Since my post last week about bird visitors to our new, very small bird feeder, I've had lots of chances to try to get some better photos of them, and even a video. No, I didn't find my camera instructions. I just winged it. (Pun not noticed until re-reading!)
I found that I could get my camera to focus on the birds rather than the window screen if I made sure the outside object was in the centre of the picture. Now I have a convenient reason to procrastinate some more on looking for that darn instruction booklet.
As mentioned in that other post, there are two groups of birds who dominate the feeder. I'm fairly sure they are just common starlings and blackbirds. Both of these birds are plentiful here and you'd think I would have known what they were. As it turns out, in the case of the starlings, I was seeing lots of what I thought were new-to-me birds but they were actually just young versions of what I know as starlings. They are covered with light spots -- quite fetching, really. I am used to seeing plainer, darker starlings.
I borrowed this photo from Wikipedia, because my starlings wouldn't sit still. But my guys look a lot like this - black base coat, spots, yellow swords for beaks, and pinky-orange legs.
And the blackbirds? I'd never seen them up close before. Turns out they are't black, as I had thought, but irridescent, with dark blue heads and greenish backs. Their eyes are piercing yellow, and kind of give me the creeps. Their grey beaks are strong and pointy.
We also have some little yellow finches in our back yard. The males are bright yellow and the females are more of a yellow-grey. The day I took this shot, there were seven of them in one tree -- one male and, apparently, his harem. You're going to want to enlarge this one, and even then you might have trouble picking out the birds, they are so tiny and blend in (except for the male). (You can click on the photo to enlarge, or you can enlarge your whole screen by pressing Control and "+" until you get to a size that works for you.)
|Just like playing Where's Waldo, except without the striped shirt to make the search easier.|
On a different day, from a different window, a different shot -- enlarged:
|Hmmm ... Mr. Finch is mighty blurry ... sorry!|
There are several chickadees who also come to the feeder, usually when the bigger birds aren't around. I love to see them and hear their distinctive call. It makes me feel smart to be able to identify one bird and its song beyond a doubt.
Here is one little fellow who arrived when there was nothing left in the feeder but the smell. Don't worry, I filled it again right after taking the photo.
|Mr. Chickadee is blurry, too ... it must be going around ...|
I also managed to get a video of some of the starlings and blackbirds at the feeder, from our upstairs window. It wasn't quite the mayhem we had last week; are they learning manners, I wonder? or maybe not quite as starving as a week ago? And yeah, you can see all the bird poop on the deck and railings. I've had work deadlines, so for now we still have a "poop deck" although not in the usual meaning of that phrase.
And here is a blackbird talking while eating. Tsk. They have an easily identified squawk, as you'll hear at the end.
And while not bird-related, I will leave you with this shot. These deer seem to be the same mama and two babies that came to -- and through -- our yard last year, but the babies are big now. Here they are in our back neighbour's yard. It wasn't until I uploaded the photos and looked at the closeup that I saw what one deer had been looking at so intently through the window. See the white blob in the left window pane? If you enlarge the photo you may be able to see that it's a cat. The deer watched the cat (and the cat, I presume, watched the deer) for quite some time before the deer moved off on their morning rounds.
|It looks like an untamed jungle there, doesn't it? In a month it will be a solid wall of leaves, giving both us and our neighbour summertime privacy.|
Have a good weekend!