Surprise At The Bird Feeder

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I got up this morning and opened my blinds and saw the snow and ice hadn’t melted overnight. There were a few birds hopping around on the ground looking for food. The feeder was still almost full. So, I made coffee, fed the cats, and decided I would get a little birdseed and sprinkle it on the ground. As I approached the tree, they didn’t fly off like they normally do…

 

White-Breasted Nuthatch

I was 5-6 feet from the feeder and I looked up and saw a White-Breasted Nuthatch peeking around at me from behind. I SSSSLLLLOOOOWWWWLLLLYYYY reached in my pocket and got my camera. The Nuthatch moved to the side of the feeder for a better shot. They are such neat little birds and quite comical the way they sometimes back up on tree limbs.

Then something even more exciting happened…

Tufted Titmouse

A Tufted Titmouse flew right on the feeder in front of me… For me, to be that close to a Tufted Titmouse was incredible. They are very cautious and trying to get a good photo of one was always a challenge. I have tried to get photos a multiple of times but they just won’t sit still. I have taken photos that are blurry and some even with no bird because by the time I took the shot they were gone. Watching it at the feeder so close kind of made me feel all warm ad fuzzy. OK, I made that part up…

I wonder what would happen if I sat in a chair under the feeder? Well, I think I should do that where I feed in the back yard. People driving by and the neighbors would think I completely lost my mind…

 

I ventured out to the chicken house to check their feed and water then decided I would take a few photos of the Chinese Elm disaster.

 

I kind of knew it would happen sooner or later because one of the limbs that fell yesterday was kind of growing horizontal toward the shed (which is not in the photo). I used to have my plant on a couple of tables behind the shed and was always standing on the tables removing branches that were hanging down. I am thankful I moved the tables to the front and back porch. Several limbs had already fallen out of this tree before.

 

LUCKILY the only damage to the pickup was on the bed. The biggest limb was actually right smack on top of the cab and one of its branches was on the hood. Apparently, the one that fell on the bed kept the other one from doing as much damage.

 

As I went back to the house it started sowing a little. It looked like little styrofoam balls falling from the sky… On the steps, I could see a few that looked like tiny stars…

 

I have to admit, snowflakes are a marvel of nature…

 

What is this world coming to? I am taking photos of snowflakes!!! With that, I think I better stop! At almost 3 PM when I am finishing this post, it is “s-ing”… I mean REALLY ‘S-ING”… The forecast last night said we had a 20% chance this afternoon… It is very fine and I need to go clean the church. I guess I better get on with it. 🙂

Until next time… You know the drill…

 

Red-Bellied Woodpecker & House Finch Females

Red-Bellied Woodpecker female on March 29, 2018, #422-12.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well. I was surprised this morning to see my first Red-Bellied Woodpecker and Purple Finch females. I know they have been here but they haven’t been feeding when I was watching. I was glad to see them so I could get a few photos.

 

House Finch female on March 29, 2018, #422-8.

When I first saw the female House Finch I had been looking at a female House Sparrow, which I didn’t recognize at first either. I know that sounds pretty funny, huh? Not recognizing a bird as common as a House Sparrow.

 

House Sparrow female on March 29, 2018, #422-3.

I didn’t recognize her because I never paid much attention before to their color pattern, especially up close. On the south side of the house, there are usually a lot of males but no females. I guess maybe they don’t stay together until mating season.

 

Red-Bellied Woodpecker female on March 29, 2018, #422-13.

The female Red-Bellied Woodpecker lacks the red crown of the males but has a red nape and the orange-red color above her bill.

 

Red-Bellied Woodpecker female on March 29, 2018.

She was flying from the tree in front of the window then back down to the feeding area in front of the window. She went back and forth several times like she was picking up food and taking it back to the fork in the tree.

 

Purple Finch female on March 29, 2018, #422-6.

The female Purple Finch certainly doesn’t have any purple color on her anywhere. One might mistake her for a sparrow. She does have the same wing bars and white edged wings and similar tail as the males.

 

Purple Finch female on March 29, 2018.

AHHHH! She has a sunflower seed that she can crack open easily with her strong bill.

 

Purple Finch male on March 29, 2018.

There several males feeding this morning but I only saw two females.

 

The Grackles were back in full force again and I was wondering if I should put seed in the feeder in the “other yard”. It was almost empty but I knew the Grackles would eat most of the seed and the smaller birds wouldn’t have a chance. I put food out anyway then poured out another gallon under the tree in front of the flower bed in front of the window. As you can see in the photo, there are two Red-Winged Blackbird males. They barely have any red showing on their wings until they fly. Non-breeding males lack the red. A few days ago I took a few photos but they looked weird. It looked like they had snow on their backs. That look is also associated with non-breeding males…

I must have flipped! I am studying and taking photos of birds instead of plants! I need to get back to adding more plant pages. I am in the “S’s” now and am ready to add the Saxifraga stolonifera (Strawberry Begonia), Scaevola (Fan Flower), Schlumbergera truncata (Christmas Cactus) then the 13 Sedums… 🙂

Until next time, be well, stay warm, be thankful and stay positive. As always, GET DIRTY!