Friday, February 21, 2014


I've migrated my birds to their new home....

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Backyard Oasis

As we enjoy the last few weeks of summer on our new patio and still-new deck, we've also made a pretty nice place for my birds to hang out by finally putting up the bird bath on the deck right above a hanging feeder placed on the edge of the yard. 

So far it's been just the usual: sparrows, finches, chickadees, and occasionally a cardinal. The chipping sparrow below was feeding its biological baby (not a cowbird baby like the other family I saw a few weeks ago).

Chipping Sparrow (there's a baby hiding in the shadows somewhere behind her) 

Double Hawk Day

This morning, a Cooper's Hawk...

In the evening, the Common Nighthawk...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A speckled egg

Found on the grass near some pine trees at the YMCA. Cardinal? Cowbird? Not sure who it might belong to.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mama chipping sparrow and cowbird baby

I was surprised to see this cowbird baby and its chipping sparrow mama since I had seen very few cowbirds this spring and summer. In years past I've seen cowbirds raised by other sparrow varieties, and even cardinals. But these two are so off in size, it's comical. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Robin's nest

This is the robin nest from under our deck. I took it down after the second brood successfully fledged and the family moved out into the wild. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Catbirds are so secretive that this was the first year I've been able to get a decent picture of them. Earlier in the spring they were nesting in the neighbor's shrub, but now it appears they've moved on to a nearby pine tree. They spent the majority of the day clucking and mewing their warnings at me and our nesting robins, often with a mouthful of food.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The upside of having weeds...

We have a full-on thistle farm waiting to be destroyed by the landscaper later this month. In the meantime the weeds are an eyesore and I'm totally embarrassed by them.

But, I found the silver lining! They feed the goldfinches! 

Just today we had at least two females and one male fighting over their turn at the lavender bristles.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Three-eared rabbit

This three-eared bunny likes to eat the bird seed under our feeder, so I'll include him on this blog. I don't actually think he has three ears as the questionable ear (on his right) may simply be a birth defect or possibly the result of a predator (my brother noticed he was favoring his right paw). He's still pretty cute, and because of his silly ear I call him Flopsy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Deck Robins

We got a new deck last fall and the robins have once again made a nest under it this spring. We like to sit out on there in the evenings but the incessant barking from mom and dad robin make the experience less than enjoyable. How they think to nest there with all the activity of us and the dog is beyond me.

In years past the robins haven't been successful in this location. Last year Dallas killed the babies that fledged, and I'm not even sure if past nests have even seen anything hatched. So this year when I noticed the nest my heart sank. 

But those parents kept at it. We were out playing in the kiddie pool when a little black squirrel got chased out from under the deck right next to us, froze when he saw us, then darted back under the deck only to be dive-bombed again. The poor thing was then chased all across the yard and up the oak tree. As for Dallas, simply minding her own business too close to that nest has warranted an attack from mom and dad robin. 

So I carefully checked the nest and I saw this, around mid-June (a month later than in years past, most likely due to the snowy spring and cool temps earlier this summer). Two babies!

Last week I didn't see much activity in the nest, and it was empty, so I was hoping they had fledged safely. Yesterday I heard baby robins in the backyard and found this:

The two babies waiting for a meal.

One baby with its mouth ready for a worm

Now I hear those two babies every day, all over the yard. Hopefully they will find a quieter spot to nest next year! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Baby birds!

Several birds have brought their babies out to feed recently, and here are some of them in the act...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Lull

I tried a new birdseed the last couple weeks, a berry and nut mix, hoping to attract more cardinals, grosbeaks, and orioles. So far it has only reduced the number of sparrows and finches at my feeder and increased squirrel and bunny visitors. It's been very quiet around here.

However, I did see this downy woodpecker the other day. Perhaps I should put some suet out for him.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Just because...

From a few weeks ago, another white-throated sparrow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yellow Warbler!

Seen (for the first time!) swimming through our wet birch tree.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Singing a Happy Tune

The tree next to my kitchen window is a house finch condo so I hear them sing a lot. When they do, they puff their feathers out and extend their neck, like this guy is doing.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Nature's highlighter.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


It's mating season and the cardinals do up romance the best by feeding each other. Looks like kissing.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Chic Magnet

There are a couple of male red-winged blackbirds that visit my feeder. One has a very thin, pale line along his shoulders where the "red" is but you can't really see the full color until he's in flight (he's featured here). 

But then there's this guy, full two-toned color on the shoulders. He is beautiful, and when I first saw him I thought, wow, I bet you gets all the ladies. And it's probably true- these guys are the playboys of birds with many males having more than one mate at a time. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Orioles Return

The oriole returned a few times since I first saw him. I even had a female stop by briefly. They still haven't found the sweet stuff I keep putting out for them. 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Indigo Bunting

I haven't seen an indigo bunting since July of 2010, so I was very excited to see this one today (and to be able to photograph him with a better camera this time).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tiny Bird

For being so tiny, wrens sure are fast and noisy! They chitter so much as they bounce here and there. It's like watching in fast-forward and my book describes it as "hyperactive." 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Copycat Catbird

Every summer growing up I remember hearing a strange "mew" as part of the regular neighborhood ambient noise. Though I never saw what it was, I figured it was either a squirrel or even a cat. It wasn't until just a few years ago I realized the sound I had been hearing all that time was actually, haha, a catbird!

They can mimic sounds to make their very own song and just today I saw one in the tree sounding like a robin who had not practiced his call enough times. Such a copycat (har, har)!

I've been trying to get a picture of a catbird for several years and finally got it!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pit Stop

I'm surprised at the number of birds that have just happened to stop in my yard or nearby during their seasonal migration. Is my yard a special pit stop? This is the Harris's Sparrow, and he still has quite a ways to go, heading all the way to northern Canada. 

Other migratory birds pit stopping in my yard or nearby were the snow goose last fall, the white-crowned sparrow I saw a year ago and again early this spring, and most recently the fox sparrow who moved on as soon as the temps hit 60 for longer than a few days.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Impeccable Timing

Almost a year to the date of my last Oriole sighting, another one stopped by. I've since put a ripe peach out there in case he returns.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Myrtle Warbler

I love it when I just happen to look out the window and just the right time and see something I've never seen before. Last night a little after 8:00 I noticed a bird flitting about the birch tree. His small size, quick movements, and a tiny pointed beak- different than most of who come to my yard- are what prompted me to grab my binoculars to get a closer look.

You can barely see from this photo (if you can see him at all!) but he's got an almost bandit eye patch across his face, with a white throat. There's a bit of yellow near his tail, and I learned he's a Myrtle Warbler, probably taking a break on his migration north.

Friday, April 26, 2013


This flicker has been in our backyard a few times this week, pulling bugs or something out of the ground. He blends in so well with the brown grass and dirt I almost missed him except for that tiny "flicker" of red on his head.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

More on the fox sparrows

I've been keeping track of the fox sparrows since I first noticed them last week. I can't be certain as to how many I have in the proximity of my yard and the neighbor's, but I have seen two at the feeder at one time. Maybe it is just the two of them. They are aggressive and will spar with each other at the feeder and will also shoo away the juncos and other ground feeders who get too close.

Here is another look one of them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A wintery spring wonderland

Was it the weight on its branches, or the disheartening sight of more spring-time snow that caused our poor birch tree to bend far enough to touch the ground? Is it surrendering, admitting defeat to the winter that hangs on so ferociously? Perhaps its bowing in prayer for all this to finally be over so it can grow its leaves and enjoy the sunshine and warmth of summer. 

The winterscape was a pretty sight to wake up to, and I found nothing to complain about. The birds did not seem to mind, either. Especially my winter birds, the juncos. They perched on that drooping tree as they would any other day, seeming to hide behind curtains of little branches. And really, they look the most stunning when surrounded by snow. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Some sort of hawk

I love my song birds but identifying hawks and falcons and such are not my strong point. I think this may be a broad-winged hawk?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Food and Shelter

 This sparrow came to the feeder with some nesting material, then dropped it to eat.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Slate Colored Junco

Is this junco not the prettiest? I love his charcoal color and contrasting tummy. His tail feathers fan out black and white to look like a referee jersey. There have been so many at the feeder this week, I wonder if they're fueling up before heading north for the summer.