Friday, December 7, 2007

First Woodpecker


~Female Downy Woodpecker~

First Woodpecker

I was absolutely delighted when I glanced out the window this morning and spotted this female downy woodpecker on the suet feeder. Of course I won't be delighted if this one behaves like the one we had in Alabama. That one would frequently peck on a metal vent on the roof, it sounded like a machine gun and would drive us nuts. It also had a habit of pecking on our window scaring us nearly to death.

Thankfully I have a lot of windows across the back of my house, so whichever room I'm in I'm constantly glancing out the windows watching the bird activity. As much as I'd like to just sit and watch the birds I do have things to do, unlike the cat who has been parked right in front of the sliding glass doors from sun-up to sun-down watching the BirdNetwork. I think she's addicted.

In case some of you are wondering about my bird obsession right now, there is a very good reason for my excitement over seeing birds. When we moved to this neighborhood seven years ago, (January 18, 2001), only a few houses were finished and none had yet been built behind me. It took several years for the neighborhood to be completed and since the land had been a corn field, there were no mature trees. We have since planted many shrubs and trees on our small property. Now that the neighborhood is becoming more established and the newly planted trees and shrubs are getting larger, I am finally seeing birds. This is the first year that I recall seeing any winter bird activity other than a few sparrows in the evergreens. In fact, until this year I hadn't seen much bird activity regardless of the season.

It is so funny, I'm even dreaming about birds now. I had a dream last night that I finally spotted a mockingbird in a shrub. We had a lot of mockingbirds in Alabama, but I yet to see one here. Maybe next year.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Keep the faith girl you will have mockingbirds some day. Just plant those berry bushes they like to eat from. The downy is sweet.

Melinda said...

Great photos, Robin! I identify with the bird obsession. ; ) So amazing to hear their chatter when you walk outside, they all have such different looks and traits, and such intricate patterns and colors!

mon@rch said...

Congrats on your woodpecker showing up!! Please keep the bird things coming and great hear many of the trees and shrubs are helping bring the birdies in!

Naturegirl said...

Your bird photos are an absolute ~delight!~ I sure would love to know what camera you use as Santa has hinted at getting me one for Christmas!!
I love the photo of Lily way back and of course your cat looks like my ~sweet Freddi~ who passed away this past summer. :(
I also have a hawk that sits and watches the birds feeding and one day
he did ((((catch))) a lonely birdie
feeding...I watched in horror but
understood it was the law of nature.Bird watching is good for the soul! hugs NG

Fen said...

Hi Thanks for the comments on my squirrel pics, the woodpecker you caught here is lovely.

Very nice pics hope it comes back for more.

Thanks, Mike.

School for Us said...

Wow! I came across your blog last night by following a comment you left on someone's blog - I think "Beautiful In Its Time." Anyway, I love your photos! Just this year I became a bird and photography enthusiast. :-) I'm thinking about asking Santa for a new camera this year, too, so I'd love to know what kind you're using.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Lisa, I had several lantana plants this year hoping that would attract them, but it didn't. They are perennials in the south and the mockingbirds loved them. My shrubs are pretty small and haven't produced berries yet. Hopefully next year they'll have berries.

I love to hear the bird chatter too, Melinda. The dark-eyed juncos and goldfinches so far are my favorites bird sounds.

Thanks, Mon@rch.

Naturegirl and School for Us, the camera that I took the woodpecker and most of the other pictures with is a Sony Alpha 100 with the 70-300mm zoom lens. It is the zoom lens that makes the difference in the pictures. I usually zoom all the way to 300mm to get the close-up details on the birds.
The Sony is a great camera and less expensive compared to Canon and Nikon, and the lenses are so much cheaper too. If I had the extra money I'd love to have one of the others, but this one is great for me right now.

Hi Mike, thanks for stopping by and for the comment.

shirl said...

Hi again, Robin :-)

I have to say from the outset my passion will always be for plants but the birds are becoming a close second :-D

I too look out my window and can now identify most birds that call by but when a new species is seen I am absolutely thrilled! I instantly look up my books to see what foods it likes and make an effort to supply it!

I have never seen a woodpecker in my garden but today after I cleaned and moved my feeders about I spotted a Sparrowhawk, bold as you like, sitting on one of the perches above a feeder that I had just moved. How did it find it - it was tucked so close to my hedge!

I would love to see a bullfinch in my garden this winter and also the return of the blackcap which was a surprise to see in Scotland during January this year!

Happy birding this winter Robin - I can see we will have of posts to share :-D

Kylee said...

Must be the season for woodpeckers, Robin! I just posted a picture of our Downy Woodpecker yesterday! Your pictures are much better, much closer. Ours was high up in the shagbark hickory.

Jayne said...

Hi Robin, I feel your pain as the last place we lived was once a cow pasture, and for the first five years there, I saw nothing but doves and house finches. Sounds like the feathered friends have now found you. Wonderful shots of the Downy! Thanks for stopping by to visit. I've added you to my blogroll. :c)

jodi said...

Excellent photos, indeed. I haven't tried to get close enough to photograph woodpeckers in the yard; they tend to show up mostly at this time of year, and it's too cold and snowy in the yard to sit waiting for them. So I'll enjoy yours. And since we'll NEVER see mockingbirds here, I'll hope that you see some soon--and get photos!

Dan said...

Hello Robin.
Great photos. I just live down the road in Fishers and happened to stumble across your site. I live in a new subdivision also and struggle to attract birds in the winter. The lack of mature trees seems to impact the bird activity much more in the winter compared to the summer.

Bev said...

Goregious photos!! I have this same book and it is great. One year we built a flicer house using the directions. I was afraid the hole was too small so we enlarged it. This resulted in squirrel nests, and every time the flickers managed to make a nest the damn grackles would invade and fight them off. Finally had to give up and take it down (darn).

Wish we had mourning doves all year as you seem to. But thank goodness we have the beautiful ring-necks.

Isn't Wild Birds great?? But expensive, huh? I've learned it doesn't pay to feed anything but the best I can afford. Otherwise I end up with wasted millet, etc. sprouting all over the place in the spring. I tried sawflower to discourage sparrows, but nothing else ate it either. Thanks for your great posts.