Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A bird bonanza

Our back yard is full of birds! I am too tired to write much, and besides, the pictures are the most fun. So here is a photo album of visitors to our back yard. Please excuse the awkward placement & uneven sizing.

Female (L) and male (R) Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks. The photo of the female was taken a couple of weeks ago, but they are abundant in the yard.

This weekend we saw 3 Baltimore Orioles (L) and one vibrant Indigo Bunting (R).

Although others in our area have reported seeing Indigo Buntings, we were still a little surprised to see them this early. They usually begin visiting our yard in late May or early June. I love them just for their color. Buntings belong to the finch family and visit the thistle feeders along with Goldfinches.

Of all our back yard birds, I think I love woodpeckers the most. We had downy and hairy woodpeckers over the weekend. After this female Hairy Woodpecker (L) had eaten, she packed her beak with suet and flew away with it. Babies?

The most exciting visitor we saw
recently was the red-headed woodpecker.
It's been a long time since I was able to admire the rich colors of this bird in person. Male and female look alike, so we're not sure which this is. This bird, too, was taking suet away.

By the way, woodpeckers like both plain and flavored suet. But the kind with lots of seeds in it is less useful -- they pick the suet out and leave the seeds. We use plain in one feeder and "Peanut Butter and Jelly," which has peanuts and berries in it, in the other.

That's the back yard bird news. Next time, I'll give a nesting update.

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