Thursday, December 31, 2009

What a bird party!

Our backyard has been very busy since it snowed on Sunday. I'm reminded of one of my favorite children's books, Go Dog Go. Paraphrased for the occasion: "Juncos, mourning doves, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, sparrows, blue jays, woodpeckers, cardinals, house finches, wrens and goldfinches are all at a bird party. What a bird party!"

Above: L-R House finch, female cardinal, white-crowned sparrow

As the hostess of this bird party, I've taken care to make sure the refreshments are plentiful: white (or yellow) millet on the ground and the table for the juncos, finches and mourning doves; sunflower seed everywhere for everyone, thistle for the goldfinches. And don't forget the peanuts for the jays, cardinals, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches -- and for a couple of "bird impersonators" with bushy tails. We have suet for the woodpeckers, and they also like the peanut feeder.

Above: Tufted titmouse

I'm off work this week, and I've spent a lot of time standing at the kitchen window, or hanging out of it with the camera, enjoying the party from a distance. Sometimes the birds jostle each other for position, but everybody gets fed eventually. We have a little dish (actually a flower pot saucer) hanging under the eaves. When little birds get bumped aside by the big birds, they often take refuge at the tiny dish, where they can eat in peace.

It's been a fun party, even though I have to enjoy it from a distance for fear of frightening my guests!

"What a hat! I like it! I like that party hat!"

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