Monday, December 17, 2007

Bird Watching

I have four windows across the back wall of my family room and I spent a lot of time yesterday sitting or standing in front of the windows birdwatching while the guys watched football. I've discovered that when it snows the birds flock to my feeders. My yard was covered in birds most of the day. I saw the blue jay only once and took this picture from the kitchen window.

The mourning doves were all fluffed out and trying to stay warm.

Out on a Limb
~Out on a Limb~

I was a little concerned about the mourning dove on the icy limb, I thought for sure a gust of wind would break the limb, or bounce the dove right off.

I love the way the feathers look when they do this.

The starlings have become a nuisance at my feeders. They keep multiplying in number, are taking over and running off the more mild mannered birds. They love to eat anything and everything and they are quite loud.

This one liked the suet feeder and when it wasn't eating it just sat there looking in the window.

Where is that Cooper when you need it?

On thin ice
It was quite funny at times watching the birds trying to maneuver on the icy limbs. This woodpecker was trying its best to hang on but.......

it just couldn't do it and slid all the way down the limb.

~Woodpecker in Action~

The suet was coated with a layer of ice and snow. The next time we're expecting overnight weather like this I'll take the feeders to the garage and hang them out in the morning.

I now have the male and female downy as regular visitors.


finch peeping Tom
It was quite amusing to watch the finches looking in the window. I was sitting right in front of the window too and I'm sure they could see me. We don't have a window ledge so it was no easy task for them to do this.


gold finch

My other two sock feeders were completely covered with a thick layer of ice, I had just bought this one a few days ago and was very glad I had it on hand. I put it right in front of the window and as you can see, it was a big hit with the goldfinches.

This funny finch went down the whole length of the window drinking the water droplets from the window. This was the only time I saw it doing this. The other times they would just sit in one spot, as if they were trying to look inside.

frozen food
~Frozen Food~

I brought the feeders inside and placed them in front of the heater to let them thaw.

Today there seemed to be even more starlings and sparrows at the feeders. Thankfully, they finished off the cheap seed, (which isn't really that cheap), and I will only buy sunflower seeds for the regular feeders from now on. No more cheap seeds for me. I've learned my lesson. Hopefully this will diminish the sparrow and starling population at Robin's Nesting Place.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Such interesting photos Robin. I have never seen a bird drink water droplets from a window. Awesome.
The poor downy trying to hang on to the icy limb. Ha... It sounds like a real circus there.

mon@rch said...

such a wonderful series of photos here! Bravo!

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

Wow, Robin, what gorgeous birds you have ! I don't feed the birds because their food attracts mice and rats in the city, but I do give them water.

Jayne said...

Wonderful shots Robin! Made me cold just looking at them. Glad the birds found a way to eat through the ice.

Entangled said...

I love to come here and marvel at all your photos, but the goldfinch drinking the water droplets on the window? That's just amazing! Great work!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Oh Robin, what a lovely post this one is. Those finches are a hoot!!! I love bird watching too and I could do it to my heart's content on your blog today. Thanks for all the lovely pics, they were great!

BTW starlings are a nuisance here too that's why I have feeders that only allow small birds to go inside and eat.

Anonymous said...

Pam @ Digging says:

Robin, I keep thinking you can't get any closer to the birds, but then you do. That extreme close-up of the finch is amazing. The ones looking in your window seem to be saying, "Let me come sit by the fire."

Like Carolyn Gail, we live in town and can't feed the birds without attracting rodents, but I sure wish I could. I'd love to see the sights that your feeders attract.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm learning so much from your blog - thank you! Now I know the next time we are expecting ice & snow to bring in the feeder. I bought a suet block & feeder & as soon as I get over my terrible cold I'm going to hang it up. I think that finch looking in was trying to figure out where all the food comes from.

Q said...

I have enjoyed your ice and snow photos very much. It was an awesome storm. I had never seen such a marvelous landscape!
I feel as if I was sitting right with you watching the birds. I too love the birds! Thank you for including me.
The Gold Finches are so very sweet. The photo of the Gold Finch drinking the water droplets gave me a tickle.
Wonderful photos.
Thanks again.

Unknown said...

fantastic photos- quite a different take on bloom day but look at all the action in your garden! Thanks.

Dan In Fishers said...

Once again, awesome photos. Wish I could get the bird activity like you have.

Barbara said...

Extraordinary, great pictures! I especially like the first one, bird in ice branches. You must be a very patient person, waiting and hoping for the exact right moment to take pictures.
Regards from Switzerland!

Dana Leeds said...

Beautiful photos... again! I wish we could have some snow in Houston so our feeders would be busier! Actually, I'm visiting in Kansas right now and have had snow since we got here Sunday, though it is almost gone. My daughter and I have been enjoying going down to the river to watch hundreds of geese and a few dozen ducks. Very entertaining as they slip and slide on the ice!

And, I put a little feeder up here at my mother-in-laws hoping to see some birds. So far, some of the seed has been eaten, but I haven't seen the birds yet!

Shirley said...

Hi there Robin :-)

Gosh what wonderful photos of the birds on icy branches! I also love the finches at your window too – you need to video that one day :-D

I worried about your Starlings - they love the fat feeder most of all. You could try moving them about or placing one away from the other feeders. A word of caution they have fantastic memories! I remember laughing at one starling that found a fatcake I had hidden under some branches on my pine tree for the coal and blue tits. It clearly thought he was on to a winner as he was the only one that spotted it! Overnight I removed it. I wish I had run the video camera the next day as it was priceless watching its confused look as it examined the branches from every angle to find the fatcake. It returned a few times before it eventually gave up!

Mary said...


OOoooo. I just love your photos!!!

Even though I dislike the Starling's pushy demeanor, you really captured the beauty of that bird in your photos. Just lovely. All of your photos are outstanding.

I buy premium Black Oil Sunflower, nuts, niger seed, suet. The Starlings will eat anything and I'm afraid they are gorging on the few meal worms I offer each day.

We have not had ice to deal with yet. We are due for rain tonight, so I put the rain guards on the feeders. That's an easy task in comparison to what you are dealing with.

Great post!


vonlafin said...

Great photo's, I don't know how you do it!

Ewa said...

Dear Robin,
I love these pictures! the flying fellows in your garden are not scared of you at all! and that icy covered limbs - look soo cold, but there is certain beauty in it.
Do you mind if I link you on my blog?

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Your photos should be publised, great work.

Anonymous said...

Lovely photos. Please put a ledge for those finches who come to say hi!