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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Unusual Visitors

Recent birds at our feeders, including some uncommon visitors...

Typically abundant throughout the U.S., red-winged blackbirds are only very occasional visitors to our yard.

Every winter, from time to time our yard is inundated by dozens of wintering American robins. Sometimes there are upwards of 100 of them at a time. Sometimes they hook up with large groups of red-winged blackbirds to forage through our yard. Unfortunately it's hard to get goods shots of them, since I have to shoot through window screens.

Mourning doves, chipping sparrows, a pair of Eastern towhees and a white-throated sparrow (upper right.) Click for the larger view. Despite their vastly different size and appearance, the towhees are members of the sparrow family. Unlike the wintering chipping and white-throated sparrows, however, the towhees are here year-round.

American goldfinches, Northern cardinals, a chipping sparrow and another pretty rare visitor; a wintering pine warbler (near the center of the shot.) Goldfinches are such staunch vegetarians that any brown-headed cowbird eggs that hatch in their nests will certainly die, unable to survive on an all-seed diet.

As always, our yard continues to be a cardinal emporium.

Also as always (unfortunately,) the battle against the rat bastards continues.

BTW, did you know you could get US .44 stamps with my images on them? Check them out!


Charles Gramlich said...

oh wow, I'll have to check out the stamps.

AvDB said...

You have stamps?? That's ridiculously awesome! And the fact you have alligator stamps is even better.

You know, we drove through Alligator Alley on our way down to Key West this year. I was dying to see an alligator. Didn't see a one. Not even a peek of a head in the water. I was so robbed.

Jodi MacArthur said...

Yay for cardinals. I have some here on my feeders too. They are very shy, so I get them on my side windows. Love these pics.

Are you calling squirrels fat bastards? ;-p
Very cool about the stamps!

JR's Thumbprints said...

I feel sorry for those poor squirrels and can certainly identify with the name-calling. Just this week I was labeled a "snow-monkey."

Those barred owl stamps are awesome.

PhotoDiction said...

I love the photos where some of the birds are in flight. the flash of wing and color - so nice!

Halcyon said...

So many pretty friends! I love seeing your bird shots. :)

Mike B. said...

I love the red-winged blackbird's call- "Pumpkin Eater!"

Mike B. said...

I love the red-winged blackbird's call- "Pumpkin Eater!"

Travis Erwin said...

I miss life in the country.

Marvin said...

Looks like typically busy times at your bird feeders. Great shots. Thanks for sharing your birds.

Barbara Martin said...

I love the cardinals with their black masks though the hens are pretty too.

Mostly, these days, I see sparrows and starlings with an odd bird I cannot identify that comes for the birdseed I put out.

Cloudia said...

These boids lifted my soul, Lana!

Congrats on the stamp thing-

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral



Larry said...

Haa-didn't know you liked squirrels so much.-interesting thought about a cowbirds attempt at laying eggs in a glodfinch nest.-Nice variety of birds in your yard though-Pine Warbler is a good yardbird(not the beck,clapton page variety) up here too.

Lynda Lehmann said...

You are very rich in birds and wildlife, Lana! I enjoyed your photos and the fullness of your yard!

fazrul arhan said...

My ex boss would love this too Lana. He spent most of his free time on fotographic a natural lives like this.
And i wish i cvan see a real alligator in a real life too one day,haha

Travis Cody said...

I don't know much about birds, but I saw a really pretty one last week. It was mostly dark with white wing tips and a white and red head.

I think it was a white headed woodpecker. I hear woodpeckers in the trees behind our place, but I rarely see them.

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; Enjoy. :)

AvDB; Sorry about Alligator Alley. That's a bummer!

Jodi; Thanks. No, actually I call squirrels by their true name; "rat bastards."

JR; Snow monkey? *L* Glad you like the stamps.

Mike B.; Agreed. Some years ago I managed to mimic their trill a bit. I'm terribly out of practice now.

Travis E.; It misses you, too.

Barbara; Your local Ministry of Natural Resources office should be able to help you ID that bird. There are probably bird ID sites online, as well.

Larry; As a birder, rat bastards are my arch-enemy (at least those in my yard are. *L*)

fazrul; Your ex-boss is lucky! I'm glad to have the kind of access I do to alligators, to be honest. They're incredible animals!

Travis C.; Your woodpecker sounds lovely. We get all kinds of them out here, living in a pine forest. Kind of cool, really.

PhotoDiction, Halcyon, Marvin, Cloudia & Lynda; Thank you. :)

Larry said...

I love seeing all your birds Lana. You have a great variety to watch. Lucky you.

Lana Gramlich said...

Thanks, Larry. We're definitely lucky. I love the variety we get here!

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