Seeing Red

I’m definitely seeing red lately…red feathers anyway!
The Cardinals are out in full force this year.

This lovely female stopped by the other day.  She was shy, but still curious.

I love her sweet subdued beauty.

I think she would have stayed longer, but a rather brash male swooped in and commandeered the branch.  I hate to break it to him, but I don’t think she was all that impressed!

I have to admit though, he is rather handsome!

Cardinals are one of those birds that everyone seems to love. I think because they are such frequent visitors I forget how stunning they are.  I kind of wish I could go back and see one again for the first time.

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A Dinner Prey-er

Just as I was about to load up my dinner plate the other evening and offer up a quick prayer of thanks, I happened to glance out the window and saw a different sort of dinner prey-er show up!

Leaving the sweet potato unbuttered and the dogs impatiently waiting for their Kongs, I snatched up my camera and fired off a few shots.

I wish I could have stepped outside without him flying away, but alas, I had to settle for taking pictures through the window, choosing to overlook the glass glare and the smudges. Hey – you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit, right?
Besides, isn’t he absolutely gorgeous?

I’m thinking he had seen this fellow…

…and this fellow perch in this place…

…and must have decided it was a good spot to grab some grub!

He carefully looked over the yard in one direction, and then turned his attention to the other side.

I’m not sure my backyard birds were quite as ecstatic about his presence as I was, but I certainly enjoyed his visit.  Now, if only I could teach him to like Bark Butter!

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Too Pretty Not To Post

As I sat here sifting though recent photos this morning, I came across some that I took on a day where I clearly had time for picture taking but not for picture posting.  It seemed a shame to file them away unseen and unshared, so I decided to give them their moment to shine; and so as not to hurt their feelings (their egos are fragile!) I’ll just present them in alphabetical order! And just for fun, I’ll include an interesting tidbit or two about each of them.

Fun and fascinating, these LOUD little birds mate for life, stay in the same location
year round, and include snake-skins in their list of nest building supplies.
Oh, and did I mention they are LOUD?

A fan favorite because of the brilliant, bold blues of the male,
these birds work together to assemble a nest.  The male brings
the materials and the female designs the masterpiece.
Don’t let their beauty fool you, these birds are bossy!

Prolific songsters, the male Mockingbird has about 200 songs in
his repertoire; but don’t be deceived by their cheerful chirping,
these birds are fiercely territorial and are quick to
go into attack mode.

These birds have tongues that extend about two inches
past the end of their beaks.  They’re not trying to use poor manners
when they stick them out, they’re just spearing food.  What’s really
fascinating is that when they retract their tongues they wrap
them around their skulls.  How creepy but cool is that?!

Considered the most common and widespread of the Warblers,
these little birds with the lemony highlights are lovingly
referred to as “Butter-Butts” because of the patch of yellow
feathers on their rear.  They often spend more time patrolling
the feeders than they do partaking of the food.

And now, I feel better having let them put their splendor on display.  Besides, one can never get enough beauty, or enough mindless trivia for that matter!

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A Tremendous Trio

There are three different kinds of woodpeckers that have been hanging about in my backyard this season.

The smallest is the Downy Woodpecker.  Though diminutive in size, this is quite a determined little bird.  He is not easily deterred from grabbing his fair share of the Bark Butter.

The Red-bellied Woodpecker also shows up on a daily basis.  This guy is a bit bossier than the Downy, which can probably be attributed to his bigger beak.

The third, though traditionally not a regular at my feeders, is this stunning Northern Flicker who has stuck around for about a month now.  I think he discovered the Bark Butter during our last snow and decided he liked it.

Come late spring, I’m hoping my handsome Red-headed Woodpecker will return …

…but for now, I’ll just keep enjoying this tremendous trio.

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A Delightful Descencion

When I looked out my front door the other day, I noticed a flurry of bird activity across the street in my neighbor’s crabapple tree.  That can only mean one thing – Cedar Waxwings!

A few moments later, about a dozen of them took off and flew directly over my roof, which usually means they are about to visit my backyard fountain for a drink.  Sure enough, several of them descended and helped themselves to a  bit of refreshment.

Most of them quickly flew back to partake of more berries, but a couple decided to stick around to bask on the branches in the warmth of the sun.

Always a delight when these guys show up!


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Choosy Mothers Might Choose Jiff (But You Can’t Be Choosy in a Jiffy!)

Before I get to the backyard birds, how about I start with a “Lab report”?

The newest addition to our household is adjusting well.  We ended up calling her Tilly instead of Dilly, which suits her since the name means “mighty warrior” – a title that must be true of her since she survived her rough start.  She needs a good bit of training, but has a sweet disposition and thrives on praise.  She does like to keep me in her sights at all time…like watching me feed the cat…

…and watching me dry my hair.

The report on Tucker is a bit of a downer.  He loves his new sister and wants to romp and race, unfortunately, he has a “sports injury” to his right rear leg and is on a month of restricted activity.  Keeping them calm is not easy.  Pray for me!  And pray for my beautiful beast too if you don’t mind.

So, with one Lab needing training and the other needing constant supervising, my picture taking time is limited to say the least.  Still, I am determined to not altogether neglect it, so I’ll just grab whatever moments I can and learn to be a little less finicky.

Here are a few I snapped this afternoon.

Eastern Bluebird

Northern Cardinal

Downy Woodpecker (female)

Downy Woodpecker (male)

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Do you remember the old peanut-butter commercial that said “Choosy mothers choose Jiff?”  Well – I think my mantra for the next month will be “When you have to take pictures in a jiffy you can’t be choosy!”


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Happy Birthday Mr. T

Tucker, our beautiful beast of a Lab mutt, turned one last week.  And what does one get to celebrate such an occasion? Why a sister of course!

Meet Dilly (and yes, we named her after the Bud Light commercials!) a ten month old Lab mix that we adopted yesterday.  She had a rough start to life, but we’re hoping with some extra loving, some extra feeding, and a good bit of training she will be a great addition to our household.

So here’s to a bit of craziness ahead.  Dilly dilly!

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