Wednesday, February 6, 2013

South Burlington Birds: Sharp-shinned Hawk, Redpoll photos

When will the dinner guests arrive? 

                I am not the only one watching the song birds at our feeders.

Also, every year I plant bird friendly trees, shrubs, fruit, and flowers as well as allow (to grow) some what humans might consider as weeds, however birds enjoy for the seeds they provide from fall through winter. 

So, grab some peanuts (the birds won't mind sharing) and enjoy the avian photos below. And don't miss out on the bird video and bird lines (bird-bar jokes) at the bottom.

Happy Birding!

                                                 So many birds at the feeders
                                                    needed air traffic control!

   "Common Redpolls do appear to be having an irruption year into the lower 48 states along with Red-breasted Nuthatches, Evening Grosbeaks, Crossbills, and Pine Grosbeaks."

"So, who’s coming to dinner at feeders this winter? Common Redpolls, for one. This perky finch with the red cap and rosy vest typically drops into the U.S. in years when food is scarce up north—but usually only on one side of the continent, east or west. This year, however, redpolls are being reported across the continent and pushing as far south as North Carolina."

                                        Bluejay with an attitude.

                                           Red-breasted Nuthatch mimicking a miniture hawk

I watched a Nuthatch pull a piece of peanut out of a wire tube feeder, only to drop it, however it dove down and actually caught the piece mid air only a few feet from the ground, then flew away with its catch.


White-breasted Nuthatch, Looking

Got it!


                                             Female Hairy Woodpecker

                          Male Hairy or Downy Woodpecker                           Female Hairy Woodpecker

                                              Heavy on the peanut butter  -  hold the jelly and bread.

I am experimenting with homemade suet receipes using ingredients such as, natural peanut butter, lard, whole grain corn meal, peanuts, unmedicated chicken starter mix, and oatmeal.

                                                     Downy Woodpecker and Titmouse playing peek-a-boo

                                                                                  White Throated Sparrow


                                                                      Black-capped Chickadee at church.

                                                             Morning Dove



 Red Breasted Nuthatch

Chickadee and Dark-eyed Junco                                                                  

 Standing room only

                                   Suet and peanut dispensers waiting to be filled and hung up.

Hairy (Female) Woodpecker


ID?  Purple Finch? 

Carolina Wren 

This year (2013) in the Christmas Bird Count in the Burlington circle we did not set a record for Carolina Wrens, but we were close. We identified 13 this year with individual birds counted in multiple sectors. The record, set in 2012, was 14. The"southern" species march on. Bruce MacPherson- Green Mtn Audubon

 Hot bath anyone?

                                                           Will the real Cardinal please step forward.

                                                               Cardinal -specatular beak and crest.                    

                                                        Bird Feeder at the bird feeder.

                                                Sharp-shinned (bird eating) Hawk.
               These predators help keep bird populations healthy by feeding on injured and sick birds.

Watch a short Video of Redpoll, Goldfinch and Nuthatch at one of our feeding stations.

See the bird nest boxes I built and installed @

See more bird photos taken during The Great Backyard Bird Count. @

 May 2014 Indigo Blue Bunting

Winter Bird Lines
There was a bird named Druet, who didn't care much for suet. His friends and parents chided his poor diet, to which he responded don't snub grub(s) till you try it. Then winter came, which brought frozen entrees, so he had to eat suet, though he still attested theres not much to it. (being the meat eater he was).

The table is set; peanuts, homemade suet, B.Sunflower seeds, 18 stations-log, tube, tray, wire. Wlcm all. Hot coffee for me. Good morning,Chickadees, Bluejays, Cardinals, Titmouse, Hairy & Downy Woodpeckers, Nuthatch -red and white, Sparrow, Dove, REDPOLLS

So many Redpolls, and me not able to speak french!

Got Birds? 22 bird feeders and one water dripper in place. Yup, got birds.

Feeding wild birds is like trick or treat, lots of costumes and you can't tell if some are repeat visitors.

Chickadee just showed up with two reuseable shopping bags. Got to give her credit, at least she recognizes reuseable is better than plastic. Can't wait till she tries to fly with all that carry on luggage.

While waiting his turn at a bird feeder, one fiesty young male bird told me that no matter how tough a bird you are, (window) strikes are a real pane. Not only that but they hurt too.

Fly by hawk just passed up a 7 course meal. Guess it figured there were just too many and the doves are probably high calorie/fat content anyway.

Have acquired near permanent Red Eye and a dirty chin after viewing so many Redpolls.

Tea kettle is whistling. Time for Tea for me and time to refill the birds water dripper with water-they are not tea tottlers.

Nuthatch takes one peanut, flys away to stash it, then returns for another, while the squirell looks up with envy.

Juncos favorite book: Fifty Shades of Grey, the abbreviated version on Twitter. Erotic Tweets and tweeters.

Getting to know the birds better- On a nickname basis.

Redpolls = Red top or Bibbers.

Mourning Doves = Chicken Catetori

Sparrows nickame = Jack

Cardinal = Fireball. (Sorry Rudolph)

Downy Woodpecker = Pillow stuffer

Birds fly high. Think about that and the possible ramifications. Are there mid air sobriety checkpoints? What happens to repeat offenders? Do they lose their wings or just get them clipped? If they crash into a wall, do they forever-more fly with Jonathan Livingston Seagull? Do they get frequent flyer miles for not flying high?

I told a bird I dream of flying without wings. The bird responded he dreams of drinking out of the bird bath that does not smell and taste like bird feet.

Male Cardinal landed on my shoulder, hopped sidways and up close to my ear and whispered a bird joke. Or at least he tried to. He blushed really really red before he could get half way through it. I guess he has off-colored humor.

Birds occasionally peer into and stick their beak into a hole of my Mason Bee boxes. Imagine what that must be like for the hibernating Mason to bee. Fortunately they are in the egg or larvae stage at this point and the hole is plugged with mud. Should the bird poke past the mud partition the male to bee eggs would be the first to go as the Female-destined eggs are laid in the back of the nest, and male eggs towards the front.

Add to that the male dies after mating. SO for males, if you think birds are scary, wait till after you meet up with a female Mason bee.

Getting near dusk. Birds are becoming scarce at the feeders, though there seems to be quite a gathering of them at the grape vine. A little post meal vino, or maybe some hot toddys to get through the cold night. That explains why the dogs bark at night - Bird partying at the Grape & Grain.

P.S. if you are interested in feeding wild birds, Depot Home and Garden in Essex and Guys Farm and Yard in Williston sell various size bags of bird seed including Black Oil Sunflower seed and peanut pieces. I buy 50lb bags of Black Sunflower seed for about fifty-five cents per lb. (and 5 lb. Peanut pieces at about $1.25 lb or Price Chopper brand on sale at $2.00 lb.). If you buy peanuts in the grocery store for birds, be sure to choose unsalted.
("The variety of bird seeds and mixtures on the market is staggering. In most locations, however, the best all-around attractant is black-oil sunflower seed. This seed has a high meat-to-shell ratio; it is high in fat; and its small size and thin shell make it easy for small birds to handle and crack.")
  Peanut pieces: Protein min. 22.0%, fat min. 35.0%, fiber Max. 4.0%                                     

 Blk Oil Sunf.     Protein min. 18.8%, fat min. 33.0%, fiber Max.28.1%                           

More bird feeding tips.

Other Vermont flower, critter, and birds, postings: