November 22, 2014 by Rob Hurlbut
Downy Woodpecker And Red Breasted Nut Hatch
A month ago I set up four bird feeders in the backyard. At this point I get to use a big word by telling you that ornithology is my newest hobby. Uh, ornithology is like, the study of birds. So far the biggest challenges have been keeping squirrels out of the feeders and finding a food source that doesn’t leave a gigantic mess. What I’ve done (after a month of trial and error) is rig up the feeders in a way that squirrels can’t reach them so they have to eat up what falls on the ground, helping me clean up the mess. I don’t have a problem with squirrels, but when they get to the feeders, they hog all the food.
Gilded Flickers Fighting
When I’m not languishing about having to clean up the mess I’m sitting, motionless as possible in a chair with my camera on the back porch. It is a little difficult to make out but the photo above shows two gilded flickers having a heated conversation. They were 50 yards away so my 200mm lens struggled to see them at all.
There are at least two blue jays that visit the yard. I always hear them before I see them and they are very skittish so being outside when they are around is a rare treat.
Another rare visitor has been the spotted towhee. They are not as skittish as the blue jays but they only come around once every couple of days. You can see their red eyes from a mile away and they are the only bird thus far that flies away to a point in the distance that is too far away to see. All the other birds grab some food and either stay in the feeder to eat or fly to a nearby tree to break open the husks. Not these guys, they grab some food and then take off into the wild blue yonder
Two House Finches
The house finches are around most days. The males have red plumage while the females do not.
The male downy woodpecker pictured above was taken by me back in September of this year. I was stalking a dragonfly on a gladiolus when I heard this little man pecking at the bark of an apple tree.
Birds Having A Meal
The above photo shows a red breasted nut hatch having dinner with some sparrows. The nut hatches are my favorite bird thus far because they seem to be the most fearless.
Red Breasted Nut Hatch
I’m serious, the nut hatches will stay perched on the feeders when I refill the seed and they don’t take any shit from the blue jays or the squirrels when they come around. They are able to cling to anything with an agility that puts Spiderman to shame and it is fun to watch them smash and store food all around the yard.
American Robin Eating A Juniper Berry
As a patriotic American and a veteran of the United States Navy I will end this post with a photo of an American robin eating a juniper berry. Cheers!