds seem to love the feeders these days --when the weather is still fairly mild.

Glad the juve. eagle is still okay.

Have a very very Merry Christmas, Kim.
Lotsa Hugs,

Robin Robinson said...

Faaaaaaaabulous Downy girl and Amtree sparrow shots, love the Titmouse. did you put that branch up with the great curve in it? I attach branches where my feeders are to encourage perching where i can take good photos.....sneaky!


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