CHANGE IN THE AIR & ON THE WING

A month ago — October — these birds were fledglings with bits of baby feathers sticking out of their almost grown up feathers. It’s just about a month later and the birds are all full grown and eating like crazy. From scrawny just-out-of-the-nestlings to big, fat, healthy birds. The Hairy and Downy woodpeckers are full-grown and even the red squirrels are full grown. Nature doesn’t give long childhoods to wild things. They have to get their adult legs under them fast. I think only humans and maybe whales and dolphins have a real childhood and a sustained period between being born and giving birth.

Two Goldfinch
Diving Goldfinch

The birds do it in a lot less than a year and the squirrels in about the same brief period. With freezing temperatures at night nipping at them, they are eating as much as they can, putting on a protective layer of fat to keep them warm when the north wind blows. Of course, our local birds will always have food to eat because we feed them, but nature has designed their schedule. I’m always please to see well-rounded squirrels and birds. I feel like I’m doing my job.

Chipmunk and Carolina Wren

I haven’t been taking a lot of bird pictures lately, but that doesn’t mean I’m not watching the birds and taking a few pictures. I’m always watching the birds and the other creatures. The first thing I do when I wake in the morning — even if I’m planning to go back to sleep — is look out the window to see if there’s enough food for everyone. Then I count to see how many of what are chowing down on the deck. This morning there was a mad flurry of squirrels and little birds. Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers, Carolina Wrens who seem to have decided to not migrate. Food supply is pretty good around these parts — and it doesn’t get as cold as it used to.

Carolina Wren

The squirrels are storing goodies because they sort of hibernate. It’s not a full hibernation, not like bears, for example. But they do sleep through much of the winter and count on their stashes of provisions and if that doesn’t work out (“Where did I leave those nuts and seeds?”), they know where the feeders are.

Squirrel with mums


Categories: #animals, #Photography, #Squirrel, Anecdote, Autumn, Goldfinch, Seasons

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11 replies

  1. I always have a soft spot for the little birds even though I’ve had little success in photographing them so far. My favourites here are the Superb Fairy Wrens. They are in our garden a lot and not as shy as the ones I used to get in the garden at Geeveston. It always makes me happy to see one hopping around. I love robins too but they are shy and I rarely see them.
    Your squirrels do look so well fed, of course I know they are thanks to you.

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    • We have three birds that seem to be friendly and probably would tame — Chickadees, Titmouses, and Chipper Sparrows. The rest are quite shy. When they get very serious about eating, they will usually stay put for a while so I can take pictures, but if I move suddenly or there’s a noise, they vanish so fast you don’t see them leave. That’s why a lot of the time I don’t try to take pictures — I just enjoy watching them.

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  2. Lovely images, Marilyn…

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  3. I love the wren…

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    • Aren’t they pretty? They also have an absolutely astounding singing voice — not only musical, but REALLY loud. You wouldn’t think this little bird could make such a noise. They are the loudest bird in our woods and they are half the size of Robins.

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      • I’m going to google them..hear what you’re hearing.

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        • Their songs are well recorded. I usually hear them long before I see them. They are very active, always hopping from one branch to another. In the past year, they seem to have moved in and I think they have stopped migrating since it doesn’t get as cold here as it used to — or snow as much — and they know the food shows up regularly.

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