BIRDS OF MY WEEK – Marilyn Armstrong

Nope, not part of a challenge. It’s merely that I have so many pictures of birds taken this week, I figure I ought to share them.

I have a new bird book. I broke my vow and ordered the long lens for my Olympus OMD — which cost more than the camera cost — but it’s the only game in town and I really need to use the camera that I can focus.

I don’t see a lot of squirrels in the feeder, but by the volume of disappearing food, I’m betting they get there, eat a lot, and disappear. Probably to take a long nap in a tall tree.

Can’t forget the squirrels!
Goldfinch waiting for his pals

In the course of this week, the various flocks of Goldfinch (Magnolia, American, et al) have totally taken over the feeder. They fly around it in flocks. Somehow, a few Tufted Titmouses, Chickadees, Nuthatches, and various woodpeckers drop by, but mostly … lots and lots of Goldfinch.

One mourning dove
A couple of birds. Face forward, please. I can’t tell what you are from your tail feathers!

Oh, and about the Juncos. I have a few that are so fat, I’m surprised they can still fly.

My favorite Chickadee
Cutest house finch

Today, the feeder was pretty close to empty. My son has other stuff going on and I didn’t want to bother him, so I figured “How long can it take to fill a bird feeder?” Owen does it in two minutes.

Four Goldfinches (one is mostly behind the feeder)
Still flying, they grab a seed and go for the trees!

But you see, he’s well over six feet tall and I am just barely hitting five feet. I couldn’t reach the feeder. I dragged out something to stand on, but it was too tall and I was afraid I’d ruin my future by falling off the deck head first, so finally, I turned it sideways and stood crookedly on its legs. Not very comfortable — or steady.

A Red-Bellied Woodpecker
A lonely Nuthatch

And it turns out that this bird feeder holds five pounds of food. Maybe more. It’s a lot of food. A lot more food than you think. Like … tubs of it. Maybe that’s why the Juncos are so fat? Also, some of the Goldfinch look pretty well-rounded too.

The gallant Tufted Titmouse

Eventually, they will all just sit on my deck waiting for the goodies. Unable to fly. Just sitting like little, feathered cupcakes.

I think even the squirrels are bloated.

Is it possible that I am over-feeding my wild creatures?

And finally, just so you don’t think I’m delusional, this is a picture of my Pileated Woodpecker. It’s blurry, but I think it’s definitely that big woodpecker. I’m hoping one day, he’ll drop by and hang around long enough for me to take a picture that has … you know … edges.

No matter what they say on television, you cannot take a tiny piece of a picture, blow it up, and get a nice clear image. It doesn’t work.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

38 thoughts on “BIRDS OF MY WEEK – Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. You live on the west coast, so you probably see a lot of birds I never see. I saw some birds in Israel that were astonishing and don’t even live on this continent. I never knew most of their names because all the bird books were in Hebrew and my brain organizes in English.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. I know birds by their English names. Give me the name in Hebrew and I have no shelf to put it on. I need to know if it’s a wren, or a jay or whatever. Actually, ALL my organizational stuff is in English. I never figured out how to change that, either.

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Enjoyed these captures today! Maybe cutting back on the food would help all these creatures. I’m sure they appreciate the extra fat to insulate them from the cold weather though!

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      1. I make this bad habit of thinking everyone is living in Texas where it’s 70 degrees, but you’re right it must be very cold in the Boston area right now. Those birds are surviving from your generosity right now and must be very grateful!

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  2. I am loving all these bird photos. I especially like that first one of the goldfinch who looks like he/she is posing for the camera. Are those feeders very expensive? Would it be feasible to have a second one ready to go and swap them over if Owen is not around? Or is it the hanging that is the tricky bit? I guess the birds are filling up while food is available, they don’t know it will be there all winter. Once the snow comes yours might be the only food around.

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    1. The feeders are middle-grade quality. Not the most expensive, not the cheapest. I can send you my link.

      Stokes Select Mesh Screen Bird Feeder with Metal Roof, Green, 4.4 lb Seed Capacity which is at:

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LNYCZK/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      It’s quite large. It doesn’t LOOK as big as it is, but it’s big enough for larger AND smaller birds, which is what I wanted. The other feeder is mostly for squirrels and it’s just a box hanging on a hook. This one, though, is easy to use and comes apart quickly for cleaning, which so far I haven’t needed to do, but opening it makes filling it easy, too.

      It’s on Amazon. It took me a LONG time to figure out what to get because the really cheap ones don’t survive the first squirrel invasion and the most expensive ones are ridiculous. These promise that although squirrels are inevitable, at least these WILL survive the experience and live on! I also wanted one that would deal with all different kinds of birds. Some feeders are meant ONLY for finches and you have to buy very expensive food for them. This one will hold any kind of food and as you can see, I get big birds and little ones together and they all find something to eat in the mix. Also, you need to buy food that’s suitable for YOUR environment. There’s Western food and Eastern food. My grocery store has a pretty good selection and it’s cheaper than Amazon, but you’re on the west coast, so Amazon might be cheaper out there.

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    1. The lens is used, so until I see it, I just hope it’s a good one. I’ve had pretty good luck buying second-hand equipment and it’s Amazon, so they’ll take it back if it’s no good. But all the stuff I’ve gotten from them has been better than I expect. I guess I’ll know soon enough.

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  3. ‘…little feathered cupcakes…’ … love this, 😀 … and don’t forget the furry ones too, they’d be more like full size cakes though. 😀 … I don’t think you have to worry about them getting too fat, it takes a lot of energy to keep those tiny bodies warm in winter. 🙂

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