Thursday, January 8, 2015

Snowy Feeder Birds

It is cooooold here in northern Ohio this week! (As I write this, the temperature is 8 degrees F, with a wind chill making it feel like -10.) We've also had a little bit of snow in the past few days, just enough to cover the ground and make everything pretty. With the very wintry weather, the birds in our yard have been extra active at our window feeders, putting on quite a show. I couldn't resist photographing some of our gregarious avian neighbors during a brief snowfall yesterday afternoon. Consider this a fairly comprehensive collection of our familiar winter feeder birds (only the House Finch is missing from this group).

Dark-eyed Juncos are almost always picking over the dropped seeds on the ground beneath our feeders, or else sitting on branches or the porch railing preparing their approach:

How handsome are these birds with their dark suits and snow-dipped bellies? And they're so puffy, in this cold weather!

I often hear the juncos yelling at each other with soft laser-gun calls ("pew-pew-pew") as they argue over seeds on the ground. But mostly they're just cute:

Black-capped Chickadees might win the prize for most adorable bird in the yard (look at the big fuzzy head on this creature):

But Tufted Titmice aren't too far behind:

This bird is such a perfect combination of round and pointy:

One of our titmice (the one in the previous pictures, actually) has wing feathers with strangely brown tips:

I don't know what might've caused this weird color pattern, but I think it looks pretty cool, and I like being able to recognize this individual bird. This other titmouse is demonstrating how titmouse wings normally look:

American Goldfinches are the smallest and the bossiest birds regularly at our feeders. Their winter outfits are quite plain from some angles:

But they're still very flashy from behind:

The patches of yellow actually seem quite bright on some of these birds:

And this fellow is sporting a prominent black spot on his forehead -- this couldn't possibly be the beginning of his spring molt, could it?

I was excited to see (several weeks ago) that our male Red-bellied Woodpecker has figured out how to get seeds from the feeder, even though he's really too big to fit on it. He comes in almost all the time now -- he only deigns to visit the highest of our three feeders -- but I wasn't able to grab a picture until yesterday. Maybe one of these days I'll get a picture of the long red-and-black tongue he sticks out to reach the seeds!

Northern Cardinals are also a little too big to comfortably use our feeders (although I saw a female cardinal there the other day!), but they're happy to pick up dropped seeds along with the juncos. And of course when they're not eating seeds, they're in the trees looking stunning in the stark winter landscape. It's so awesome that we have male cardinals -- who really look like they belong somewhere tropical -- to brighten up our northern winters:

I'm staying inside while this super cold weather lasts. With so many creatures near my windows, though, that plan works out just fine. :)

1 comment:

  1. You always get such incredible photos of birds! So adorable! Thanks for posting.