The Birds! (not scary… I promise)

Here are some photos of birds that have been visiting my feeders in the past few weeks…

My daughter, Elizabeth, took this excellent photo of a Song Sparrow.

A pair of Song Sparrows

“Like many other songbirds, the male Song Sparrow uses its song to attract mates as well as defend its territory. Laboratory studies have shown that the female Song Sparrow is attracted not just to the song itself, but to how well it reflects the ability of the male to learn. Males that used more learned components in their songs and that better matched their song tutors (the adult bird they learned their songs from) were preferred.”

You can learn more about them here:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/song_sparrow

I wondered why he is called the Red BELLIED Woodpecker…

“A Red-bellied Woodpecker can stick out its tongue nearly 2 inches past the end of its beak. The tip is barbed and the bird’s spit is sticky, making it easier to snatch prey from deep crevices.”

You can learn more about them here:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-bellied_Woodpecker/

 

… and here’s why!

The American Tree Sparrow doesn’t live in trees…

“Misleadingly named by European settlers reminded of Eurasian Tree Sparrows back home, American Tree Sparrows are ground birds. They forage on the ground, nest on the ground, and breed primarily in scrubby areas at or above the treeline.”

You can learn more about them here:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Tree_Sparrow/overview

 

The Mourning Doves sometimes make it up to the feeder, but they aren’t graceful getting up there. They usually pick up seeds that other birds drop on the ground. We’ve always had them in our yard.

“Their soft, drawn-out calls sound like laments. When taking off, their wings make a sharp whistling or whinnying. Mourning Doves are the most frequently hunted species in North America.”

You can learn more about them here:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/mourning_dove

 

“The House Finch was originally a bird of the western United States and Mexico. In 1940 a small number of finches were turned loose on Long Island, New York, after failed attempts to sell them as cage birds (“Hollywood finches”). They quickly started breeding and spread across almost all of the eastern United States and southern Canada within the next 50 years.”

You can learn more about them here:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/house_finch

Brown-Headed Cowbirds are interesting. I first noticed them last spring.

“Even though Brown-headed Cowbirds are native to North America, many people consider them a nuisance bird, since they destroy the eggs and young of smaller songbirds and have been implicated in the decline of several endangered species.”

They also lay their eggs in other birds’ nests and let the other birds raise their young. That isn’t very nice!

You can learn more about them here:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown-headed_Cowbird/overview

This cowbird keeps getting angry at his own reflection in the window.

It’s funny to watch him!

“Only a few female North American songbirds sing, but the female Northern Cardinal does, and often while sitting on the nest. This may give the male information about when to bring food to the nest. A mated pair shares song phrases, but the female may sing a longer and slightly more complex song than the male.”

You can learn more about them here:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Cardinal/

 

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“American Goldfinches are the only finch that molts its body feathers twice a year, once in late winter and again in late summer. The brightening yellow of male goldfinches each spring is one welcome mark of approaching warm months.”

Looks like these haven’t molted yet.

You can learn more about them here:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Goldfinch

How cute is this? Birdie footprints and doggy footprints together in the snow on the porch.

Why do birds seem hungrier when it snows?

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2 thoughts on “The Birds! (not scary… I promise)

  1. GREAT POST and GREAT photos! I have made several posts about out birds this winter and also like the All About Birds website. I also use the Missouri Department of Conservation website’s field guide. Taking bird photos is not as easy as I thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks! I don’t have a camera, I just use my phone. I have seen some amazing photos of birds online where people use nice camera with zoom lenses. I hope I can get one of those one day.

    Like

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