Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Oh, how I love my birds

In my last post, I mentioned how Carolina Wrens are the apple of my eye as far as species that dine at my feeders in winter go(or any time of year, really). If a weekend of counting for Project FeederWatch goes by with a goose egg on my list next to "CAWR"* (the 4-letter shorthand, known as bander's code or alpha code, for CArolina WRen), it makes me sad. I worry.

This weekend I was sitting at the dining room table having a late breakfast, and I wondered out loud if "my" wrens were okay, because I had not yet heard a peep from them or seen them. Oftentimes they are one of the first birds I hear in the morning, so that was why I was a little concerned. Not to worry, though. As soon I finished posing the question to my bowl of cereal, up popped a wren onto the railing and right into the bowl that holds the bird dough.

It's when things like this happen that I can't help but wonder if there is some kind of connection between myself and the birds. I mean, come on! Wonder about the bird and then it shows up immediately thereafter, as if conjured?!

Don't worry, Heather - we are here and we are fine. Now, if you don't mind, I'm just going to sit in the food.

There were actually 2 of them sitting in here at one point, but I wasn't fast enough with the camera to get a shot of that. In total, there were 3 Carolina Wrens at my feeders at one time this weekend, as was the case last weekend. I had 3 of them at one time in early December, too. This is remarkable because this is the first year in 7 years of counting for FeederWatch that I've ever seen 3 Carolina Wrens at once at my feeders.

Contemplating his/her next bite?

I also enjoy the woodpeckers, and we get three species of them reliably: Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied. The Downies seem to be the most tame of the three, readily coming in to the suet feeders even if I'm standing right next to them. This sweet little female Downy Woodpecker looks like she just landed, what with the little spray of snow under her tail.

Tra-la-la, minding her own business, making sure I'm getting her good side...

... then this feisty fella shows up. Doesn't he look MAD?! His little head feathers are all puffed up, full of 'tude.

Here's a look at his puffed up mane from the back:

And even though he's chased the female away by now, his bravado continues:

Oh wait, never mind. It's all cool. No problems here, lady.

Lemme jus' grab a big ol' hunk o' dough...

And get on outta here!

I soooo love this shot, caught serendipitously by depressing the shutter at just the right time, of course. It almost has the feel of a raptor caught in flight rather than a woodpecker.

Yes, friends, these are just a few examples of why I love my birds. They are wonderful in every way.

*Okay, regarding the alpha code for Carolina Wren... CAWR isn't technically correct, because that abbreviation could also refer to 2 other wren species in the United States: CActus WRen and CAnyon WRen. The correct bander's code for each of these species is as follows: CACW (Cactus Wren), CARW (Carolina), and CANW (Canyon). I use CAWR for my wren, though, because the chances of me encountering either of the other 2 species, which live out west, is pretty remote at my feeders. Besides, it's shorthand that's supposed to be easy for ME to read. But I digress.

Source: http://heather-heatherofthehills.blogspot.com/2012/02/oh-how-i-love-my-birds.html

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