SUNDAY’S BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

It was “fill the feeder” day. I didn’t put out the new fancy birdseed because I decided I needed to use up the older stuff first. For a long time, there were no birds.

Later in the afternoon, there was a birdie fiesta in progress. I took pictures. I would have taken more pictures, but (1) I was hungry and needed lunch, and (2) I needed to leave some time to process the photographs.

Chickadee and Titmouse – two birds that seem to get along pretty well together

That’s what I’ve been doing most of the day. Developing pictures. And I ate a sandwich. Which the dogs wanted very much. But I wanted it too. I asked them, “Hey if I’m hungry because you ate my lunch, are you going to give ME treats?” Not one of them could give me a solid “yes” on that, so I went on eating. I actually ate the entire sandwich, but Bonnie cleaned up the crumbs. It’s her job and she’s good at it.

If that isn’t a Black-Crested Titmouse (on the right), I don’t know what it is. But they don’t live up here. The book says so.
And if you don’t believe me, here’s another shot. One impossible Black-Crested Titmouse and his pal, the Nuthatch.

A good friend of mine who lives in Australia reminded me that you can’t always believe the maps in the bird books because he sees birds in his yard that supposedly live hundreds of kilometers to the north, yet there they are.

Notice how he’s using his wings for balance!

He pointed out there are trains, trucks, cars and all the other kinds of transports. Birds travel. They don’t have to fly all the way. Instead, they hitchhike. These birds live in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma. They also, apparently, live in my woods.

These two little guys were squabbling over who got whatever the other thought was “the prime” position. Lots of flapping!
I love the way Chickadees dive off the feeder. They don’t even open their wings until they are halfway to the ground.

I’ve learned a lot about how birds fly. That they always put down their landing gear before they touch the feeder. That they dive off the feeder with wings still folded and I think they really enjoy doing it. They really like flying. It’s not just how they get from place to place. They seem to have fun, too.

Landing gear is down!
Coming in for a landing!
Don’t you love the way their wings fold and flex?

There was a lot of flying going on. It got pretty competitive. Despite the fact that I really wanted to get more flying, even with my finger ON the shudder, I can’t hold the really big lens up all the time and the moment I let it down for a minute, I miss the take, the landing, and the little in-the-air kerfuffles of bird-on-bird.

Two Chickadees. They like to knock each other off the feeder too. It’s the bird version of “king of the hill.”
Three birds. I think the big one is a Tufted Titmouse, but I can’t tell for sure.

Don’t think bigger birds necessarily win these battles. As often as not, the little ones push the bigger ones away. It’s more about the aggression level of the bird than it’s inherent power.

Yet one more Nuthatch!
A Tufted Titmouse and a Nuthatch.

I took more than 100 pictures today and I don’t think I processed even a quarter of them. I ran out of time before I ran out of photographs. More will come.

Part of the clean-up crew: a Mourning Dove on the deck