“Take Me Out to the Backyard”

As I was standing outside taking pictures in the subfreezing temperatures this morning, my frostbit brain started coming up with its own rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballpark.”  Feel free to sing along!

Take me out to the backyard

Fly me in with the crowd

Buy me some peanuts and sunflower seeds

Watch me eat them with gluttonous greed!

Oh it’s drink, drink, drink from the water

and sample some suety-lard

Oh it’s one –

two –

three nuts then out

of the old backyard!

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Lighthearted Limericks – Mockingbird

This Mockingbird has been a constant fixture at the backyard feeders lately (probably because the current seed mix has raisins) so I decided to let him be the star of a lighthearted limerick.

The Mockingbird perches on high
And looks down with his arrogant eye

Though he knows lots of songs
He just can’t get along

He’s an ill-tempered unfriendly guy!

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Marvelous Meteorologists

If I want to know the weather forecast, looking at the behavior of my backyard birds is often more accurate than asking Siri!

The birds seem to sense when bad weather is coming and show up in a bit of a frenzy.  Take today for example – with predictions of sleet and freezing rain headed our way, there was quite a flurry of activity at the feeders.

The Blue Jays were the first to arrive…

…and the second…

…and the third!

Followed by a host of others.

The heated water dish was even more popular than the feeders.

With much of their water supply frozen, this was quite the hotspot!

Not only are the birds marvelous meteorologists, they are also experts at the emergency broadcasting system.  When they started chattering loudly, looking alert, and fleeing the scene I knew there must be some sort of danger lurking about.

Sure enough, this handsome Hawk swooped in and landed directly overhead in hopes of finding an easy meal.

Once he left, it was back to business as usual.

By the way, the birds were right – it wasn’t long before the sleet started.  So have no fear, I’ll keep an eye out on the backyard and let you know if any more bad weather is headed this way!

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A Seasonal Sparrow

One of the birds that winters here in our southern state of Georgia is the White-throated Sparrow.

I don’t get many pictures of him since he rarely visits the feeders, preferring to scavenge what falls to the ground below the deck; but on occasion I can snap a few shots as he hops around the fountain rocks or gets a drink.

I love the color tones and the lovely markings of this little fellow!

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The Finest Winter Fashion

With the Atlanta temps mirroring those of Minnesota, the backyard birds are displaying their fluffiest feathers.

This Mockingbird was my favorite, all decked out in his winter finest.

Seriously though – I might have to get me one of these coats!

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Starting the Year off Right

As I sat drinking my coffee in the early hours of a brand new year, I jotted down ten things that I wanted to do more of in 2018, and of course, taking more pictures made the list.

So, as soon as it was light enough, I bundled up, filled the feeders, and took my camera out to the deck.

This Mockingbird was the first to arrive…

…flitting from feeder to feeder, helping himself to the fresh supply of food.

 Butter-butts (aka Yellow-rumped Warblers) darted here and there, too busy patrolling to do much partaking.

A White-breasted Nuthatch and a male Cardinal dropped in for a peanut…

…while a Blue Jay eyed me from the tree branch.

My Blue Jays (as of late) have been uncharacteristically reluctant to come to the feeders while I am outside, but this fellow decided the reward outweighed the risk and was soon packing away the peanuts with gusto.

With the temperature below freezing, a sweet Chickadee was grateful for the heated water dish…

…while others braved the icy water in the backyard fountain.

Several Pine Warblers of differing personalities popped in…

…as well as a Red-bellied Woodpecker, who made trip after trip to the Bark Butter Branch.

So here’s to a new year filled with the blessing of much beauty; mine is certainly off to a great start!

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The Calendar Crew

For the last post of 2017, it only seemed fitting to share the birds that got selected for the coming year’s calendar – a gift that I make for my folks each Christmas.

January – Blue Jay

February – Red-bellied Woodpecker

March – Cedar Waxwing

April – Northern Mockingbird

May – Tufted Titmouse

June – Red-headed Woodpecker

July – Eastern Bluebird

August – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

September – Blue-headed Vireo

October – Yellow-rumped Warbler

November – Pine Warbler

December – Northern Cardinal

Happy New Year – and may 2018 be filled with beautiful blessings!

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