Honey, Put the Kettle On, We Have Visitors!

Bird Feeder The combination of a recent snowfall, coupled with a heavy application of black-oil sunflower seeds to the bird feeders, turned our backyard into quite the beehive…or…aviary of activity. The guests were well-behaved (for the most part) except for this gang of thugs. A murmuration of Starlings seem to spend as much time fighting among themselves as they do trying to run off other winged guests.starlings A family of Northern Fox Squirrels lives in our backyard, as well, taking their toll on the seed supply. They duke it out with the more numerous, but much smaller, Gray Squirrels who call our place home. squirrel We were excited to see this Red Shafted Northern Flicker stop by. At least a foot tall, he hung out with us for several days, alternating between the bird feeders and probing the bark of our trees. Northern Flicker A couple of other varieties of woodpeckers also made the scene. This Red-bellied Woodpecker

redheaded woodpecker3

and this Downy Woodpecker stopped by to check out the menu.bird4 Other visitors included a sweet little White Breasted Nuthatch, a Tufted Titmouse, a young Cardinal couple, madly in love, and a Carolina Wren. birdTufted Titmouse cardinal Cardinal wren But, so far, no sign of this monstrous fellow who stopped by last year. Do you invite feathered friends to stop by in the winter? Any particular favorites or ones that you long to see?

And take a moment and check out my friend, Kimberly’s Backyard Bird Count. Oh, and you can learn more about how you can participate the Great Backyard Bird Count here.

About Benjamin

Gardening, Raising a Family, Hobby Photography, Reading & Philoso-phizing...not necessarily in that order.
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53 Responses to Honey, Put the Kettle On, We Have Visitors!

  1. Great minds think alike! I’m planning a bird post of my own tomorrow! We see the Flickers here for about a week in mid-spring, and then again for about a week in late August, and I always become perhaps unreasonably excited about their visit! Some winters we have Carolina Wrens; this is not one of those winters for us. I miss them!

    I don’t get Starlings at my feeders, but sometimes a Blue Jay swoops in, cawing loudly, and everyone else flies away in a panic. Later in the spring, we might see a Catbird come in and bully everyone else away.

    It’s all good entertainment for the cats on the other side of the window!

  2. Mother Hen says:

    We don’t have any big trees in our yard yet. In fact I am not all that familiar with what kinds of birds we have here in this Oregon location. I have seen Robins, and tiny Finches that loved our sunflowers during the summer. It looks like you have had a lot of company…

  3. Cathy says:

    Lovely shots. Your woodpeckers are really pretty. We get lots of European Green Woodpeckers, and occasionally the Great Spotted Woodpeckers. I have been enjoying seeing some bullfinches recently in their fine winter/spring colours – not uncommon in Germany, but uncommon in my garden!

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! We’re always excited when a new visitor stops by to grab a bite. The trick is keeping a drink available for them despite the freezing weather…might be time to invest in a bird bath heater 🙂

  4. Such lovely pics .. What a fabulous array of birds. Many natives enjoy our forest .. The sparrows love our chicken food 😀

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks. Its awfully nice of your chickens to share 😉 I’m glad to have a backyard that’s inviting to birds, it gives us something to do while we wait for gardening weather 😉

  5. Julie says:

    Great photos and descriptions – just followed your link to your monstrous woodpecker, that must be such an exciting visitor. Starlings are in decline over here and the reason is not yet certain.

  6. On the Gulf Coast we are beginning to see migrating birds from points further south. Robins and Red Winged Blackbirds arrived in the garden over the weekend on their way to your area.

    • Benjamin says:

      We’ll keep an eye out for them! I remember huge clouds of redwing blackbirds from my youth, picking over the cornfields after they’d been harvested. And when the robins show up here it means its time to garden 😉

  7. What a fabulous array of visitors. I am always amazed with the critters who brave the weather and come to visit the garden.

  8. cecilia says:

    What wonderful photos .. such beautiful birds, I really should start up my birdfeeder again, I quite simply forgot about it – plus the birdfeed is so expensive.. lovely . c

  9. Crooked Tracks says:

    We have a lot of chickadees this winter and sometimes a hairy woodpecker stops by for some suet.

    • Benjamin says:

      I think we’ve seen more woodpeckers this year than ever before…we have a dead/dying tree that i’ve been too lazy to take down that might be the attraction. 😉

  10. outofmyshed says:

    Hi Benjamin, very rarely see any type of Woodpecker in our tiny North London (UK) garden, but we have plenty of great tits and robins and a small flock of Goldfinches that we tempt in with nyjer seeds.
    Love your fabulous pics of birds I’ve never seen! What a treat to have these gorgeous creatures in your garden.

  11. Now those are some handsome visitors. 🙂

  12. KerryCan says:

    Your photos are just wonderful! That must be quite a lens you have. We see more birds in the summer and they are mostly water birds, like heron, osprey, kingfishers. But we don’t have bird feeders–with cats that go outside, it seems kind of a bad idea to encourage birds to come to the buffet . . . and then end up as the buffet.

  13. Helen says:

    Brilliant range of wildlife!

  14. Hey Benjamin, Serendipity is a fact of life: I saw the Red Shafted Northern Flicker just two days ago in my garden and could not place this bird, had never seen it before! Thanks for the gorgeous photos..we share the same population of species;0) what a joy not? Do you have red tail hawks too? And there at least two owls keeping me awake too often a night with their loud conversations!
    Great to see a post from the nest again! Johanna

    • Benjamin says:

      Viva La Serendipity! 🙂 I’ve seen a couple of Red-Tailed Hawks but not close enough to capture them with a camera yet. We have an owl, as well, who occasionally, makes quite the racket in the wee hours. We’ve caught a glimpse of him (or her) a few times…amazingly large! We think it’s a Great Horned Owl. Quite the distinguished neighbor 🙂 Wishing you a very Happy & Cozy February! Cheers, Ben

  15. Tina says:

    Beautiful bird photos–those woodpeckers are hard for me to get with the camera-I’m impressed. Grrrrr–starlings!!

  16. Emily Grace says:

    Bird photography is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing your company!

  17. Such beautiful pictures. The combination of the snow and all of the birds that I would never normally see. I know squirrels aren’t particularly popular with some people but I think that are super cute.

  18. annamadeit says:

    Great photos! And, I love that you can ID them! I’m a bird ignorant, and I also have the hardest time photographing them – they move around too much! 🙂 I’ll keep trying…

  19. I have all the same birds you do. I haven’t seen the bluebirds yet this year but they could come by when I was at work. Perhaps we just need to align our schedules. I don’t think starlings are thugs. They’re highly intelligent and hungry. They just don’t always play well with others.

    • Benjamin says:

      We haven’t seen bluebirds yet this year either…and we’ve just been hit by several inches of snow and subzero weather, so it might be a few more weeks. Maybe you’re right about the starlings…they are smart…I just wish they wouldn’t run everyone else off when they show up 🙂

  20. Aren’t you sweet to include a link to my bird post, Benjamin! Thank you!

  21. Such lovely and interesting photos – and pretty birds!

  22. Love those woodpeckers, too! So colorful in the depths of winter! And the flicker makes a really cute noise–very distinctive.

  23. I have one bird feeder in my yard (for now), and we have to get creative to keep the gray squirrels from scarfing down all the bird seed! This year, we’ve had cardinals (there are several couples around the neighborhood), robins, blue jays, and some other birds I couldn’t identify in my yard – either munching on the prepared food in my feeder or searching for worms and insects among my yard’s weeds…I mean, wildflowers. We have mockingbirds in the trees, of course, and I’m waiting for the Eastern bluebirds to come back. I can hear woodpeckers in the neighbors’ trees, but I haven’t seen any yet. (Last year, a pilleated woodpecker stopped by my patio for a few minutes.) We also have red tailed hawks and peregrine falcons flying around, too. This weekend, I woke up to birds tweeting in the trees – heard from my OPEN bedroom window. Spring is coming….spring is coming…spring is coming. (If it worked for the Little Engine that Could, maybe it’ll work for bringing spring a little quicker??)

  24. Shannon says:

    Lovely! I love birds so much, they have a whole section of my blog. Beautiful shots; I’m envious of your nuthatch.

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