Thursday, April 26, 2007

Backyard Birding

None of the warblers or other spring migrants (orioles, hummingbirds, rose-breasted grosbeaks, etc.) have arrived in my yard yet, but I'm having fun getting to watch my "regular" birds up close.

Birding from the window is easily done, but the window glass sometimes messes up the autofocus on my camera or Miss Penny chooses that particular moment to jump into the window to see if maybe I will have time to pet her -- that usually scares the birds away (especially the cardinals).

The other problem I have with photographing out the window is the window screens, as seen in this photo of the yellow-bellied sapsucker pair on the pin oak tree outside the kitchen window. I could take the screens off, as I do in the winter, but it's nice to have the windows open and not have bugs getting into the house, so I'll just have to settle for somewhat blurry pictures.

Birding from the deck is fun -- especially if you want to catch the downy woodpeckers or chickadees in action, as they are not usually as frightened by human presence as some of the other birds.

In Monday's post, I mentioned that a downy woodpecker has discovered the mealworms I put in the dinnerbell feeder for the chickadee. Here are some pictures of him obtaining these tasty snacks.

"Finally I'm inside, now which worm looks the fattest...."

"OK, I've got the worm, now how the heck do I get out of here?"

"Now I'll just stick the worm in this crack to pulverize it a bit and then I can eat it!"
Could you imagine trying to eat all your meals without using your hands? Birds are so amazing!

This afternoon I noticed Mr. Cardinal also has figured out how to fly under the low cover on the dinnerbell and pick out a mealworm. I tried to get a picture, but this was the moment (mentioned above) when Penny decided it was time to be petted. It was fun to see Mr. Cardinal choose a worm and then deliver it to Mrs. Cardinal. The delivery was somewhat botched--it's not as easy to transfer a squirmy worm as it is to pop a sunflower seed into her beak. She dropped the worm, but he flew down and retrieved it and was finally able to give it to her.

As I was posting today's blog, I happened to look out the dining room window and noticed a couple cedar waxwings eating the remaining fruit from highbush cranberry bushes (finally!). I grabbed the camera, but of course, they didn't stick around on the bushes. Here are some pictures of the small flock that's been hanging around here. They all congregated in one of the apple trees. Once the apple tree starts blooming, they really like to eat the petals of the apple blossoms. That's a lot of fun to watch too.

Close.... (all the birds in the tree are Cedar Waxwings)



Our weatherman is predicting highs in the 70's to nearly 80 over the weekend. It's time to get the hummingbird and oriole feeders out. Hopefully I will get a chance to do a little birding also to spot any warblers or other new spring arrivals.


Mom & Dad said...

We enjoyed the bird pictures on today's blog. I wish we had more cedar waxwings around here. These blogs are a bright spot in our day and we really look forward to them. Keep these blogs coming our way!
Mom & Dad

RuthieJ said...

Gee thanks Mom & Dad -- I'm glad to know someone (besides me) gets some enjoyment from them.