BIRDS. A LOT OF BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

I actually displayed a good deal of self-control. I avoided the camera and the birds almost all day, but I was up really early so by two in the afternoon, I needed to point a lens at the birds. I was sure I’d seen a robin. Of course I know it’s a month too early for robins, but there was a flash of red on what looked like a bird’s tummy … so …

It wasn’t a robin. It was a red finch. He came with his own lady finch today.

I thought there was a squirrel waiting in the woods but it turned out to be a big Mourning Dove. My eyes are not good on long distances, so I saw big, brown, squishy creature sitting on a tree limb. It had to be a squirrel.

The same mourning dove, again
Mourning Dove

It wasn’t. Mourning Dove. Big, soft, brown. On a tree limb. Far enough away that I couldn’t clearly see him, but I aimed the camera. It saw him. Or her. Is there a difference between the girls and the boys?

Chickadee in flight, Nuthatch on the feeder

I ordered some of the upgraded birdseed today. See if I can get some new faces around the feeder. Always the same few dozen chickadees, warblers, finches, and nuthatches.

It’s the same Red-bellied Woodpecker. Still eating

And three or four woodpeckers. And Juncos. We need some more action around here!

There really was something different on the feeder, but my battery went dead. It had been sending me little flashing orange reminders for a while, but I didn’t take the hint, so by the time I changed the battery, whatever had been there was gone.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Red-Bellied Nuthatch. It’s those splotchy brownish-red patches that are the “red belly” part of the bird.

I took some pictures. I couldn’t help myself.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

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

29 thoughts on “BIRDS. A LOT OF BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. I’m ready for new birds ๐Ÿ˜€ Also, I have to have some food for the finches. They eat a special kind of food, but it’s really expensive. I keep my cameras right on the table, ready to go.

      I really should just change the battery before it dies on me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh is it niger seed? We’ve treated them to that in the past. Amazing how it draws in the crowd, but they’re such messy eaters and so much ends up on ground!!

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        1. It’s always interesting when I take pictures of things I can’t actually see. I knew there was something big and brown on that limb … but I assumed it was a squirrel. The doves do come by occasionally, though. They like to walk the deck picking up seeds.

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    1. They were really bombing the feeder this morning. I filled it on Thursday, but it’s almost empty again. It’s also raining, so I think I’ll refill it tomorrow when the world has dried. I think it’s only drizzling now, so by tomorrow, it should be better. They eat more than a pound of seeds every day. Sometimes two or three. And our woods are FULL of birds! Flocks of them!

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    1. It’s hard to not take pictures. There are the birds and there’s the camera. Not today, because I still have a lot of pictures that haven’t even been processed. Tomorrow, I’ll refill the feeder and it will be “happy days are here again” time!

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  1. I’m so pleased you could not help yourself – on this occasion. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    The clean windows make all the difference! (Ok – SOME of the difference!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love the Mourning Dove photos – (S)He is so very similar to our ‘Laughing’ Doves – i wonder why the disparity in names?? It’s extremely hard to tell the difference between the boys and girls in either case – the only way i know of is the boys always follow and mooch after the girls! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I was wondering why a bird with red on his head was called a Red-bellied Woodpecker so i went ‘looking’. Seems the name Red-headed woodpecker is already taken, by a bird with much more red on his head! ๐Ÿ™‚

    It would also seem that you have a Downy woodpecker visiting, not the red-belly as the red-belly does not have the black stripe over his eyes? The Ladderback woodpecker looks very much like this one on the head, but has a speckled breast.

    I wish we had woodpeckers in my part of the world!

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    1. The ladderbacks don’t live this far north, so I’m assuming we aren’t seeing them. As for where the stripes are, I have learned that birds don’t always look just like the pictures of them. Strips can be hiding or missing and the yellow can be more brown or tan than yellow and sometimes, there are just a few red feathers rather than a bigger patch. And it is VERY had to tell one woodpecker from another unless you were to stand them all side by side, with upper and lower views. Downy and Hairy woodpeckers are essentially identical except for size. ladderbacks look very similar, but they live down in Louisiana and we are far east and north of there. As for the solid redhead — the really big one (the Pileated) and smaller ones that look like mine, but have a solid red head, I forget their name, but I’ve seen them around, though they aren’t “feeder” birds. The doves are not feeder birds either, but they like walking around the deck cleaning up anything that’s leftover. But they are shy.

      I only see the squirrels early in the morning. They don’t like the feed right now. I expect they will be back when the quality of the food goes up.

      All doves look alike. I don’t know if they can cross-breed. I wouldn’t be surprised if they can … but there’s an ocean in the way. Usually, species that look that much alike CAN cross-breed.

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      1. In these days of large mass transport ( i.e container ships/luxury liners) ocean crossings are not that much of a problem for nesting birds! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        In these days of weather and climate weirdness i don’t think the ‘old’ rules of where birds can be found still apply. The large Grasshopper i posted photos of ( and have a large family of living around my garden for months now) are not supposed to be this far down Australia’s West coast by about 400 miles!

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          1. Indeed! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

            We’re entirely surrounded by miles and miles of water and have the strictest quarantine in the world – but unwelcome, unwanted ‘guests’ still find their way in.

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  2. What a great name for Mourning Doves…. In French theyโ€˜re called Tourterelles (love birds)…. Or are they different ones?
    Yes, they are VERY large – and bothersome as they stuff themselves silly, same as the squirrels!
    And be careful with your equipment until youโ€˜ve got hold of a tripod!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m lucky in that the cameras live on a solid table. I’m very careful with them since I can’t afford to replace them.

      The doves don’t come by very often. They like the bigger pieces of food and the latest batch is mostly smaller pieces. It’s a great food for chickadees and other little ones, but not so good for the larger ones.

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      1. This piece got me to thinking about “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. No, I won’t sing it. Thinking of lyrics, “Did you ever see a robin weep, when he begins to die….it means he’s lost the will to live…..I’m so lonesome I could cry.”
        I believe it was intially done by Patsy Cline (??) but I really liked the Andy Williams cover where he displayed his ability to hit the high (alto?) notes to make the song really memorable.

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