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Friday, January 14, 2011

At Ellen's Birdfeeder

tufted titmouse

I measured Ellen's house today as one of my Field Test samples for my job training. She fed me lunch (an unexpected fun time!), and I got to watch her birdies. This one was the hardest to picture. It's the tufted titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor. They take one seed at a time from the feeder, then fly to a high branch and eat it. I had a really hard time getting a picture of the nervous little thing.


One of the things we had to give up when our finances crashed was the bird feeder. So, I really enjoy hers. She has a big picture window, and the feeders are really close. Here is an American goldfinch, Carduelis tristis, a male, in drab winter dress.

downy woodpecker

These two are a lot of fun. The downy woodpecker, Picoides pubescens, is nearly indistinguishable from the hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus, except by size. But you get to compare the difference. First the downy came to the right side of the suet bag. That's the picture above. Notice how much of the bag he "covers." You have to look at the bag rather than the bird. Because in the picture below the bird looks the same size until you look at the suet bag. You can now see that the bird is as large as the whole length of the bag. That's the hairy woodpecker.

hairy woodpecker

I hope you enjoyed this visit with Ellen's birds!

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rainfield61 said...

We do not build any bird feeder, and the idea is not common over here.

If I have one, who will be attracted?

Ann said...

Beautiful pictures of the birds. I think for the woodpeckers unless I saw them side by side I would not know which was which. There is a big difference in their size though.

Lin said...

I saw my downy woodpecker yesterday, walking up and down the tree, working up the nerve to scare the other birds away from the suet. They are such lovely birds.

Arti said...

Wow... What beautiful pics!! Looks very cute...

Secondary Roads said...

Same cast of characters here. That is with the exception of the hairy woodpecker. We also see a lot of house finches. Nobody messes with the red bellied woodpecker – even the Blue Jays.

rose AKA Walk in the Woods - she/her said...

I'm rendering fat for soap-making … and the birds are enjoying the scraps!

Now … to check out that giveaway ...

Sisko said...

Those are really some great shots. I dabble in photography, but birds like this don't come into my subdivision :)

spinninglovelydays said...

Love the pics! One of these days, I'll sit in the garden and really try to identify the birds that visit us. They all look like shrikes and sparrows, but they can't be since we get more than two kinds of tweets, lol

vanilla said...

Excellent pictorial comparison of the relative sizes of the hairy and the downy.

Sharkbytes said...

rainfield- Here, a lot of people do it to help birds through the cold winters, and bring them close for observation

Ann- you can't really tell them apart until you get use to the sizes and then have a way to judge the size compared to what they are sitting on or something.

Lin- I like all the woodpeckers. Well, except maybe the downy that keeps hammering on our house

Arti- Thanks for stopping by. The are cute! The titmice are especially precocious.

Chuck- Ellen says she also gets a red-bellied. But it didn't show up while I was there.

Rose- You are always SO busy!

Sisko- these are very common winter visitors for us, along with some others I didn't catch on camera

Ivy- I'd love to see the birds in your part of the world

vanilla- well, they sure made it easy!