Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Visitors at the suet feeder

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I set up my Novabird Birdcam to watch the suet feeder for the past couple of days. I thought I knew which birds were eating the suet, but it was interesting to catch them in action. By far, the most common bird on the feeder was the Downy Woodpecker, both male and female. And there may be young'uns in there too as I saw them feeding fledglings just this week.

In this one I actually got a two-fer. I'd bet it's an adult and a juvie.

The Downies seemed to be the only birds that will share with other species. The Carolina Wren would dare to venture a bite when the Downy was on the feeder.

Got some neat shots of the The Red-bellied Woodpeckers too -- Daddy, Momma, and Junior! He looks like a Bald-Headed Woodpecker!

In this last one, you can actually see how the Red-Bellied WP got its name -- although it's still stupid! They should have called him the Red Mohawk Woodpecker, don't you think??

My Woodpecker entourage would not be complete without the Red-headed Woodpeckers! Aren't they great? Can you tell which one's the female and which is the male?

Yeah, I have no idea which is which :-P They might both be the same bird! If you said the female is the one with her mouth full -- shame on you!

The Creepy Grackles like the suet, too. If only they weren't so darn, well, creepy!

What are YOU lookin' at??

The House Sparrows are steady visitors -- often in pairs. These may be adults and juvies too, come to think of it.

And then the Daddy HOSP.

The Mockingbirds are feeding their babies too -- noisy, raspy little buggers.

But this guy was a surprise on the suet feeder! I didn't know Blue Jays cared anything about suet.

meep-n-meep-n-meep...That's all Folks!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Spinning and waggling birds!

These were new birds for me...Wilson's Phalaropes. Love the way they stir up the mud to feed. They seem to use two techniques...

There's waggling...

And there's spinning!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Dickcissel sings

You can tell it's spring when even the shyest of birds hops on a post and sings his little heart out.

Here is the wonderful song of the Dickcissel

The elusive Clapper Rail

Rails are birds that are often heard and not seen. They live and hide and feed in the tall marsh grasses. In the spring, however, when they are feeding young, they seem to get more bold. Maybe they just have to get out of their comfort zone to find enough food to feed their large broods! A neat moment during the LOS weekend was seeing a pair of rails (probably King Rails?) try to move their brood of 10 chicks across the road! We stopped the car in the lane (it was not a busy road, thank goodness!) to watch them cross. One of the adults crossed, and a few of the chicks and then suddenly there was a car coming the opposite direction! The car didn't even slow down, but amazingly did not make pancakes out of any of the chicks. They all scurried back across where they came from though. It was a wonderful sight...and me without my camera!!!!

Here are some videos of Clapper Rails

Feeding young'uns (watch closely at the end for the fuzzy black chick!)

Why did the Clapper Rail cross the road?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Willet roll call!

Willets are common on the coast, working the shore. But evidently they have a protocol. It was quite amusing to see this Willet stand on a post and appear to call roll. He would holler and all the Willets in the area would respond.

One of the coolest birds ever!

The Scissor-tail Flycatcher is just one of my very favorite birds. What one earth possessed nature to give the bird a tail like this?? This is the closest I've ever been to one and I'd never seen the wonderful colors before. This bird was drying itself off after some brief showers. One of these days I'll get a great video of the bird flying and you can see that tail in action!