A purple coneflower blooms in mid-November. Birds of many colors find fresh water to drink and dance in. A Red-tailed Hawk
takes a squirrel for a meal. This month, we are especially grateful for these experiences to share with you.
A Downy Woodpecker splash-bathed in the basin's water stream. Cedar Waxwings and American Robins came to drink.
Wait, what is going on with that robin?
This individual is the most interesting one we've ever seen. It is lacking pigment, or melanin and called "leucistic", or "pied".
Our FOS (first of season) Rusty Blackbird came in with a flock of European Starlings and Common Grackles last Wednesday, 11-18-20. Cedar Waxwings took advantage of the basin when they could. There was a huge flock of American Robins moving through the yard, foraging in the leaves and using the water features. I estimated 200-250, with 12-14 at the bubbler at constant intervals throughout the day.
The robins moved on which gave all the other birds a chance to take a turn the next day. Four Dark-eyed Juncos shared the basin with two Pine Siskins. A Northern Flicker checked things out and a Mourning Dove performed its water ballet.
A Red-tailed Hawk briefly landed in the Sugar Maple by the pond, harassed by several birds making a ruckus. It got a better grip on its partially eaten meal and took off again.
Tails are pretty important to squirrels, sheltering them in rain and snow, and used in signaling to others their intentions. We have one survivor which has only about 1/3 of its tail left. Is this one tough enough to last through the winter?
On Friday, for the first time all year, I was finally able to photograph Blue Jays at the bubbler. They might have popped in, but never long enough for a photographic study. Why? No idea, but I was glad to see them. One of the pair vigorously explored every inch of the basin.
Smaller birds followed later, House Finches, Dark-eyed Juncos and Eastern Bluebirds. The Bluebirds, only slightly larger, claimed the territory. These birds just know how to have fun!
The tally of Pine Siskins reached a high of at least 15 on Sunday, 11-22-20. Though the temperature only made it to 47 degrees, and we had just had nearly two inches of rain, the birds seemed to make the most of every minute they had to bathe.
To view all the photos since the last post, begin here: Birds since 11-13-20