Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter is for the Birds

I've given a lot of love to the bluebirds at my feeders, so now it's time I give some of the other birds some attention too. After all, they all help get me through the long winter months.

Pileated woodpeckers are the most uncommon of the woodpeckers that visit my feeders. He mostly forages in this tree for suet and seeds hidden by the other birds. Visits are very sporadic although I hear his calls frequently in the woods.

 Blue Jays are very common at the bird feeders. While suet is what they eat most of the time, and lots of it, peanuts in the shell is what they go absolutely crazy over. They take as many as they can, as fast as they can, and hide them. Back and forth, back and forth. When they are all gone they go find them and eat them.  How they remember where they put them all I don't know.
They are not my favorite bird, but it's so funny watching them go crazy over the peanuts.

Tufted Titmice love peanuts in the shell as well. But they have to be very quick if they want to get any before the Blue Jays hog them all. This one got lucky.

The perky little Carolina Wrens always make me smile. They also love the freeze dried mealworms I put out for the bluebirds, and more often than not, get to them before the bluebirds do.

I'm not fat, I'm fluffy!


American Goldfinch


House Finch

Black-Capped Chickadee

White-Throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Downy Woodpecker

Dark-Eyed Junco
We always called Junco's snowbirds because they typically show up when the first snow flies.
I think this is the only winter bird that doesn't stay here to nest. They spend their summers in the extreme northern states or Canada. They do stay year round in the Appalachian Mountains. I frequently see them when hiking in the upper elevations in the Smoky Mountains.

Yellow-Shafted Flickers are usually pretty wary birds and hard to photograph but they seem to be getting a little bolder. I have spotted them at the feeders just about every day this winter. I just love the beautiful colored plumage on the Flickers.

Sorry, I couldn't resist another Bluebird photo. After all, they are my favorite bird.

And yesterday I spotted the first Robin. The first sight of a Robin is always symbolic with spring, although I know Robins remain in the area all winter. They tend to stay in flocks in wooded areas and are rarely seen. Some do move farther south for the winter, while Robins north of us may come here for the winter.
What is your first reliable sign of spring? For me it is hearing the spring peepers and the appearance of the Red-Winged Blackbirds. When I hear that first musical trill of a Red-Winged Blackbird, I know that spring has indeed arrived.


  1. What fabulous photos. You really get fantastic shots and it's always enjoyable looking through them.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Love the photos!

    Robins are one of the first signs of Spring here as well although this year I thought about it that the birds are singing their Spring songs (even in the snow) before the Robins got here.

  3. Great photos of your birdies, Pearl. We have almost the exact same birds here that you have. Like your Juncos, ours only come around when it's cold and/or snowy...

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Like you I always herald spring with the advent of robins! How neat! I like calling juncos snowbirds. Very fitting.

  5. Forgot to say your photos are absolutely amazing!

  6. Love, love, love your pictures. They make me smile from ear to ear.

  7. Wow, such gorgeous bird shots...

  8. You photos are really wonderful and you have such variety. The Bluebird is such a pretty bird and I only see them on blogs. The chickadee and Junco are such beautiful shots, love where they are perched.