Sunday, January 21, 2007

Enjoying The Birds

Hungry Blue Jay.

Since the snow arrived we've had a significant increase in the number of birds coming to our feeders.
There are large groups of blue jays and mourning doves coming now, instead of just the usual one or two.....

.....and plenty of juncos. I think they're so cute, with their coats of grey, white bellies and plump little bodies.

Some of the mourning doves are quite friendly and don't mind posing for a few pictures.

This is the first time they've come in large groups. I don't remember seeing more than about 4 at a time previously. Mostly they come in pairs.

The gold finches are still in their olive drab colors, but the males will begin to turn bright yellow as we get closer to spring. They were noticeably absent when the ground was still bare, as were the juncos and mourning doves. Notice the woodpecker is busy at the suet.Posted by Picasa

American gold finches

We're lucky to have quite a few downy woodpeckers that come regularly. I love to watch them move around in their erratic manner, heads jerking to and little clowns. I saw a hairy the other day. They look almost identical, but bigger, and more timid, so it's very difficult to get a photo of them.

The sparrows are always around...leaving their trademarks all over our porch, messy little birds! A bird's gotta do what a bird's gotta do. I just wish they'd choose another place to do it. I enjoy their cheerful songs though, so I can forgive their messes.

The perky little chickadees are always friendly and will come to the feeders while I'm standing close by. They chatter at me as if to say, "Hurry up with that seed, will you please!"Posted by Picasa

Ross built this feeder tray that fits over the porch rail, to bring the birds closer for me to photograph. It works well!

I always know when the blue jays shows up for breakfast. They have an unmistakable shriek that you can't miss. If I need to fill the feeders, they'll let me know :)

Here's another mourning dove and junco.

I notice the doves will peck at the sparrows to chase them away, but seem to be compatible with the juncos. I wonder if there's such a thing as avian prejudice :)

There's a woodpecker at the tube feeder. They love sunflower seeds.Posted by Picasa

We've seen a very large red tailed hawk flying over the hedgerow across the road. Last week it sat in a tree for a long time so I was able to get a good look at it. I wonder if it's the one that hung around the farm this past summer. The crows chase it all the time, but it doesn't seem to be phased by them.

I also saw a kestrel last week (they used to be called a sparrow hawk).

The birds keep us well entertained during these snowy days of January. I hope we get to see a cardinal or two soon.

I hope all our European friends are safe and warm after the storms we've been hearing about. The weather seems to have been wild everywhere....dreadful winds in the UK, snow in Southern California, frigid temperatures in Northern CA, ice in Texas. Some areas here in upstate New York were without power because of ice storms earlier in the week, but we were lucky and didn't have much ice at all. We finally have plenty of snow and I'm remembering now how much I dislike the cold. Yesterday the winds were frigid!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!


Stuart said...[Reply]

Your little blue jay is a gorgeous bird. I love seeing pictures of your bird feeders Kerri.

It must be so inspirational to sit and watch them forage around in the seed.

Thanks for showing some more...

Anonymous said...[Reply]

What a nice fat woodpecker! I love those downies. I wish we had those jays, but, they don't like our valley much. Chickadees, redpolls, a few Bohemian waxwings, and quite a lot of chubby Pine grosbeaks are hanging around. I've been feeding our family of magpies and the solitary raven special goodies everday. They love leftover pancakes! I'm slathering bacongrease and sunflower chips, thistle, and raisins on top. There's nothing left in the pan by afternoon.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Beautiful photos of the birds. My mom loves watching birds out her window so I bought her some feeders. I think I might buy her some more when I go up there again. It looks so cold there, the birds are lucky to have you!

kylieps said...[Reply]

Isn't Dad sweet to build you that feeder! Nice photos Mummy. I love that the birds have trained you to fill them at their will.
love you

Motherkitty said...[Reply]

You seem to have quite a menagerie of different kinds of birds. Our feeders are too far away for me to photograph but I can sit at my kitchen table and watch them through the slider. We don't have blue jays but we have lots of robins and cardinals. I love your feeders, especially the tray feeder that fits over the railing. I'm afraid our kitties would think it was free lunch for them instead of the birdies. That's why our feeders hang from a large tree.

We did not get the ice and snow we were "promised" by Mr. Weatherman so we feel thankful for that. However, we have had the weirdest winter on record and I noticed some of our plants trying to bud lately. I'm afraid all this weird weather will accomplish nothing but fail to kill pesky fleas and ticks that should be killed by a good, hard freeze.

Karen said...[Reply]

I don't normally see juncoes on my feeders. They are usually ground feeders in my backyard. If only mourning doves would stick to just pairs or fours. I always seem to have flocks of them, no matter what time of year. Yesterday I saw a European starling eating the suet. I didn't know what it was, because I had never seen one with winter colours before. No photo though. I did get photos of a cardinal that stopped by, but I was using my brand new camera and I'm not yet familiar with its limitations, so the pictures were not that great. I love your photos! I am going to have to look into getting or making one of those tray feeders for the deck.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
The pictures of all the birds are just wonderful. You've captured them so well.
We had a power outage for much of the morning or I would have should these to little "D" when he was here. Perhaps tomorrow, as he loves bird. I'm going to show the picture of that rail mounted feeder to Bill and see if he can figure a good place to put one that Vincent can't access!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

WOW!! Kerri, your pictures are beautiful!
I can't believe you get that many birds with all your cats! We have tried for years and years to attract birds, but now all we have are hawks!!

OldRoses said...[Reply]

Great photos! For some reason, I get fewer birds at my feeders in the winter than in the summer.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Kerri those are beautiful photos! Those crazy black birds in Illinois are crowding out all the bluejays and redbirds. I could do a remake of the "Birds" just from my backyard!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Kerry, the pictures of your bird friends are soo beautiful! I don't get to see many here where we live now, but they used to wake me up every morning and that was so delightful.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

My Mom sits and watches the birds all day long. She gets mostly sparrows and chickadees. She got quite excited last week when a cardinal stopped by. She has me bring nuts every week now to try and distract the squirrels away from the feeder. I couldn't believe I could buy acorns at Wegman's. LOL. Next year I'll collect my own ahead of time.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Wow, what great pictures of the birds! We too noticed that we had more birds at the feeders with this weekend's snow and tried to take pictures. I put one on my blog of a cardinal, but I wish it looked as good as yours! You have a very nice blog!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

As all your photos and the blue bird is a happy bird enjoying the winter treats that you have out for lucky bird .......

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Great photos, Kerri! I'm so jealous. Even with our recent snow, the birds aren't flocking to my feeder the way they used to. I think it's because I took out that maple--they have many fewer landing spots to wait for their turn.

About that platform feeder that Ross built you... do you have trouble with the rain/snow building up in it, or are there some sort of drain holes around the bottom? I'd love to put something similar up in my yard.

Val said...[Reply]

I've never heard of juncos before, funny name! Surprised the blue jays aren't chasing everything away, they were quite aggressive in California.

I too have thought about bird hierarchies and how they work. Here you often see wattle birds and other large birds being chased around by much smaller birds. It's quite comical really.

And what were all the cats doing while this feathered feast was gathered? I suppose they had all found a warm spot somewhere and were not budging!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Your photos are great. We don't have many birds in the city. When we went for a walk yesturday in the woods there a lot of different noises I didn't see them but I heard them. Thanks for sharing your photos.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

one do all those birdies get along with all your kitties??
I mean, I bought Clarence a fake birdy with real feathers and he wags that thing around and when he's not wagging it he places it in his food bowl with his food!!
Silly kitty!!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Beautiful bird photos! You must really enjoy this wintertime entertainment. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

I always love your bird photos, Kerri. I must not feed the birds, it is not cold enough. And my neighbour has a big feed station. I have three cats and do not feed the birds, because the cats are waiting!


Wendy A said...[Reply]

can't believe it is winter again already. I still remember the tulips from your blog.

lovely pics of the birds.

Naturegirl said...[Reply]

One of the pleasures in January snow is to sit and watch the birds feeding as you do.MY cats delight in this pastime too! This post delights me too..never tire of seeing photos of birds or cats.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri lovely photo's of birds comming for their daily feed Junco's? Were are the cats while the birds are feeding i hope there locked away so they cant catch a bird.((((Hugs)))

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Kerri, your photos are absolute amazing! I've never seen so many birds at the same time!

Winter has finally arrived in Germany, too! The ground is frozen and I hope the our birds will finally discover all my feeders outsinde in the garden!

PEA said...[Reply]

Wonderful pictures as usual pretty much have the same types of birds as we do over here:-) We get up to 16 mourning doves here in the mornings, it's really an amazing sight. A short while ago I had posted a picture of them all sitting in one of the pine trees....reminded me of "partridges in a pear tree"! lol I have a large window in my kitchen that overlooks the backyard where all the feeders are and it even makes washing the dishes enjoyable because I can watch them all!! Hugs xox

Zoey said...[Reply]

What a nice way to pass the drab January days. It must keep you pretty busy just filling all those feeders!

What a great idea Ross had to build that feeder over the porch rail.

I always enjoyed the bright red cardinals against the white snow when we kept feeders full during the winter. I hope you get to see one soon.

Anonymous said...[Reply]

OH, I just LOVE all these bird pictures!! I so enjoy feeding the birds!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

You are really something with that camera!! You keep telling me how difficult it is to get a picture of this bird, yet you still manage to get one...Love all your photos.

Take care,

Carol said...[Reply]

What beautiful photos...very inspiring

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

Like so many of your other readers I'm still trying to figure out how one woman could have so many birds when we've already seen all those cats! Such harmony among the animals is usually displayed only in Disney movies. The photos are terrific, Kerri!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Kerri, I have changed my blog, I had so much problems and lost buttons. Please look!

Sigrun said...[Reply]

It's lovely to see all the beautiful birds that you are feeding. We haven't had any snow to speak of yet this year and your's looks very pretty. We have been seeing "flocks" of Robins and that is very unusual for's usually just two or three at a time. The weather has been very strange, so I think they have gotten a little mixed up in their behaviors.

Giddy said...[Reply]

Love the pics of your birds. We too, are avid bird watchers and have lots of feeders on our deck. H made a drawing of the flat feeder Ross made and will be making one for us too. Thanks for the idea!

Alice said...[Reply]

I loved the photos of all the birds. What a wonderfully varied array of visitors you entertain during the snowy weather. I hope the sight of them enjoying the food you provided warmed you up, even as it was snowy outside.

Do many of them have lovely whistles, or is it just the chirping sparrows?

Pamela said...[Reply]

Kerri, I can't say enough about how breathtakingly beautiful your photos are! No matter what background you put behind your lovely Amaryllis it is simply stunning!

I admire and appreciate you knowledge of all of the plants and the birds you post on your blog. So heartwarming and touching to gaze upon. I have such an affinity for nature.