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Archive for the ‘bird watching’ Category

Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Our yard offers birds lots of trees to perch on. Some of the favorites are the evergreens where they are often watching over their young or on the hunt for food.

American Robin on Alaskan cedar

Female Eastern Bluebird on spruce tree

One of our favorite backyard birds is the Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe on Alaskan cedar

After a quick bath the phoebe perched on the cedar to dry off.

The phoebe keeps watch for its preferred food

Is that a fly down there that I can catch?

According to the “All About Birds” website phoebes “typically place their mud-and-grass nests in protected nooks on bridges, barns, and houses.” We’ve looked around our house and there isn’t a nest on it that we’ve found so we aren’t sure where these little birds are nesting but they must be close by as they are frequently hunting all around our yard.

Female or Juvenile Baltimore Oriole with bug in beak

Sometimes even when the birds are eating berries they can find a tasty bug right under their beaks. You may have to click on the above image to see the what the oriole found.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. A few weeks ago I showed you some of the birds that were feeding on our serviceberry tree. We also have a shrub form that sets its fruit just a little later than the tree. These shrubs have been a hot bed of bird activity recently. As you will see each type of bird has their own method of feeding on the berries. Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

Let’s start with the American Robin.

The stem is a good form of roughage.

Grasp the berry in your beak and then…

…toss your head up and pop it in your mouth.

Another bird that uses the swallow whole method is the Cedar Waxwing.

First you have to find the right berry.

Pluck the berry from the stem and…

…down the hatch it goes.

We haven’t see or heard from our Baltimore Orioles much in the past few weeks but I did see one in the serviceberry bushes enjoying some fruit.

Female or Juvenile Baltimore Oriole stabbing a serviceberry.

The last of the birds that usually snarf the berries whole is the Eastern Bluebird.

Let me see which one is the ripest.

I’ll take this one…

…but I’d prefer to take it to another tree to nibble on it.

The bluebird surprised me by flying off to another tree with the berry. He set it down on the branch and surprisingly it didn’t roll off. Then he settled in and picked away at it until it was gone.

Some of the smaller species enjoy the serviceberries too but they can’t eat them whole. Here the Tufted Titmouse demonstrates how they eat.

This berry looks tasty.

I’ll hold it in my claw so I can peck at it.

Finally one of the smallest birds in our yard, not including the hummingbirds, also enjoys eating the serviceberries. Here a Black-capped Chickadee demonstrates his method.

I like to grab the berry while it’s still attached and hold it in my claw.

It’s easy to peck at while you hold it.

Do I have some berry on my beak?

If you look closely at the last picture (click to make bigger) you can see a tiny piece of berry in the chickadee’s beak.

While I was shooting these pictures Charlie was on a photo safari of his own in the yard and captured this picture.

This is how I get pictures of such small birds.

Here I am shooting pictures with my new FujiFilm X-T3 camera. I have a 100-400 mm lens and a 1.4x multiplier. As you can see I am hand holding the camera. I could never do that with my old Nikon. This set up weighs about 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg) compared to the Nikon equivalent that weighed over 9.5 lbs (4.3 kg). I do use a monopod occasionally for extra stability and to lighten the load from hanging around my neck. I’m really enjoying getting back into bird photography. Our yard is so full of bird activity right now I’m having a difficult time keeping up with all the pictures I’m taking.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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It is a busy time of year for all the birds around our yard. Many of our feathered friends have babies that they are feeding and the parents are working hard to keep up with those voracious appetites. In addition to the fruit on many of the shrubs we have planted in our yard we offer two feeding stations.

Tufted Titmouse at mealworm feeder

Our mealworm feeder is always a popular stop for all our birds but our other feeding station is just as busy.

Tufted Titmouse at suet feeder

Tufted Titmouse grabs a beak full of suet

What you can’t see in these pictures of the tufted titmouse are the young ones that are screeching from the bushes behind the feeder. This titmouse made numerous trips to try to quiet her brood.

Blue Jay on suet feeder

One of the biggest users of the suet feeder are the blue jays. They are a bit sloppy too.

Blue Jay grabbing some suet

Blue Jay flies away after taking some suet
(notice how much is falling to the ground – you may have to click on the image to see)

The blue jays are some of the messiest eaters. There is quite a large area of crumbs under this feeder. A few birds are smart enough to feed on that too.

White-breasted Nuthatch picks some suet from the cake

We use C & S Hot Pepper Delight in our suet feeder. This works the best for us as it is a no melt variety and the hot pepper keeps the squirrels and chipmunks away. We’ve tried other brands of hot pepper but found the rodents weren’t deterred by them. In case you are wondering birds will happily eat the hot suet because they don’t have well-developed taste buds.

C & S Hot Pepper Delight

Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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Our serviceberry tree and shrubs (Amelanchier) are full of fruit right now and the birds are enjoying the feast.

Gray Catbird

Cedar Waxwing

Eastern Bluebirds are normally insect eaters and are regulars at our mealworm feeder but I also caught our female bluebird snacking on a serviceberry. She is looking in the direction of their nest box where their young are still growing. I wonder if she is trying to decide whether to eat it or share it with her babies.

Female Eastern Bluebird

This last couple of shots I didn’t even see happen when I took the pictures. It wasn’t until after I downloaded them to my computer that I saw what really took place. I was focused on the Cedar Waxwing on the left and didn’t see that another one was approaching on the right with a serviceberry in its beak.

Incoming!!!

Thank you!

My guess is that the “giver” is a male and the “recipient” is a female. It’s too early in the season for this to be a parent/child pair and many bird couples court by the male feeding the female.

Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You can stop by and see some more birds.

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We love seeing all the birds around our yard. Here are a few of our regular visitors.

Gray Catbird

Many birds love our mealworm feeder. We made a small change to this feeder by adding a baffle to the stand.

Female Eastern Bluebird

The main reason for adding the baffle is to keep the chipmunks from pigging out on the mealworms. It has worked perfectly and so far this year we haven’t been going through as many mealworms as we have in the past.

Male Eastern Bluebird

This pair of bluebirds are our second pair of the season. We have two bluebird boxes on opposite sides of our yard. The first pair in the north box have successfully raised their young. The second pair of bluebirds were aggressive towards the first pair so after the babies fledged the first family left the yard. The second pair of bluebirds are now sitting on eggs in the south box so we hope to see more babies soon.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

It’s too bad the hummingbird didn’t turn his head just right to catch the sun on his gorget. We are again hosting a male and female Ruby-throated Hummingbird so we hope to see some young ones in a few weeks.

Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You can stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Today I’m thankful that I have a new camera too. It’s the same kind that Charlie recently purchased, a FujiFilm X-T3. I also picked up the XF 100-400mm lens. (Remember you can click on any of the images to see a bigger version.)

My handsome boy Walter

My sweet Millie

A few years ago I switched from a Nikon to an Olympus camera that allowed me to take videos of the dogs. What the Olympus didn’t have was a great ability to do bird photography and I realized that I missed taking pictures of our feathered friends.

A male Oriole hanging out in our yard.

I’ve been inspired by Maggie & Cammie’s mom’s beautiful bird pictures and just knew I wanted to do it again.

Mr. Bluebird is aglow in the evening sun

Another male oriole in the yard

To be honest the old Nikon was very heavy, especially with the long lens needed to do bird photography. The new FujiFilm camera and lens is much lighter and with all the advancements made over the past decade you get a better image too.

Don’t you love my underbite?

Do you have any treats for me mom?

There is also an advantage to using a long lens when photographing the dogs. Most of the time you are so far away they hardly know you are taking their picture.

I’m thankful for my new camera and hope to bring you many great pictures and videos.

We are joining Brian for the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Boy I must not have been thinking straight yesterday when I posted about our orioles at our feeder because I forgot to include the video I made to go along with it.

So without further ado here it is.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

Enjoy!

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