Friday, May 15, 2009

Birds of a Feather...

It has been a very wet spring. The wettest I can remember, anyway. It hasn't led for a very productive farming experience. So most days, I've focused the attention of my camera elsewhere. It's simply for the birds!

I've been a "birder" since I was a young child. My mom got me started, as she always used to take us kids, field guide in hand, to drive around a wildlife refuge called Squaw creek in Mound City, MO. We would look at all kinds of ducks, geese, eagles, etc., and try to identify them. I loved seeing the rare birds that you just didn't see every day: a Belted Kingfisher perhaps. It was an outing that we always enjoyed.

As the wife of someone who grows bird feed, I always am thankful to have a good supply of seed and usually try to keep my feeders full. This year, this little guy got me started taking pictures of them, as well. As I walked past the window, I thought: "What IS that?" Turns out it was a partially albino male Goldfinch. I had never seen one before. I'm glad he stayed long enough for me to get my camera. I have not seen him again!

This is an Indigo Bunting with a White-breasted Nuthatch behind him. I spilled some sunflower seeds on the ground which got them looking in the grass for easy pickings.

The Indigo Bunting has been a regular at the feeder this year.

The Northern Orioles (Baltimore variety) have returned and are feeding like crazy. This one found my feeder before I had a chance to fill it.

I actually have a pair of House wrens using the little log cabin house that I bought a million years ago. (It usually only gets used by tree frogs.) This year, I was vigilant in removing the four or five sticks that they would put in the house everyday (wrens do that as a way to discourage other wrens from nesting) and my hard work paid off...a nesting pair! Yeah!

These Mockingbirds showed up early to polish off the dried up crab apples under my tree. They now have a nest in a Blue spruce in the yard.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks also show up around this time. This is a male and female. They are funny birds as they will just sit on the feeder for a long time. Almost like they are too lazy or don't want to waste their energy in flying back and forth for their meal. They will just sit until they eat their fill.

Summer would not be complete without these guys (and gals). Goldfinches are everywhere! Lots and lots of them! I've had some House finches and Purple finches, too, but haven't been quick enough with the camera. I'll keep trying. I'm sure Hummingbird pictures will be coming soon, too. They showed up several weeks ago, but now they are eating at the Oriole feeder instead of the one on my porch. No matter. The Orioles will stop feeding soon (I don't know why, but they always do) and then the Hummers will return to the porch feeder.
I hope you've enjoyed my "bird tour." I love birds and just thought I'd share my love and fascination with you!
( can always click on the picture and if it is a larger file size than posted, it will zoom in.)

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