Monday, November 12, 2007

Project FeederWatch Begins

Since I was busy deer hunting and away from the house for most of the weekend, I wasn't able to start my Project FeederWatch tally sheet until today. I went into work extra early, so I could be home by 9:00 as the chimney repair guys were finally coming today to fix our damaged chimney so we can start using the fireplace again. But that's a whole 'nother story.....

Anyway, I had an enjoyable day sitting and knitting by the window while watching and tallying my feathered backyard visitors. It was a good first day....some of the more outstanding birds I was able to tally were: Sharp-Shinned Hawk, American Robin, and 11 Cedar Waxwings! I was happy that the Tufted Titmice and Pine Siskins are still visiting my birdfeeders and I was able to count them also. I got to tally a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, but no Hairy Woodpecker (which I saw for a few minutes on Saturday while I was home for lunch).

Here are a few pictures of my little feathered visitors (taken from the dining room window):

Tufted Titmouse (with a sunflower seed)

Another Tufted Titmouse at the birdbath (it seems that I just can't get enough of these little adorable)

The Chickadee came to snack on some mealworms

This little American Goldfinch decided to try something other than Nyjer seed

The Red-Breasted Nuthatch always brings a smile to my face too

Here's a little Junco with a really long white tail feather....looked pretty odd. It should be easy to spot this little guy if he decides to hang around all winter.


mon@rch said...

Such a wonderful day and some great birds that you had! Great photo of the junco loosing one of its tail feathers! Does look funny for sure!

Jayne said...

A great feeder watch day! Glad that the titmouse has hung around. Cute white tail feather on that junco!

RuthieJ said...

Hey Mon@rch, thanks for solving that mystery!! Now I've learned something new again.

Hi Jayne,
Now that the leaves are off the trees, I have good views of all my birds and was happy to see that I have two titmice as regular visitors. They sure move quick!

MOM said...

Like your pixs of the feeder birds they are such nice close-ups. How do you get the tufted titmouse to sit still they are in and out here in a flash just seem to gobble the seed.
Did you get your fireplace fixed? Wanted to call but thought maybe he didn't show after you took off early, but you had nice birds to look at to pass the time.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
The birds are only close-up because of the Zoom lens on my camera--that helps a lot. Those titmice are super-quick...I guess I was just lucky.

The chimney is all fixed. They were late getting there (it was after 9:30) and they finally got done and left around 5:00. They had to bust out all of the clay tiles inside as many of them were cracked and they showed me where creosote had leaked and run down the outside of those chimney tiles. But now everything's up to code and a lifetime guarantee--just in time for winter.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Great picture of the Titmouse. I haven't been successful at getting them in action becasue they are so fast and my camera is so slow.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...


These are EXACTLY the same birds I commonly see at our feeders!

As winter moves on I also regularly see red bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers and cardinals. Can't wait until they show up!

I haven't seen many (any!) cow birds yet this year.

--Robin (Bumblebee)

Marsha said...

Great shots...don't you just love a day when you can take the time to just sit and watch the birds! I sure wish I would get tufted titmice...I've only seen them in photos.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Lisa, I was glad I had some time at home this morning to concentrate on those little guys.

Hi Robin,
I'm sure glad the birdies have come back to your feeders! You know, I didn't have many cowbirds over the summer either (also not complaining!!)

Hi Marsha,
It was a pretty relaxing day--got a bunch of clothes washed and hung out to dry too. I think the titmice are slowly moving westward from the Mississippi. It's only been a couple of years since I've seen the first one in my yard, but they show up regularly in the Twin Cities area also. Hopefully they'll be in your area soon too!

Mary said...

Hi Ruthie,

Don't the titmice looks SCARED TO DEATH all the time? Very good photos of a difficult bird to catch.

All of your photo are of the sweetest birds.

I'd like to start a feeder watch but don't you need to be home in the mornings?

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
Yeah, you're right....I never take pictures of starlings!!

Maybe the titmice look scared because their eyes are so big....

Here's a quote from the FeederWatch manual:
"Watch the birds in your Count Site for as long as you can during your Count Days. You don't need to get up early or watch continuously--many people observe before and after work, or they count for five minutes at the top of every hour."
I normally do my counts on the weekend, but because I'm still deer hunting, I'll have to start out on weekdays and watch after work. For me, the hardest thing is sticking with the program because it doesn't end till March 28, 2008!
It's fun though because it made me become more observant and better at identifying birds and their habits.

Susie said...

You always get such great photos. By the time I get my camera they have flown away. I need to be in better position!!

Larry said...

Great job! I have a hard time staying home to do this, but my wife may do the feederwatch program.-nice photos!

Mary said...

Thanks for that info, Ruthie.