Steve and I have new friends in Texas but they won’t be “friending” us on Facebook anytime soon. They all sport beaks and feathers … our house has gone to the birds! Last winter, we reported 14 species at our feeders … this year we’re seeing over 20 species every day. This morning started slow and, still, we had 16 species before breakfast. Wahoo… it is busy outside our windows.
A few days ago we were excited to see our first American Robin and we think s/he spread the word because the today’s highlight was a flock of about 140! Twenty or so perched in our trees, eating berries and drinking out of the bird bath. At one point, both Robins and Cedar Waxwings (our other big flock of the week) were drinking together. Dang, even with each of us holding a camera we missed that shot!
At the top of our favorites list is a pair of Golden-Fronted Woodpeckers dubbed “Sadie” and “Mister Mister”. “Missy”, our female Ladderback Woodpecker visits daily. Sometimes, her handsome beau is also in attendance though he isn’t very reliable. The Bewick’s and Carolina Wrens, a pair each, are almost always here and, at any given moment, there might be dozens of American Goldfinches with, if we’re lucky, a Lesser Goldfinch or two mixed in. A couple pair of House Finches are usually around, as well as the Pine Siskins who are newcomers this week.
When the ground appears to be moving, look close. Likely it is a flock of chipping sparrows. Zip … what was that? Just one of the Yellow-Rumped Warblers chasing someone off of a suet log. They have staked their claim! The Orange-Crowned Warblers, skittish at first, practically land on Steve when he’s filling feeders and this afternoon, one looked like it wanted to join us inside. Steve has gotten pretty friendly with the little Ruby Crowned Kinglet too. Scrub Jays and Blue Jays, Cardinals, Titmice, Mourning and White-Winged Doves round out the list of birds at the feeders. Look a little farther out to find the Eastern Phoebe, and a little higher in the sky to catch the vultures, both Turkey and Black, and Red-Tailed Hawks, and you’ll have our list for this week. Now if only our Roadrunner and the Hermit Thrush will show up, our life will be complete. Oh, and the Bald Eagle we saw in November. We want it to come back. And the Crested Cara Cara we saw from the back deck. And … and … and …
With twelve feeders of varying types, as well as the bird bath, it’s hard to know where to look. Or to get anything else done. My neck hurts a bit, but overall, it’s not a bad way to spend a cold and dreary, drizzly winter day. (more photos)