December birds 12-15-22

December 15, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

 

A chorus of different blackbirds came in on Sunday, 12-11-22.

 

Though we have had Red-winged Blackbirds this year, we had never seen so many before! The scouts must have brought in the

flock of 45-60 birds. Since these are a wetland species, it makes sense that they were attracted to our yard.

 

12-2-22 Red-winged Blackbird12-2-22 Red-winged Blackbird 12-2-22 Red-winged Blackbird pokes at Common Grackle12-2-22 Red-winged Blackbird pokes at Common Grackle

 

A Red-winged Blackbird flared its red epaulets, appearing larger in its attempt to keep a Common Grackle off the feeder. 

 

12-11-22 Red-winged Blackbirds12-11-22 Red-winged Blackbirds

 

A threesome haggle for the best spot, the bird on the right even grabbed at the upper bird's leg. It's another example of the pecking order!

 

12-11-22 Red-winged Blackbird on native Canna (Thalia dealbata) in pond12-11-22 Red-winged Blackbird on native Canna (Thalia dealbata) in pond 12-11-22 Red-winged Blackbird bathing in pond12-11-22 Red-winged Blackbird bathing in pond

 

A male looked perfectly at home perched on the hardy water canna (Thalia dealbata) before bathing near the pond's edge.

 

12-11-22 Red-winged Blackbird female12-11-22 Red-winged Blackbird female

 

A female Red-winged Blackbird has the light eye-line, and beautiful speckled pattern with warm brown feathers on its back.

  12-12-22 Red-winged Blackbirds12-12-22 Red-winged Blackbirds

12-13-22 23 Red-winged Blackbirds, 1 Common Grackle12-13-22 23 Red-winged Blackbirds, 1 Common Grackle

 

The flock included a few Common Grackles and European Starlings, but I could only find one grackle in the photo above.

 

12-11-22 FOS Rusty Blackbird12-11-22 FOS Rusty Blackbird 12-13-22 Rusty Blackbirds12-13-22 Rusty Blackbirds

 

Look closely, these are our FOS Rusty Blackbirds. Three came in with the mix of blackbirds. So similar to the Red-wings, but they have no red patch on the wing. These tend to march along the ground and don't spook and fly up as easily. A good pair of binoculars really helps to pick out details on these different birds. (Check out the helpful link at the end of the blog post.)

 

12-12-22 Twelve-point Buck under the feeders12-12-22 Twelve-point Buck under the feeders
 

The next morning, I had filled the feeders and come back  inside when I turned and saw this 12-point buck where I had just been. Then, I saw 'his' doe in the honeysuckle patch in the neighbor's yard. Well, that was close! 

 

12-10-22 American Crow12-10-22 American Crow 12-10-22 American Crow12-10-22 American Crow

 

American Crows must have eagle-eyes, No sooner had I put the bark butter mix on this tree, did one come to get it. 

 

12-9-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch12-9-22 Red-breasted Nuthatch

 

The cleanup crew includes woodpeckers and this Red-breasted Nuthatch!

 

12-3-22 Bird Buffet or Grab-n-Go12-3-22 Bird Buffet or Grab-n-Go

 

Early in the month, we moved a table onto the deck and I set up the 'Grab-n-Go' Bird Buffet. It takes the birds a while to get used to something new, especially the Eastern Bluebirds. This looks different from last year's table with the oak branch and disc for perches. Since they have to come in nearer to the house, I give them a week or so before I start photographing the activity.

 

12-12-22 Blue Jay scooping bark butter bits12-12-22 Blue Jay scooping bark butter bits

12-10-22 Blue Jay12-10-22 Blue Jay

 

Blue Jays were skittish at first, but quickly got used to the idea of ' Grab-n-Go'! (And we thought finches were piggies!)


12-12-22 Black-capped Chickadee12-12-22 Black-capped Chickadee

 

Chickadees were quick to slip in. This one has been going after the black walnut meats in the cracked shells. What a taste treat! 

 

12-12-22 Carolina Wren12-12-22 Carolina Wren

 

Both Carolina Wrens enjoy the bark butter bits and the black walnuts.

 

12-12-22 Eastern Bluebird12-12-22 Eastern Bluebird

12-12-22 Eastern Bluebird at the Grab-n-Go Buffet12-12-22 Eastern Bluebird at the Grab-n-Go Buffet

 

The Eastern Bluebirds are now quite comfortable coming in, taking mealworms and bark butter bits, too. 

 

12-12-22 American Robins eating beautyberries (Callicarpa americana)12-12-22 American Robins eating beautyberries (Callicarpa americana)

 

American Robins, bluebirds, finches and Cedar Waxwings are often in the garden, taking American Beautyberries from the stems or maybe found on the ground. 

 

12-11-22 Cedar Waxwings in cover of shingle oak12-11-22 Cedar Waxwings in cover of shingle oak 12-11-22 Cedar Waxwing on cedar perch12-11-22 Cedar Waxwing on cedar perch 12-10-22 Cedar Waxwings12-10-22 Cedar Waxwings

 

Cedar Waxwings will wait in the cover of trees like this young shingle oak (Quercus imbricaria) before approaching the water at the Bubbler.

 

12-12-22 American Robins at the fountain12-12-22 American Robins at the fountain

 

The fountain on the deck is visited all through the day by American Robins, American Goldfinches, House Finches, Eastern Bluebirds and more. It's conveniently located between a Rough-leaved Dogwood (Cornus drummondii) for perching and the Grab-n-Go buffet table. We accommodate!

 

 

Are you considering new binoculars as a gift for someone, perhaps even yourself?

Check out this review on affordable full size 8x42 binoculars:

 

Cornell Lab Review of Binoculars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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