Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Little Ruf and the Stranger

Every day I hang around the kitchen window from about 6:45 to 7:45 both am and pm waiting for my little Rufous to show. This evening as I was preparing dinner I looked out on the perching branches above the feeder and there was a stranger there. A green-backed stranger. I grabbed the binoculars and got a bead on back all right, but didn't have the emerald quality of a ruby-throat. And then he turned his head...gorget not fully developed...and a flash of pink! pepto-bismol in a pink paint mark! I was remarking all of this out loud to my husband and the words, "he had better watch out because the Ruffie is coming" no sooner came out of my mouth when SLAM the Rufous came down on the pink-marked bird and knocked it off the perch. I was looking through the binoculars at the time, and it was pretty spectacular! The Ruffie went to the feeder like he owned the place and then flit! he was gone. A few minutes later I saw a very skittish pink-marked stranger at the front yard feeder. He ate and then hid in the middle of the crape-myrtle tree. A mature male ruby-throat showed up at the feeder, but pink-mark didn't even challenge him, he just stayed hidden.

Here's a shot of Ruffie extracted from the video...unfortunately from the back as he sat at the feeder

And a bit of video of the stranger as he hides. If anyone's missing a pink-marked bird let me know!I couldn't tell which leg he's banded on, but maybe he'll be here tomorrow

Click here to see the Stranger

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The cutest couple

Downy woodpeckers have become regulars at my suet feeders over the past year. But it was a special treat to have a pair of them, male and female, at the feeder recently. I presume they are nesting in the area, because they visit regularly, often together. That may change when the babies come!

See the cute couple by clicking here

A crown fit for a King...let

The Ruby-Crowned Kinglet is a common bird around here during the winter. They're tiny birds and they flit around so quickly they are hard to see with binoculars, much less with a camera. And most of the time it's hard to tell why they are called "ruby-crowned" because there's not sign of any red at all. Their crowns become apparent when they get riled or agitated.

I got really lucky and was able to keep the kinglet in view long enough to get some great close-ups, AND he's got his crown up!

Ruby-crowned kinglet flits and displays

Long time, no see!

Well, I've had at least 3 people tell me they missed updates to my blog, and I realized it's been MONTHS since I updated here's some stuff!

I just reviewed the videos I've taken over the past few months. I don't think I'm necessarily going to post them in order...I'll just tell a bit about each one as we go...

This outstanding video was from a lucky day at Bluebonnet Swamp. I arrived before 7am for the monthly Bird Walk, but the gates were closed. Two other ladies, Janet and Jennifer, were there, so we decided we weren't going to let a closed gate stop us. We used the "east entrance" and made our way down the boardwalk. As we came to the main boardwalk, two gentleman were there putting away their cameras. They told us about a Barred Owl that had been posing for them just off the boardwalk. He'd hunted, posed, preened...they had so many great pictures they were packing it in and going home, cuz it couldn't get any better. We were so sad we missed it... they moved out, we moved on...and then lo and behold...there he was again!

Here he is, in all his swively head glory

Click here to see the Barred Owl hunting and preening