Friday, August 30, 2013

Window Feeder Birds

Since Paul and I put a bird feeder up on our window last fall, we've gotten tons of entertainment from this little thing. It was slow going at first, with only the occasional Tufted Titmouse patron over the first few months. But then we moved the feeder to a window with more tree cover -- it's actually now next to the Red Cedars, which get tons of bird traffic by themselves -- and the explosion of activity at the feeder this summer has been incredible. Black-capped Chickadees are by far the most common visitors, and I absolutely love being able to see these personable birds so close. And I do mean close. A few times a day, our local group of 5 or 6 chickadees will stop by and take turns picking seeds out of the feeder, and Paul and I can stand with our faces literally inches away from them. They just go about their business, no problem!

Because I can -- because they let me -- here are some pictures I took yesterday of one of our chickadee visitors. Unlike every other bird picture I ever take (including the pictures later in this post), I actually didn't use my telephoto lens here. It's just me and my camera inches away from this awesome little creature:

Sooo cute!

Here's a cropped version of that last picture -- all those tiny, intricate feathers are just amazing:

Along with the chickadees, we also often get Tufted Titmouses at the feeder, and a White-breasted Nuthatch shows up every few days as well. Now that I see these birds so frequently and at close range, I've actually noticed that chickadees and titmouses aren't really the same size, as I've always assumed. On this small feeder, the titmouses look like hulking tanks compared to the dainty chickadees. How strange!

Speaking of titmouses, one of our local birds has been acting very strangely recently. (I'm assuming it's the same bird, but it could be multiple birds as well.) Several times over the past few days, a Tufted Titmouse has perched on the window near the feeder, tweeting loudly and peering intently at (or perhaps past) the glass:

Then it starts flapping its wings and pressing against the glass and just generally trying really hard to do something... but I'm not sure what!

What do you want, little bird?! This could be an attack-the-reflection thing, but from our end it looks an awful lot like the bird is trying to get through the glass and into our house. Good thing we don't leave the windows open without screens, because I think we'd have a titmouse in here pretty quickly!

Just don't hurt yourself, adorable creature!

In the past couple of days, some new birds have started to figure out that there's food on our window as well. A House Finch spent some time chowing down on seeds on Wednesday. Then a Downy Woodpecker showed up, but it didn't quite seem to know what to do with the feeder:

It spent some time trying to get at the seeds from below by tapping on the bottom of the tray:

It even reached its tiny tongue into the feeder's drainage holes, but strangely enough the little woodpecker wasn't having much success with this approach:

OK, there you go! Although that big tail makes it a bit hard to balance here:

Even better! Problem solved.

Well done, Ms. Downy. Enjoy!

One of these days I'll have time for a nice long woods walk. But until then, I'll just enjoy all these wonderful creatures right at home. :)

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