"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Backyard bird watching.

The sun came out for awhile yesterday and out came the birds.  Lot's of activity on the bird feeders while they were there.  The apple tree in our garden is a favorite perch in between snacks.
This little Anna's Hummingbird (thanks to Aerie-el at Gardener's Roost and Petunia's Garden  for both helping me to identify correctly) sat for a long time on this branch.  I stood about 20 feet away and just watched.  He seemed to be enjoying the sun too.
I can't believe I was able to sneak up on him.  
A Red-breasted Nuthatch on the suet feeder.  The birds seem to love this feeder.
Now a Chestnut-backed Chickadee takes his turn.  They seem to be the friendliest of the birds in our yard.  They will sit 4 or 5 feet away and wait for the feeder to be refilled.  It was their calls that caught my attention.
Another of the same type of chickadee and a Dark-eyed Junco in the apple tree.  These birds seem to travel in flocks together.  Still some fog in the distance.
A Robin was also resting on the fence, but he didn't stay once I went outside.  
Identifying birds is getting me ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count, which you can read a little bit about on the link attached.

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  1. That chestnut backed chickadee is a new one to me and I love him! All the chickadees are so fun, as are the nuthatches.

  2. You have quite the variety of birds. I need to get better at identifying as well. Can you recommend any helpful books or perhaps web sites? Thanks!

  3. The Audobon Society has a branch in Wedgwood, Seattle (on 35th at around 83rd, I think) that has a ton of books, feeders and supplies, posters of common area feeder birds, etc. I also got from the library this week a wonderful set of CDs, "Western Birding by Ear" from the Peterson's Field Guide series, another way to enjoy birds. Thanks for posting all those cuties!

  4. Nice bird photos. They are so sweet. I hope you'll share your bird tally after the count. I have an outdoor cat so I don't encourage birds but they drop by anyway. My cat is getting lazy in her old age which is a good thing where birds are concerned.

    Thanks for adding me to your PNW garden blogs. It's an honor. Do you go to the NW Flower and Garden show?

  5. Tina - Those chickadees are one of the two varieties we get in our yard, the other is the black-capped. Both type use our birdhouses for nesting. My girls both love to imitate them.

    Melanthia - For me the best book has been "Birds of Seattle and Puget Sound" by Chris C. Fisher. It's not as thick as some of those other books that have birds listed from all over the country. I've been known to stand at the window with this book trying to match birds to pictures.

    Karen - I didn't know they had a branch there. Definitely sounds interesting. I'll head there first and then keep going til I get to that donut shop that I can't stop thinking about. Those CD's sound great too.

    Grace - I will share it, hopefully by then there will be more regular visitors. Seems like more and more having been showing up this past week.
    I enjoy your blog, and you're welcome :) I'm going to the Garden Show on Sunday (22nd). Maybe there will be a way for some of us to meet up there.

  6. Catherine, I won't be going to the show. I hope you'll share highlights! The birds are probably so glad to have warmer weather.

  7. Catherine,

    Don't you just love the little Anna's and Chickadees? A book that has been really helpful to me is Birds of Oregon Field Guide by Stan Tekiela. I like this book for a couple reasons, its size and you can quickly search by the color of the bird with color tabs. I'm sure there are other great books out there- but this one has really been helpful to me.

    I love your photos!

  8. Tessa - They are fun to watch, both so active. I wonder if they make that guide for Washington, I'll have to look for it.

  9. Nice variety of birds! It must be nice to have hummingbirds this time of year. I'm looking forward to seeing them return this spring.


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