Saturday, March 31, 2012

Backyard birdies

The birds have finally found my little fountain

This little one found the home-made bird food that I made!

1 cup  peanut butter
1 cup Crisco
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup flax seed


Tufted Titmouse

Common Grackle ~ really unexpected beautiful colors!
The grackle is know to be one of the few birds that will eat stickbugs!
Maybe that's why I haven't been seeing many around!

American Goldfinch

Carolina Chickadee

Carolina wren ~ what's with all these birds from Carolina!!!

House finches

The Red-bellied woodpecker was back for a visit!

Female cardinal ~ beautiful in their own right!

Morning Dove

Thanks again for stopping by!
Hope to get some more photos of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the next few days!

Friday, March 30, 2012

They're BacK!!!

The weather has turned a little more March-like this past week so my out-door time has been fairly limited.  I have spent some time walking around the yard, enjoying the watching the abundance of cardinals fighting for their mates and the variety of woodpeckers feasting on the suet.  The cardinals are especially fascinating, even the females chase each other from tree to tree.  I would love to get inside their heads to hear what they are thinking.  I have seen around a dozen at a time, half males, half females at my feeders.  Titmice, Carolina chickadees, Morning doves, Hermit Thrushes, Finches, wrens, sparrows, etc... have all been in abundance, but the bluebirds have been alluding me, up until today anyway!!!  I was sitting in my living room going through my long list of spam emails when I glanced out the window and saw something blue.  I was excited to see that it was a male Eastern Bluebird!  I have two bluebird boxes and  have had several broods in the past few years.  I hope they decide to nest in them again this year.  I lost 5 eggs to a home wrecking house sparrow last year which was very upsetting.  Hopefully that won't happen again this year.  After finding the broken eggs on the ground outside the box, I decided to read up on the bluebirds habits.  I read that the male will start to build a nest to impress a female, if she accepts him, she will finish the next and eventually lay her eggs in it.  I was able to witness this first hand.  I would peek in the box every couple days and see the progress.  Once the eggs were laid, the male would bring the female food while she sat on the eggs to keep them warm.  I was able to get a photo of the eggs (5) while the female was out of the box.  I continued watching the nest after the eggs hatched (4).  I set out meal worms and wax worms in a nearby feeder for them.  As they got bigger and closer to fledging, the father would dive bomb me and then sit in the tree above me.  He would yell at me from up in the tree.  I don't think he realized that I just wanted to take their picture and that I was the one feeding them.  All in all, it was a great experience and I can't wait for the next brood to come!  I hope you enjoy the few photos I was able to get today of the male resting on the lacrosse goal in our yard!

This is the nest from a house wren that was made last year. 
The wren has a special place in my heart because my Grandmother, who was a wonderful writer and poet, wrote a poem about me entitled, "Jennie Wren".  She even hand-wrote it out in calligraphy and framed it for me for my college graduation.  I have it hanging on the wall in my bedroom.  I think she would be thrilled that I have become so interested in nature.  She was as well, maybe that's where I get it from.  I sure wish she was still around to share all this with :(.

This is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker ~ first sighting in my yard today.  It was so high in the tree, that I wasn't able to get a clear picture of it.  Hopefully, it will hang around for awhile, so that I can get a better picture of it!

I know, I know, not another cardinal photo ~ I can't help it.  They are so many of them in my yard and they are just so beautiful.

This little one came up near my kitchen window to sample some seed from my deck railing.
The Tufted Titmouse isn't quite as skittish as some of the other birds in my yard.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

A new winged visitor to my garden ~

I was sitting on my patio watching my regulars feeding in my yard, when I heard a new voice in the trees above. I started using suet feeders in my yard about 3 months ago and the woodpeckers have been coming out of the "wood" work! I have seen as many as 6 Downey Woodpeckers, taking turns at the suet feeder. I've also seen a Piliated Woodpecker feeding on it, and now the Red-bellied Woodpecker! The one benefit I've seen with the suet feeders is that the squirrels don't seem to bother them. No wasted money feeding the squirrels instead of the birds! I do buy squirrel feed for them, but they still seem to prefer the black-oiled sunflower seeds in my bird feeders.   It seems the squirrels don't seem to come around while I am sitting out watching the birds ~ hmmm ... maybe I just need to hang out there more often!

Red-bellied Woodpecker

A pair for house finches ~ male and female

Male house finch

female house finch

female Cardinal

Thank you so much for stopping by  ~

Monday, March 19, 2012

A few more backyard friends this week!

Female Downy Woodpecker

Song Sparrow

Female Cardinal ~ not sure how happy she was about getting her photo taken !

House finch ~ female, I think

American Robin

An the little wings of a ladybug !

Spring is definitely coming early this year!!!

Thanks for stopping by~

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Backyard birds ~

It's been awhile since I've posted anything due to the lack of time and subjects to take photos of.
We've had a really mild winter here in Maryland and signs of life are popping up everywhere.  I've even seen robins already.  Thought I'd post some photos of the birds that frequent my feeders.

                                                       Enjoy ~

Tufted Titmouse


Hairy Woodpecker

House Finch

Male Cardinal


Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

Female Cardinal

Piliated Woodpecker

Male Cardinal

Tufted Titmouse

Female Cardinal

 I think this is a Fox Sparrow

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush
Male Cardinal

Thanks for stopping by and have a memorable day!