Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter birdies!

Yesterday was a fortuitous day for bird sightings in my own backyard. It was snowing and blowing, and I didn't expect to see birds, but they were hungry enough to come out. Here's who I saw:

Dark-eyed junco

First, four, then seven dark-eyed juncos. This was a first sighting of this species for me. Also called "snowbirds," they fairly popped in color as they landed and pecked in the snow, and their bellies blended in perfectly. When they fly off, you see a flurry of white. Lovely!

Next, a winsome and very red cardinal.

Male cardinal

He was a dandy specimen! He was all fluffed up and looked larger than usual. He's also much bigger than the juncos. He feasted at the feeder, while the juncos below caught all the seeds he kicked off the platform.

Later in the afternoon, sparrows kept visiting the feeder in abundance, despite the fact that the wind kicked up and it was hard to hold on. They discovered that the feed offered some shelter, and these two guys, below, wouldn't give up their perch!

Brown sparrows sheltering from the storm.

Those whitish streaks in the photo are the snowflakes, coming down harder and whipping around with the wind.

The weather was dreadful, but the outdoor nature show was lots of fun!

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