My Friend Flicker

Okay…so the Flicker that has been flitting around the outskirts of my backyard isn’t really my friend yet, but I am hopeful.

I first caught a glimpse of this guy on our recent snow day.  I was paying some bills and glanced out the window and saw this hefty but handsome fellow at the far end of the yard.  I was afraid he was going to fly away before I could get a picture, so I grabbed my camera but neglected to grab a coat, gloves or even shoes!

At first, he kept his distance, but eventually he flew over to a limb in the center of the yard.  I’m pretty sure he was keeping as much of an eye on me as I was on him!


Then he scurried back to a safer distance and did his best to blend in with the Oak tree bark.

Eventually (much to my delight) the lure of readily available food seemed to overcome his fear and he landed on the Bark Butter Branch.


Isn’t he handsome!  He (you can tell its a male by the mustache) is a yellow-shafted Northern Flicker who lives in my state year round but who rarely shows up at my feeders.

I have to confess, his markings make him look like the victim of a slumber party prank!

I hope he will decide he LOVES my backyard and quickly comes to the conclusion that I am friend and not foe!

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Grab and Go (In the January Snow!)

What is happening in the south?

In a state known for its fair weather winters, we woke up to eleven degree temperatures and our second snowfall in as many months.  So while the neighborhood kids were rejoicing over closed schools, I was grabbing my gloves and my Uggs and heading out with the camera.

The birds were out in full force, grabbing food and then quickly flying away.  It’s always hard to decide which pictures to share, so I thought today I would post three different pictures of three different birds.  Let’s start with the Blue Jay…

And now for the Cardinal, whose red feathers always look so stunning against a snowy backdrop.

And we’ll close out with the Yellow-rumped Warbler, who took a break from his aerial antics to grab a bite to eat.

Okay…the Blue Jays were so breathtaking today that I can’t stop at three…so let’s end how we started, with three more photos of these bold beautiful fellows.

Ah…snow days are the best!

 

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And The Winner Is….

I tend to put out quite a banquet for my backyard birds, but I’m pretty sure if I had them vote for their favorite food the winner would be Bark Butter.

This suety-spread (available at Wild Birds Unlimited) attracts a huge variety of birds.

This afternoon, I put some on a branch that I have attached to my deck and then waited to see who showed up.  Here’s a handful that stopped by to feast.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Brown Thrasher

Eastern Bluebird (female)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Downy Woodpecker (male)

And here’s another handful.

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird (male)

Pine Warbler

Downy Woodpecker (female)

Northern Cardinal

So, if you want to attract more birds to your backyard –
1) Find yourself a beautiful dead branch and bungee cord it to your deck… then…
2) Get yourself some Bark Butter (Here’s the link!) and spread it on the branch.
Then sit back and enjoy the show!

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“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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