Friday, October 26, 2012

For The Birds

Yesterday the weather was glorious.  The kids played outside all morning until the rain called them inside late afternoon.  

As the kids played I sat on my patio and watched the birds come to the feeders, checking to see what was left.  

It reminded me that I still haven't shown you all the bird photos I'd captured this summer. Once I began taking note of how many different birds were coming to my feeder I was shocked to see all the different varieties we have right in our own back yard.  It reminded me that sometimes I need to stop, slow down, and look around once in a while. 

Without further ado, these are my birds:

One of the first birds I notice in spring is the mourning dove.  Their coo in the morning is such a comforting sound.  They are always in pairs, so it is a surprise that I got this one alone.  My boys love these guys and call them balloon heads.
A pretty male cardinal picks up the seeds underneath the bird feeder.
A female cardinal eats above her mate and next to a house sparrow on the other side of the feeder.
After a few weeks of careful observation I FINALLY got my shot of the beautiful oriole in our yard.  This guy is so quick and skiddish that it was near impossible to get him.  He was gorgeous.
Two colorful birds eating side by side, one red house finch, one indigo bunting.  It isn't the best quality picture but I liked the two colors together.
Here is a better shot of the female bunting.
Of course we have many robins in our yard.  We even got to keep a close eye on a mama (and very protective papa) bird and her nest of babies this summer.  When it got really hot mama would come over and cool herself off for a while.  I don't think you can watch a bird taking a bath without a smile crossing your face.
This is just a simple chipping sparrow, but I liked this picture because of how well the little guy blended right into the seeds and woodchips.
A white crowned sparrow.  One of the MANY varieties of sparrows we have.
Daddy robin eyeing me to make sure I don't get too close to mama and the babies.  If I would go anywhere near their tree he would dive bomb me.   Good daddy.
This is a crazy story.  Immediately after I snapped the photo of this awesome rose breasted grossbeak he flew up, headed straight for Ben and I at the patio doors, and SMACKED into the patio door glass right in front of my face.  Ben and I screamed!  I was so worried he was going to be hurt, but he just flew away.  Whew!
Another little common house sparrow.  I just thought he looked so cute all puffed up on the birdbath like that. 
A red-winged blackbird.  They were everywhere in our backyard, but for some reason I don't have a great picture of any of them.
I think chickadees are my all-time favorite bird.  I love them.  They aren't the most colorful, but they are gutsy and friendly and so stinking tiny and cute.
A beautiful goldfinch.  These are another favorite, and we have a ton of them.
The sassy blue jay.  I was shocked when I looked out my window and saw 9 blue jays hanging around my birdfeeder one day.  The other birds were not happy.   I couldn't believe how BIG blue jays are.  Wow.  Pretty bird, too.
This is a female red-winged blackbird.  No fancy colors, but I still think she is pretty.
This guy is one of the boys' favorites.  This is a downy woodpecker, and he loves our suet.
This is the female downy woodpecker.  She looks much like her male counterpart, but does not have the red patch on her head.
A little house sparrow sunning himself on our rock.  Cutie.
When I walked up to look out our window one morning I nearly passed out when I caught this bright, almost neon blue, out of the corner of my eye.  I didn't even know what it was or that we had such colorful birds as this in Wisconsin.  I looked it up in my bird book.  Apparently they are pretty common.  This is a male indigo bunting.
 Another beautiful male goldfinch.
Another little house sparrow.  This one has a seed in his mouth.
This is a young female cardinal.  I like this shot because you can see her crest so clearly.
This is a pretty little junco.  I love this bird just for the solid color.  Although when he flies away he has white that flashes from underneath somewhere.  I don't think this photo captures it that well but he is a very pretty grayish blue.
Here are three of the sassy blue jays conspiring together.  They are so beautiful.
I actually had to update this post because I finally got a picture of a pretty little red-breasted nuthatch.  These guys are hard to capture because they are very fast and don't sit still for long.
Usually I can get a few good shots of a hummingbird, but I was out of luck this summer.  This is one of the only shots I got of a female ruby-throated hummingbird.  She is taking a very rare break and not flying in this shot.
This is a far away shot, but I took it for my bird-loving Joey (who had to help me name all these bird photos for you).  His favorite bird is a cedar waxwing and when he spotted this guy WAY up in the tree he made me grab my camera.
Another updated photo for you.  When I was looking through my photos I found another picture of a cedar waxwing that was taken at the Manitowoc zoo and it is nice and close so you can see his beautiful markings.
And I'll leave you with another of my favorite.  Mr. Chickadee.
Okay, fine.  And another one.  Just because he looks so cute and fluffy.

There you have it, folks.  I didn't take any pictures of all the crows or seagulls around here because I hold grudges.  They always tear our neighbors' garbage open and make a mess out of the street so I am refusing to post their pictures.  I also didn't take pics of all the different sparrows and finches (I think it would have been impossible) because they are all so common.  Though I wish I would have gotten a pic of an ovenbird.  They are so pretty.

Hope you enjoyed a little bit of summer from our yard.

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Tabor said...

Oh, Kat, what a wonderful collection! Such endless variety and you ID them. That is the best. You should set up bird feeders from November to April and join the Cornell Feeder Watch program. It only requires about an hour (off and on) for each week although you can watch much more!

Kat said...

Tabor- Oh yeah! I have my feeders up all year long (and the bird bath too). I'll have to look into that Cornell Feeder Watch program. Sounds like fun! :)

Mom24 said...

Gorgeous Kat! You've inspired me to refurbish our feeders and see what we can attract.

Off to google an ovenbird. I've never heard of that one.

dawn klinge said...

I loved seeing these pictures. I used to think that there weren't any interesting birds that lived where I do- until I put up a birdfeedeer and a birdbath. That sure changed mind! It's so much fun to watch them.

Lynn said...

Beautiful pics and so many birds right there in your yard. Thanks for sharing.

Cyndy Bush said...

OMGoodness, so beautiful! I can't pick a favorite, but I've always had a weakness for male cardinals.

Anonymous said...

Those are some gorgeous bird shots, Kat! Love them! said...

Those little guys are so cool. I lost my bird feeder due to a neighbor boy who kicked it and it fell over. It was rotted out on the bottom but the kids arent real respectful around my neighborhood with other peoples property.

Hilary said...

A lovely variety of winged critters, Kat. I'm envious of that indigo bunting. I can't say I've ever seen one around here... and I'd sure love to.

lime said...

you really got some gorgeous shots there. love that female cardinal. she's just such a pretty girl.

momto8 said...

so beautiful!!! It makes me miss my birds so much!!!!! I had 5 feeders that attract so many beautiful birds...we would enjoy their changing colors with the seasons and their beauty all year round BUT...the squirrels came...and they won. we just could not fight them any longer..they ate all the seed or would dump it..baffles and squirrel proof feeders and fishing string namer it we tried it. but they had a lot more time than we did to figure things out. so you enjoy your birds!!!

Anonymous said...

You have quite a few feathered visitors, great job on capturing them.

Wisconsin Girl said...

Fun post:) I've been lazy lately and need to catch up a bit on my posts!

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

No only are they so pretty and plentiful, but you know them all, too! That's cool.

Riahli said...

Wow, you got some great pictures, mine never turn out so I've giving up for now. My camera is awful though. We have some of the same birds around here, but I think you might have a few even cooler ones then us. :) Atty really, really, really enjoyed looked at your bird pictures! :) I need to keep on top of filling up my bird feeders again, and remember to put out some suet, as we head into the winter!

Lindsay Y. said...

Seriously - those are all awesome! I need to do this next year. I love blue and red birds - so rare and pretty. I've never seen those bright blue ones - beautiful!

Anita said...

Great photos and captions! Now back to your post that you've done today. :)

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson