Monday, February 05, 2007

A Pretty Good Day at the Feeder

Oh the triumph associated with finally capturing those woodpeckers on film.

The pair of red-bellied woodpeckers are daily visitors to our house… the male with his read poll and the female with her red nape, are notoriously camera shy, disappearing as soon as I got my camera into position every time.

I finally captured them this morning… followed later by a visit from a male downy woodpecker. The downy pair come, but not quite so often as their cousin… and it was this visit that made it quite easy for me to determine that they were indeed DOWNY and not hairy woodpeckers :)

Here is a female red-bellied woodpecker. This is a good shot of her rusty coloured belly that gives her the name. Of course, you can't see it well because I had to shoot through a window as well as hold the venetian blinds out of the way... just so I wouldn't scare her away!!

Yes, she ought to be more a red headed woodpecker, but believe it or not, there is a variety with a totally red head. They live here too… along with the downy, the pileated, and the flicker (red shafted). The flicker is another regular garden bird at our house, providing much amusement to the family, by kicking up all the pine needles under our tree. Apparently it must be a good spot for bugs, because that is where the skunk dug into that time…

Here is a good picture of the back of the woodpecker’s head, so you can see the red nape.

This one is the downy… it and its cousin the hairy woodpecker, are apparently the only two with a white back and the black and white bars.

The only differences between it and the hairy are the beak and its size. The hairy woodpecker has a beak about twice the length, and it is about 2 or 3 inches longer.

It is a cute little woodpecker… and like many of the woodpeckers we see, is especially fond of our pine trees.

He is slightly more timid than the red-bellied woodpecker, but I expect that to change soon. He appeared at our feeder first on Saturday, and I have seen him back there (and his mate too) quite regularly.

Finally here is a photo of a mysterious bird. Mysterious because the shot was so bad I couldn’t see what it was. It is either a female house finch or a sparrow with a chickadee friend. The only reason I suspect house finch is because I have seen a pair at the feeder a few times, and the female is a dull brown. Maybe I might get to see the bird’s face soon…

Today is a great feeder day… the weather is VERY cold (about 28 degrees Fahrenheit which is about -1 or -2 degrees Celsius) and as such the birds would rather visit my feeder and get food that try to fly around searching for it. The birds can be seen quite happily eating together and all fluffed up to keep warm. Sometimes I wonder what else the birds do on a cold day like today…

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