A Resolute Rodent

Who is the arch enemy of every bird-feeding human?

Why this bushy-tailed thief, of course!

The squirrels in my backyard are resolute rodents to say the least!  They wait until they think the coast is clear…

…and then land on the deck rail and help themselves to the seed tray smorgasbord.

Most of the time I find these determined little demons to be a frustrating nuisance, but there is a small part of me that can’t help but find them fascinating.

If I am outside with the camera, I often let them grab a quick snack while I grab some quick photos, and then chase them off with a hiss and a stomp.

Still, as soon as I go back inside, I know these greedy gray gobblers will be right back at their thievery! Ah well, I guess it just goes with the territory!

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Nutty Buddies

The Brown-headed Nuthatch is by far the friendliest bird in my backyard.

This cheerful chirper is highly inquisitive and not the least bit shy. He loves peanuts and Bark Butter, with the remnants of the latter clearly seen around his beak in the picture below!

His equally curious cousin, the White-breasted Nuthatch, also shows up on a regular basis.

Really, who needs Netflix with these nutty buddies around?!

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The Wait Is Over

I’ve been waiting for my Red-headed Woodpecker to bring his little one to the feeders, but so far he has come alone and kept Junior at a distance.

I did manage to snag a few fuzzy shots from afar the other day, but nothing up close.

But at last, the wait is over.  Today, Mom and Dad let their little guy swoop in by himself for a moment while they kept watch from a nearby tree.

 He doesn’t have their striking red head yet, but he’s definitely a chip off the old block – choosing the same perch and the same poses.

One day he will be positively pulchritudinous like his daddy…

…but for now, he is safer looking like a charcoal sketch.  Besides, he’s still a cutie, don’t you think?

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Who Gets The Glare?

This male Red-bellied Woodpecker landed on the Bark Butter branch this afternoon…

…but before he could really start enjoying his meal, he turned around and gave an open-beaked glare to a feathered foe that he clearly didn’t want around.

It wasn’t the Blue Jay who was the target of his wrath. This guy is a regular who routinely stops in in for his usual supply of peanuts.

And it wasn’t the Brown Thrasher, who is looking less than stellar as he undergoes his summer molt, but who also popped in for a Planters or two.

The recipient of his angry glare was this gleaming Grackle, who despite looking like he just stepped out of a poem by Poe, is really more skittish than scary.

Once the Red-bellied realized that, like the others, the Grackle had his eye on a nutty snack and not the Bark Butter, he relaxed and a tentative truce was called.

Never a dull moment at the backyard buffet!


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From Whence Came the Name?

A lot of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, like this fellow below, leave you scratching your head and wondering from whence came the name?  And what was the person thinking that tagged him with that title? And what were they drinking when they did so???

I mean, just one glance at this guy and it seems obvious that he should be called a Red-headed Woodpecker.  But alas, that name already belonged to another who I doubt will be relinquishing the rights anytime soon!

Still, every once in awhile (like today) a Red-bellied shows up that proves that the name isn’t a flat out fabrication.

I think I might have opted to call these birds Checker-back Woodpeckers, or  Red-mohawked Woodpeckers, but whatever the name, I’m just glad they likes to hang out in my backyard.

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The Fast and the Furious

Okay…first off…a confession is in order…I have never seen the movie that shares the title of this post…nor have I seen any of its sequels…it just seemed to fit today’s backyard bird activity.

All the birds that showed up seemed to be in a rush, landing without really lingering, like this Gray Catbird.

Even the Blue Jays were flying in fast, filling up on peanuts, and then taking off quickly.

The Cardinals were of the same hurried mindset. I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the hawk that I’ve seen hanging about.

As for the “furious” – that would be the Red-headed Woodpecker, who landed with battle-ready beak.

He has been on the extra-aggressive side lately, since he and the Mrs. have been bringing their little one along, though they keep him on the outskirts.  One of the pair guards while the other gathers, and both ignore my pleas to let Junior come closer and pose for a picture!

So, while I still don’t see myself watching the movie version any time soon, I did enjoy watching the fast and the furious behavior of my backyard birds.

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A Scene From Seuss

I saw this Silver-spotted Skipper on some sort of funky flower…

…and thought to myself…

This looks like a scene from Seuss!

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