Saturday, February 13, 2016

Birds! Birds! Birds!

We enjoy our winged visitors a lot… Always interesting to see which birds visit our feeder.  In the late fall and throughout the winter we hang a feeder off the eves of our screened in porch where we can view it from our family room…

This was our old feeder which was filled with thistle seeds and capped off with suet blocks at either end.  The perch was too small for most birds that frequent our feeder so we got a new one with a bigger perch.

This sweet little bird is a male Carolina Wren, a year around resident in these parts.  They sing throughout the year and they aren’t afraid of people.  You can walk out next to the feeder and they won’t fly away…

Next we have another local mainstay of the bird world…a Black-Capped Chickadee.  These birds breed from Alaska and Newfoundland south to northern New Jersey, Missouri and northern California.  They winter from south from Maryland to Texas.

We love woodpeckers and we have a lot of them in the woods that surround our home.  This Downy Woodpecker just loves that suet block!  He’s one of the first birds to show up at our feeder every day… He’s the smallest, tamest and most abundant of the eastern woodpeckers.  We have Pileated Woodpeckers in the woods beside our house but they don’t frequent the feeder.

Nuthatches are regular visitors too!  Their habit of hopping headfirst down tree trunks is entertaining to watch and by doing so, it sees insects and insect eggs that birds climbing up the trunk may miss…  

This is our ‘boss’ mockingbird!  This particular bird will take over the feeder and defend it against all comers until she is satisfied or just gets tired of the routine.  Mockingbirds are very territorial.


·       The songs of 36 other species were recognized from one bird that was recorded in Massachusetts.  Eastern Mockingbirds imitate a wider variety of birds… 

This Mourning Dove is sitting on top of our new expanded feeder with wider side perches.  She is a ground feeder and they are frequent visitors in our yard but they’re really ground feeders.  In this photo it looks like she’d like to change her ways…!  She’ll clean up underneath the feeder in the flower bed or on the deck.

The next 4 photos are of our abundant local population of Eastern Bluebirds.  We have at least one couple that likes to hang out and feed together at our feeder.

The Eastern Bluebird with the truly blue feathers is the male and the one with the more subtle feathers is the female.  This bird is very popular with birdwatchers.  Our area has a very active Bluebird Club and local golf courses and neighborhood yards have many nesting Bluebird boxes.  They are among our most frequent visitors to our feeder.

Another frequent diner, who just loves the suet, is the Red Bellied Woodpecker…seen here with a Bluebird.  He’s named for his easily overlooked red belly patch.  In our local woods, he hammers acorns and berries into crevices in trees for winter food.  The suet is an extra treat at this time of the year for all birds. 

And of course…we also have a plethora of Cardinals.  They nicely offset the blue in the Bluebirds and add color to our winter scene.  Cardinals are very aggressive and dominate at the feeder.  They fluff up and spread their wings to make themselves look bigger than they are…

Oh! Oh!  Look out little birds!  Hawks are a regular visitor to our woods.  The feeder is immediately deserted when one of these predators shows up!  While he’d take a bird if he could, this fellow was focused on mice or voles in the leaf litter below him.  We believe that this is a juvenile Broad-winged Hawk. (Sorry this photo is so blurry…no tripod and maximum zoom)

Other birds that we’ve seen at our feeder or in our yard include a variety of Song Sparrows, Robins, American Redstart, Crows, Turkey, Rufous-sided Towhee, Eastern Towhee, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Goldfinch, Purple Finch, Hairy Woodpecker, Red Headed Woodpecker, Blue Jays, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, etc., etc.!

Just click on any of these photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by to check out our winged visitors!

Take Care, Laurie (and Big Daddy Dave)


  1. Lots of great shots and they are all beautiful. The bluebird and the cardinal are my favorites.

  2. Lots of good shots of your feathered friends. We rarely get bluebirds on ours. They really need us during this very cold weather.