Three’s A Charm

Yesterday afternoon I had not one, not two, but three Red-headed Woodpeckers hanging out in my backyard.  Can you say “little slice of heaven?”

First I saw the big fella, going from one tree trunk to another near the edge of the property.

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Then I noticed the duller shadow following close behind him. He brought Junior with him!

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While Dad occupied the little guy, Mom made her way over to the deck to grab a bite to eat.

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You can see she is going through a bit of a molt that has left her looking a bit patchy; but no worries, she will soon be back to her resplendent self.

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Then they swapped roles, and Mom kept a close eye on the inquisitive youngster…

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…while Dad flew over to grab some grub.  Is he not capital “G” Gorgeous?!  Heck, he is all capital letter GORGEOUS!

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I am so hoping this pair sticks around for the winter months.  I am day dreaming about getting a picture of them perched in a light dusting of snow!

Until then, I’ll close with one final photo where he clearly seems to be posing.  He has definitely gotten more used to my presence with the camera!

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‘Tis The Season

‘Tis the season – not for Christmas (although I’m sure the decorations will show up at Home Depot any day now!) but for Hummingbirds.  These little birds have been out in abundance lately, simply begging to have their picture taken.

Like this handsome fellow.

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I was in and out of the house about a hundred times today, and every time I passed by I saw him sitting on the iron hook in serious guard mode.  He spent much more time protecting the nectar than he did partaking of it!

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You can tell this one is an adult male because of the full red throat patch – which is also called a “gorget” if you want to sound impressive!

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And speaking of those crimson throat patches, did you know that the feathers aren’t actually red?  It’s simply the way they reflect light that gives them the glowing lava look.

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With a slight shift in the way the light hits their feathers, their appearance can change from gleaming red to a dull brownish-black in an instant.

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These flying gems probably won’t be here much longer, so I’m going to continue snapping pictures (and filling feeders) for as long as they bless me with their presence.

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A Great Way To Start The Day

This Gulf Fritillary sat and sipped in the morning sun, and I stood and basked in its beauty.

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What a great way to start the day!

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Go Set A Watchman

While out taking Fritillary photos yesterday, I saw this young male hummingbird diligently guarding his territory.  His vigilant stance reminded me of the title of Harper Lee’s novel, Go Set a Watchman – a book that is still on my “want to read someday” list.

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He wasn’t perched there for long, as these days the front yard is filled with rivals that must be fended off.

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As soon as he saw another hummer heading for the nectar, this battle ready fellow took off to engage in an all out aerial attack.

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I wish these birds would offer one another a bit more southern hospitality, but I have to admit, their aggressiveness is indeed entertaining!

And just out of curiosity, did anyone happen to read Miss Lee’s book?

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Hence The Name

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

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Hangry Bird

Did you ever see those Snickers commercials, the ones with the lines – “Eat a Snickers.  You’re just not yourself when you’re hungry!”?

Well, that’s what I thought of when this Red-bellied Woodpecker landed on the Bark Butter Branch and proceeded to let all around him know that he would be dining alone this day.

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Once the message was sent, he unruffled his feathers and settled down a bit.

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Good to know I’m not the only one who gets a bit “hangry” at times!

 

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Not Too Hot For Stripes And Spots

When the temperature lingers in the 90’s, the bird activity sometimes hits a bit of a lull;  but the butterflies, who love the warmer weather, have been out in abundance.  Here are several that my daughter and I saw while we were walking about Smith Gilbert Gardens yesterday.

Some were common visitors to our own yard, like this Gulf Fritillary…

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…and this Tiger Swallowtail.

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Others I wish were common visitors, like this Zebra butterfly…

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…and this Giant Swallowtail and Black Swallowtail, both of whom are a bit frayed about the edges.

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Ah, so much beauty.  And although the birds may be a little less active on these scorching summer days, it’s clearly not too hot for stripes and spots!

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