New feeder

Our new feeder: there is a White breasted nuthatch on the left side.

A yearly backyard favorite

Who hasn’t seen this early bird  getting the worm in the morning in your yard? This classic backyard favorite bird ranges from coast to coast in the US and Canada.

Did you know robins can raise three broods each season? Probably a good thing, as only 40% of the nests successfully produce young. People say that robins are a sign of spring. They actually winter over, however and spring is when you’ll see “the first” robin in your yard!

 

 

 

Red-headed Woodpeckers are nature’s show birds

Today was a little wild with all the new young starlings leaving their nests, and their apparent feeding frenzy with the adults.

Then suddenly Sher and I witnessed the arrival of one of the most striking birds in North America. The Red-headed Woodpecker has beautiful crimson head plumage accompanied by a pure white body and wings that are half white and half ink black. These birds are striking both at rest and in flight. This one was kind enough to stick around on the feeder long enough for the capture you see above.

Mom, Dad, get back here!

We noticed a behavior in starlings that we had not seen before. Adult starlings were moving through the yard, doing their normal grazing thing.

Some adult feathers are beginning to show on the backs of these two starling juveniles

What was different was the sight of juvenile starlings, one or two per adult, staying amazingly close. Every time the adult moved, the juvenile stayed right with the adult. We watched as the adult would grab a worm or grub an give it to the youngster. When the adult flew away the youngster would squawk and carry on very loudly. This parent/young interaction went on for minutes at a time.

A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers

If you’ve seen some of our previous posts, you’ll know that we have been enjoying feeding birds in our backyard. It is always fun to see different birds and to watch the antics of them all. But sometimes we just have to say “Wow! Look at those!”

That time came when a mating pair of Pileated Woodpeckers showed up at our tree with suet feeding stations. The male is on the left, female on the right. (We call them Woody and Wilma) We had seen the female before, but this was our first sighting of the male. And yes, to us, this was a thrilling event!

Ah, you might want to duck

Here he comes, center of picture

Look closely, there is a starling who just left the suet feeder heading right towards the camera. The yellow beak is in the center of the black body, and the out stretched wings are very blurry. We see the starlings getting a beak full of suet and flying off to, we assume, their nests. According to one of our resources the young starlings should be leaving their nests anytime now.

High flying and loud

This is the time of year when the Sandhill Cranes head back north. Usually you hear them first, then have to search the skies for the typical “V” shaped formations. While the normal flying altitude is around 5,000 feet, they have been known to fly as high as 12,000 feet.

Took this picture this afternoon in our backyard. You have to look closely!

Click below for the sounds of one Sandhill Crane. Imagine how loud it is with all of the cranes squawking as they fly.