And Then There Was One

There was quite a bit of activity at the feeders this afternoon. A lot of the regulars (like these birds below) stopped by for some food.

But when they all scattered and scurried away at the same time, it could only mean one thing…the arrival of this handsome, hungry Red-shouldered Hawk.

He perched for a few minutes, scanning the backyard in search of an easy meal, but ended up leaving lunch-less.

And as soon as he flew off…

…all the regulars resumed their afternoon eating!

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Baby Maybe?

Usually, if I were to tell you that a bird of blue has been busy stuffing its beak with as much food as possible, you would rightfully picture this fellow below.

But lately, it’s been my pair of Bluebirds who have been busy grabbing food and then hurrying back to their house.

The female prefers the fresh, free range, organic food option…

…although she will occasionally supplement with some dried mealworms.

While the male prefers filling up on as much fast food as possible…

…but will occasionally add some fresh meat to the menu.

Although they will  stop every so often to catch their breath…

…or take a quick sip of water…

…they have mostly been on rapid grab and go missions.

This makes me strongly suspect that they have babies they are feeding that they aren’t yet allowing out of the house.

I so hope they do, and that before long, they will be bringing them to the backyard buffet. Stay tuned!

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Return of the Handsome Red-Head

My handsome Red-headed Woodpecker has returned.

He first showed up four years ago, and I have to say, it was love at first sighting!
Now, every time April rolls around, I start watching and waiting and hoping that he will once again bless me with his presence.

Upon arrival, it usually take him a couple of days to get over his shyness. But eventually, he decides that his desire for peanuts outweighs whatever risk my camera-holding presence might pose.

The other day he landed on a nearby branch…

…dropped down a little closer to get a birds-eye-view…

…and then landed on the deck rail to snare a nutty snack.

Although I have a lot of beautiful birds that visit my backyard feeders, this guy really is at the top of the “Most Gorgeous” list.

Stay tuned (hopefully!) for more photos of this handsome fellow in future posts. 🙂

 

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Sundays are for Relabxing!

After church this morning, we grabbed the dogs and drove over to the lake, which (along with any body of water he is allowed to romp in!) is Tucker’s happy place. This beast is the picture of boundless joy when he is racing and chasing his fetch stick in the water.

Chaco likes the water, but she also likes investigating the land and trying to sneak off to greet people, so she joined in the games for a bit, then shook off and took off to explore the scents along the shoreline.

Tucker is not one to get distracted by anything else when he gets to play in the water. He is one lake-lovin’-lab! He always seems to have the same intense Michael Jordan-ish expression on his face in every picture. It’s like he is shouting, “I was made for this!”

You know he’s about “tuckered out” (bad pun!) when he starts standing and just watching the water, with his tail still wagging.

I know most folks look forward to some time for relaxing on Sundays…I guess you could say that we look forward to  a bit of relabxing. 🙂

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Return of the Red-bellied

Now that the Flicker who had been frequenting the feeders in the winter months has disappeared, the Red-bellied Woodpeckers have once again become regular backyard visitors.

This fellow dropped in the other day to partake of some peanuts. He perched on the rail to grab a nut..

…and then flew to one of the branches strapped to the deck.

It is fascinating to watch them lodge a peanut into a crevice in the wood so they can peck at it. This fellow used his talon to help hold it in place.

Once he had finished with one nut…

…he made sure the coast was clear…

…and then swooped down to grab another.

I am grateful for the return of these Red-bellied birds – though blush-bellied may have been a better suited name.

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Announcement of Availability

I have been enjoying watching the male birds in the backyard announce their availability to the eligible females.

Some, like the Cowbirds, perch on a branch and then poof their feathers while loudly serenading their perspective mates.

The Red-winged Blackbirds do the same thing, but they also show the bold bands of color on their wings as an added element of allure.

Other birds seem to choose procuring food as a favored method of flirting. This handsome male Cardinal arrived (literally) with some grub to offer…

…but the female he was aiming to entice ignored his offering and flew to the other side of the yard. I’m not sure if she was intent on ditching her date or just playing a bit hard to get.

Of course, the winner of the most masterful woo-er award goes to the male Bluebird. Besides his dashingly good looks, this fellow has acquired the art of double mealworm nabbing.

Also, I watched him guarding…

…and glancing…

…while she took a leisurely bath and preened her pretty feathers.

This fellow is for sure the total package.

It’s a fun time of year for backyard bird photography!

 

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A Springtime Labra-rhyme

Spring’s at last sprung
And the dogs are quite muddy

He chases the toys
While she chases her buddy!


Leaping and lunging
They’re off to the races

With happy Lab tails
And happy Lab faces

Splashing and dashing
Tugging on toys

The picture of pleasure
And unbridled joy

You can look all you like
But you’ll find nothing better

Than water-drenched Labs
In the early spring weather


*If this “whets” your appetite to adopt a Lab, consider Labrador Friends of the South!

 

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