phew finally…..


I’m going to babble because I have sat by the feeders almost all winter long looking for this bird. In bitter freezing cold at times – sometimes until my fingers went numb waiting for the chance to show you what I’ve seen. Last summer, I saw him once in a rather ungraceful stance looking up at me. His whole stance and crude chirping told me that I was not allowed in his bush and to leave him be! I felt so silly to be bawled out by such a small bird. Every once in awhile I would catch sight of him partaking at the feeder but alas my shutter finger was always too slow…. until finally today. Identifying him actually came with a lot of help from Adam last summer. (Thanks once again!)

Finally a good shot of the real sneaky guys by the feeder all winter the Mountain Chickadee.

mountain chickadee

(Poecile gambeli)

And here is a shot of them at the feeders

I’ve decided (after a second look) as well as the support of my friends that both Janet and Monarch must be correct in identifying this bird. He is a Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius.) The web page describes the males crown and back as “bluish-gray.” Though this seems much more blue then gray. In this case Mr. Sibley was not much of a help in id’ing this guy.  Thank you both very much! 

I really hope he comes back for better shots.

varied thrush?


13 Responses to “phew finally…..”

  1. Wow, The birds in your area are new to my eyes. I hope to see many more.

  2. 2 montucky

    What a wonderful shot of that Mountain Chickadee! I can appreciate all the effort it took to get that! Great job!

  3. wow, these are beautiful shots. i love the first one, the background gives it an awesome feel. the second one is very interesting because of the direction of motion of both birds, it almost appears as though the birds are entering on the left and coming out on the right, and ‘passing through’ the feeder in this way…

  4. Well, I thought I knew birds pretty well but that last one has me stumped. The length of the bill suggests that it is a woodpecker, I was leaning toward the Flicker family but none have the blue back you mentioned. It could, of course, be an “accidental,” possibly from Mexico or the U.S. Southwest. I sure hope that someone figures it out soon before I go NUTS!!!

    Your photos are beautiful! Funny isn’t it, just how mesmerizing it can be to watch birds at our feeders!

  5. Great photo of such a stunning little chickadee! Well worth the wait! Regarding your other bird . . . . it does look like a Varied Thrush but I never realized they had so much blue on there back! Any chance you did some photo editing to bring out the blue?

  6. Hi Barbara, I’ll keep posting them as long as they keep coming. I adore birds (and learning about their behavior.) This little game began simply because my grandma was so good at identifying birds and I thought that was a grand thing to know to teach your grandchildren. Me personally? I started early (my oldest is 15 this next month) but I know how slowly I can learn. 🙂

  7. Hi Ankush, humm I never thought of it that way but really cool observation. I love bird action photos but I’m still mastering enhancing them properly. Thanks for your visit.

  8. Hi Janet, I think you and Monarch’s call is correct. Here’s why, He does have the black bib line on his front so he is certainly a varied thrush, however he also is blue. (I got one really out of focus front shot) hum… I posted a couple more shots I got on flickr site and will put that up on Monarch’s reply. So you can check him out. I think you two are totally correct. He’s just a tad odd I guess. 🙂 Thank you so much for your help!!! You rock!

  9. Monarch – no photo editing at all except to crop in close. I posted a couple other shots on my flickr site so you can look and pretty much see it isn’t sunlight or creative handling on my part. I did crop in closer but I think your correct about the varied thrush comment. As I said on Janet’s comment I did get a really out of focus front of him. (darn lens kept focusing on the tree branch) in it – the bird still looks blue but he has a black bib. Here is the link;

    Thank you so much for your help. 🙂 You are such a dear.

  10. Montucky, how did I miss you? I really like that little bird – he’s got spunk just like all the other Montana folks I’ve met! And see, he’s hearty enough to take on the winter like a true westerner.

  11. Great shot of the Mountain Chickadee! I’ve never had any luck getting good photos of them, but then again, I only rarely see them, since they’re not in my home area.

    That’s definitely a Varied Thrush. And true to their name, they are quite variable 🙂 Good job seeing it and even getting a photo – they’re quite secretive birds! For reference, the two photos I’ve taken of VATH are at:
    Although they’re around here, I only seldom see them. In fact, I don’t think I saw one at all last year!

  12. Thanks for the comment Adam that completely confirms it then. Varied I guess I should have taken that into account 🙂 excellent point! I love your shots. I really hope this thrush didn’t stray far because yep, he was quiet and did not like my company at all! Your shots are way above par! I’m completely convinced has you been at the feeder it would not have taken you three months to get the chickadee! But I’m happy my waiting finally paid off.

  13. Great shots Lori, way to wait it out and get the shot, well done.

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