revisiting a few friends…

08Jun07

….and making a few new ones.

In an earlier post I spoke of the behavior of the pine siskin’s. I had read that when they are getting frisky, well the books, which may have a tad more class than I, said when they are “mating” they eat seeds. When the job of procreation is complete they begin to work on bugs, which happens to be their favorite food. So they moved away from my bird feeder into a bunch of bushes in my backyard.

Here they are feasting on insects. If you look on the lowest leaf you can see how many have infested the tops of these bushes and so, many birds are feeding on them. These insects draw in sapsuckers, buntings… and many other birds so I’m grateful for them.

pine siskins

Being able to identify birds by silhouettes is a real craft. So I included what I considered and unquestionable silhouette of the mourning dove to gain an idea of how distinctive they look when their colors are not apparent. Check out that tail! It is really beautiful and the lines of the bird are just perfect!

mourning dove

And then I saw another lazuli bunting but in a more natural habitat than the original photo I posted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazuli_Bunting

indigo bunting

There was one new bird that took a bit to identify. The pups flushed them out of the bushes so I could take this shot. The trick with this guy is the light red lines on the chest and the lack of markings around the eyes. This is a yellow warbler. This guy must be young because I can just barely make out the lines in his chest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Warbler

yellow warbler

Wild Turkey is a favorite hunting sport over here. So here is a tom wandering in our backyard. A couple days ago my husband had put a load of corn down by the creek. He put it there so that the pups would not disturb whatever animal took to the feed. That night we listened to a squirrel chatter all night long and the next day Mr. Tom showed up and wandered in the backyard all day. There is so much detail on a tom it’s a difficult photo the darned camera wants to focus on the head, then tail, but never really on the bird itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_turkey

wild turkey

The blackheaded grosbeak has worked into being my favorite bird. They seem very shy and gaining a good photo of these fellows has been a task. I see him a lot but like woodpeckers it seems they only give you one shot and are always in the pine trees. Earlier Today I finally saw them on the feeder and though I have some shots “in the field” I liked these ones better. These birds are just such a colorful addition to my yard that I’m always happy to see them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-headed_Grosbeak

blackheaded grosbeak

blackheaded grosbeak2

and here is the lady version of the blackheaded grosebeak. You can see why these guys have become one of my favorite birds to watch.

female grosbeak

female grosbeak2

I wake up every morning to the sounds of all these birds and many more – like the mountain bluebird, a few other shy buntings, and etc.. it is so busy that the idea of ever being able to identify them through sound seems impossible. (It’s like trying to identify the voice of someone at a rock concert!) However by sight I seem to understand better. I’m just filled with gratitude that our friends come to call.

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7 Responses to “revisiting a few friends…”

  1. 1 montucky

    Nice post! I’m especially pleased at your Black-headed Grosbeak. Those are nice shots. We have some of them as residents this year, and I don’t remember seeing them before. They’re really colorful and have a great song. Four or five nights ago one woke me at 1:30 AM and sang for a half hour outside my window. I’m not used to hearing bird songs in the middle of the night, but what a treat!

  2. Thanks! They do have a wonderful song to them! They spend a lot of time in the bushes and I recall just last week when I finally spied the lady. Wow! She is just as impressive as the guy in terms of looking great. I noticed the fella’s usually have the looks when it come to birds.

    Like you I don’t ever recall seeing them myself in the past – now knowing how shy they are now that does not suprise me what did was they decided to feed on the black sunflower seeds!

    p.s. I give Sami my daughter credit for the building of that paticular feeder.

  3. Hi there, I enjoyed your post and pictures. I don’t know what I would do without lots of birds and other wildlife around me.

  4. Thanks Pollyann for your kind comments! After reading through your bluebird post I can see you pretty much adore birds. (By the way what a lovely story – I’m with the lady who commented aww…) I agree without the wildlife and birds, … well I tried living in the city and I have to tell you city folk are made of sterner stuff than I am! :o)

  5. It takes time and practice to learn the calls and songs of birds, even the warblers in the woods that most people don’t notice, but you can do it, aullori.

    I love the appearance of the black-headed grosbeaks. We do not have them here in New England. We have the rose-breasted variety instead which is quite stunning. And we have pine siskins during some winters but not during warm weather.

    I don’t mean to be picky or sound like a know-it-all but that picture above looks more like a Lazuli Bunting to me than an Indigo. The male indigos, which we have in the east, are mostly cobalt blue; no white, no rufous and no wing bars. They are beautiful, too! 🙂

  6. Actually you’re quite right! Thank you for the correction! I edited the post accordingly. I had posted a photo of one of them before and cited it correctly only to misfire on this one :o) I’ve only seen photos of the rose breasted grosbeaks, in birding books, and they look so lovely. They only show up on the east of our country so I’d be really surprised to actually spy one.

    I keep thinking that when spring winds down the birds over here thin out a bit more, they move up the mountain once the heat sets in, I can probably start to differentiate one from another. There are a few I know simply because they are so distinct (like the red-winged blackbird, the brown-headed cowbirds and of course, the robins who are very very vocal) but the rest will take a bit more practice on my part. Thanks for the vote of confidence & thank you so much for the correction!!

  7. You are most welcome, aullori. We have the yellow warblers during the warm months, too, and, of course, what would New England be without turkeys? We have lots of them as well out back from where I live.

    What I use to find is I would learn bird calls and songs of the birds which don’t usually hang out in neighborhoods or at feeders only to have to relearn some of them the following spring because they were gone for the winter. I’d forget. Lol!


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