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Monday, May 30, 2011

May Backyard Birds

Above is a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER.  To me,  this is one of the prettiest woodpeckers we have (although all of them are pretty).  I love these woodpeckers and they only come to the suet feeder in the Spring/Summer.  Last year,  they brought one of their little ones to the feeder.  Hope they do the same thing this year.  Right now,  we only have two (I think):  a male and a female.  The two of them look almost identical --but the female is a little smaller.  Below are more pictures.




Here's a picture showing Mr. Red-Headed's underside...  Like all woodpeckers,  they can eat from all kinds of positions and angles!!!! ha




This is the female I think.   She is a little smaller than the one pictured above.  She seemed a little unsure as to how to get up to the suet feeder...




I love this picture when the Red-Headed Woodpecker was looking at me.... Sorry about the rusty clip in this picture and the top one above.  I have to use this heavy clip to keep the raccoons from stealing the entire trap. They cannot BUDGE this clip!!!!




I can never do a bird post without showing one of our PILEATED WOODPECKERS.  These birds come to the suet feeder 2-3 times a day most days...  I never tire of watching them.




And here is a close-up of Mr. Pileated.... Note his red mustache (which shows the difference in males and females)... Look at those big claws!!!!




This is a GRAY CATBIRD---which has been coming to the suet feeder quite a bit lately.  I only see one --and this is the first year I've had one regularly at the feeders.  They are Summer Visitors only (Breeding)--so hopefully,  he will bring his family to the feeder sometime.




Finally,   we have 2-3 MOURNING DOVES who come to our feeders regularly.  They love to jump up in the Plate Feeder ---and 'hog' it as their own!!!!!  But--they are pretty birds,  aren't they?

Hope you enjoyed seeing more of my Backyard Birds today!!!  Sorry that some of my pictures are a little blurry today... I was filming inside through glass and screen...

I do have some bad news to report...   Something happened to my baby Bluebirds. The Daddy is gone (was probably killed) and even though I see Mama around the nest,  there has been no activity in the nest in over a week.  SO--this weekend,  George and I looked into the nest.  There were 2 dead babies and 2 unhatched eggs.  I could have cried and cried.. There was no trauma --so I'm not sure what happened.  With Dad being gone,  maybe it was just too much for Mama Blue.  I have been VERY VERY sad over this.  Hopefully,  another family will come and occupy the nest.

Hope you have had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  God Bless all of those men and women who have fought  and are fighting for our freedom.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY.

Hugs,

55 comments:

Twilight said...

I am so sorry to hear that the Papa is gone. You seem to connect and understand all the birds so well with your good feelings. Perhaps a short visit to a vet could help enlighten you on the ways to nurse the birds should it happen again. I am sure they could offer you valuable advice.


I love the handsome woodpeckers. Their red hooded heads make them look like military commanders of the forests!

Big Dude said...

Sorry about the bluebirds, but your woodpecker shots are great as usual. We see the full range of local WP's around here, but I've yet to see a red head.

Sandra said...

those woodpeckers are quite the acrobats and so bright and colorful. But.. I love doves, they appeal to me and this one is so sweet looking. i like them because they are so mellow and friendly and I love their cooing, great shot

so sorry your little bluebirds died. we have many predators here and a lot of the babies die when the parents are snatched up in the food chain, it takes both parents to feed them. once we had a snake get the babies on our front porch

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

It is hard to se a nesting attempt go wrong,especially when there are young in it. Nature seems cruel sometimes.I do hope another family moves in soon.Those Woodpeckers are so beautiful.I can't imagine having a Pileated visit the feeder,or for that matter a Red-headed woodpecker.These are species we rarely get a glimpse of over here.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

i have never seen a woodpecker in real life.

thanks for those great photos, Betsy.
yet sorry about those poor bluebirds. :(

hugs!
betty xx

Nordis said...

Great pictures of beautiful birds with nice colors.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I am so sorry about your bluebirds!

Larry said...

I'd never seen a red-headed woodpecker... quite something aren't they! Larry

Karin said...

Awww, Betsy, so sorry about the bluebirds. I know how much you love your birds! They are so beautiful and so much fun to watch. Your woodpecker shots are great, as usual. Hugs!

Jo said...

Oh I am so sorry about the Bluebird babies who died, Betsy. I had a similar incident a few years ago with Barbets nesting in our sisal nest back home in SA. We kept an eye on all the feeding and activity (the whole family from last year helps raise the next generation) Then one Friday it was very windy and I didn't go out or photograph the birds and the next day I found a baby hanging out of the hole stuck by its wing. The parents and helpers hadn't been able to get inside so the the other baby died with its sibling. i was distraught that I'd not noticed but my bird fundi sister-in-law said about 80% of birds don't make it to maturity. And to think how many we see, that are alive, at least that's a consolation. I love your Woodpeckers. We spotted our favourite Barbet again this weekend which is a relative of the woodpecker and Grant's favourite small bird. have a great week, my friend. (((hugs))) Jo

Corker2 said...

Even though I rarely see one of these Woodpeckers, you can always hear them pecking in a tree somewhere. They have that un-mistakable sound.

It's a shame about those poor Bluebirds. Nature has a harsh way of living. Some make it and some don't.

Les

Mildred said...

Happy Memorial Day to you and George, Thank you for sharing these awesome photos of such amazing birds.

Valerie said...

Love those woodpeckers! So beautiful, although I have never seen the red headed one myself. So sad about your bluebirds. I would be heartbroken as well.

Hope you have been able to enjoy the weekend. It has been a busy one for us.

linda m said...

Sorry to hear about your bluebirds. Sure hope they come back next year. You are probably the best "hotel" they have ever stayed at.

diane b said...

The first woodpecker is so pretty it looks like it has been painted in those lovely colours. I see the other one is still wearing his cycle helmet.
Sorry to hear about your bluebird family. But Jo's sister is right, it is natures way of keeping the ecosystem in balance.

Daisy said...

I'm sorry to hear about your bluebirds, Betsy. I guess those things just happen sometimes--out of our control. Pretty pictures of your woodpeckers. They must love it there! Happy Memorial day to you!

Arkansas Patti said...

I must have woodpecker genes for I can eat in any position also:))
So sorry about your Blue's. It is so sad when that happens.

Out on the prairie said...

Could have been a sparrow attack on the blues.Lovely woodpeckers

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

So sad to hear about the babies...The woodpeckers are beautiful. I love how you keep the raccoons from stealing the suet feeder! Do you have any ideas for keeping the squirrels out of my bird feeder?

Kelly said...

oh no......so sorry papa bluebird is missing and the babies died. I know you must be very upset...

Your Red-headed Woodpeckers are gorgeous. They are a bit rare in our area. I only know one place they can be found regularly...

texwisgirl said...

i remember both of those lovely woodpeckers from my youth in Wisconsin, but we don't get to see them here - only downy and red-bellied and an occasional flicker. :)

i mourned over a wren nest of 4 babies and 1 unhatched egg that didn't make it either. it's just heartbreaking... they work so hard.

Janice K said...

Those "Redheads" can be really hard to get pictures of. I've only seen them here one day in the last few years.

So sorry about your bluebirds. Hopefully some others will come back.

Enjoy the holiday.

B. Meandering said...

I think I'm caught up finally. I read all of last week's at the end of last week, but was going to email instead of comment on all of them on that Friday. Alas, I didn't.
I look forward to all your posts, including the geneology ones.

Your son took such beautiful pics as do you. I love your close ups of these unique creatures! My favorite this week is the female woodpecker.
I'm sorry about your nesting family. I know you were looking forward to watching the family grow and we were looking forward to the pics. Do they mate for life making her a permanent widow or do they re-mate?

Bull Sluice is quite impressive! The kayak folks are either crazy thrill-seekers or ambitious adventurers or both. I would not like having only my oar showing! My heart would probably jump out and alight at the top of the oar!

I agree with you that this spot deserves respect---that water looks quite ferocious. I can hear it in my mind.

I hope to keep reading daily and posting more myself once school is out. Last week was exhausting, but exhilerating. Finals week this week and Friday is teachers' day. Yeah!

Hope you're having a peaceful Memorial Day. I'll be grading essays on human injustice.

Linda said...

Your red-headed woodpecker looks as if he's wearing a scarlet hood over his head. He's a beauty. So sad about the bluebirds. Sometimes it's heartbreaking to watch nature too closely.

Barbara said...

Great photos as always, you have such a knack with that camera, hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day, and may we all thank a Soldier for his honor today, hugs Barbara

Catherine said...

Lots of pretty birds here today!

Happy Memorial Day to you Betsy! (Canada's was last Monday!)
xo Catherine

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I Love the woodpeckers! Beautiful! Happy Memorial Day!

Diane AZ said...

Thank you for sharing your stunning woodpeckers and sweet gray birds. So sorry to hear about the Bluebird family. I hope you have a lovely Memorial Day.

amelia said...

Oh that's so sad about the little bluebirds. Did you clean out the box? I think they won't come back to nest with all that stuff still in there. So very sad.

That red headed woodpecker is spectacular!!! We have a few different types but I've never seen these around here. Just beautiful.

LV said...

It is hard to understand how nature works at time. Birds have a way of doing strange things. I have found some of their eggs on the ground.

Neal said...

Sorry to hear about the bluebirds. They are one of my favorite birds.

Ginny said...

I have never seen a red-headed and wish I could! These are great pictures. I'm so sorry about the bluebirds, a lousy way to start the spring. What a mystery about what happened to them, maybe they just weren't right or had a sickness.

Chatty Crone said...

I'm so sorry about your blue bird family. That's a shame.

Your woodpeckers are wonderful. That first one almost looked like it was deep indigo mixed with the black.

I love pictures of birds and flowers.

Our Back Porch said...

That red-headed woodpecker is awesome! So so sorry about the sweet birdies. :*( Have a lovely Memorial Day.

Back Porch Blessings,
Rebecca

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Hi Betsy, Oh I just hated to hear about the little bluebirds and I feel sorry for their mama. Your photos are wonderful and the red-headed woodpecker is my favorite among the woodpeckers, too. I had to give up on feeding suet because the blasted Grackles would just swoop in and devour it in no time at all. The pests! Have a great day.

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

Sorry to hear about the blue bird babies!!! My robin's nest blew out of the clematis bush when we had one of our tornado-like winds...what a spring...hopefully everything will settle down now. Loved the bird photos...now I know how to tell the difference between the male and female woodpeckers!!!
Have a beautiful day!!!

Lynda said...

That red-headed woodpecker is very beautiful but like you, I sure hate it about the blue birds.

Happyone : ) said...

Terrific photos and so sad to hear about the bluebirds.
We had bluebirds in our yard years ago and they would come back every year. Then one year there were lots of blue feathers but didn't see the bird again. I think a cat got them. : (

Chip "Rocket Man" Allen said...

Beautiful birds! We get Downie's and Red bellies but no Red Heads or Pileated. Sure wish we did.

*Honest Abe said...

The dowel rod is a good idea for the pileated woodpecker to perch on. A friend of mine made a two-cake suet tray that is long enough for them to land on and still eat. I like the dowel rod better.

I wish we could get a real red headed woodpecker.

Susie Swanson said...

I hate to hear about the little bluebirds but that woodpecker is grand. We had one last week come to our feeders. I'm really surprised you were able to get a picture. I just love your posts, they make my day...Susie

NCmountainwoman said...

In my head I know it is Nature's way, but it is still so sad.

Tracy said...

Oh my goodness; so sad to hear of the baby bluebirds-it makes me sad too. I have to remind myself of the circle of life but it doesn't make me feel better! :(

I have never heard of a gray catfish before; how pretty-he looks very soft!
The rest of your photos are super Betsy...how many of your pictures do you have framed and hanging in your house?

Enjoy your evening!
love and hugs...
t.

Ann said...

Love all your birds. I only have one woodpecker who comes around and I don't see him very often. So sad about the bluebirds.
Thanks again for that info on the house finches eye disease. We got everything cleaned up this weekend.

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Love the woodpeckers...hard to find good shots of them here, but I would love to see the variety you get!

Susie Swanson said...

I just had to pop back in and thank you for the nice comments on mine, plus it gave me an excuse to look at your birds again... Glad you enjoyed it.. Happy Memorial Day to you.. Susie

Diane said...

I'm sorry about your little bluebirds Betsy. Those things hurt and there's just no way to make it not hurt.

Your pictures are great, especially like the woodpecker looking straight at you. Diane

Janie said...

I love seeing your woodpeckers. We don't see any around here unless we're up in the mountains.
So sad about the baby bluebirds. Hope another family moves in soon.

Elizabeth said...

Dear Betsy,
Those woodpeckers are beautiful and it looks as if their heads and necks are painted with a deep red brush! Wish we had the Pileated here, they are so large and important looking. I don't use suet because I simply cannot outwit the raccoons! Congrats on doing so (tho I love racoons, too).

I am very sorry to hear about your bluebird family. It is so sad. In fact, I wasn't going to post here, even though I wanted you to visit my blog because it is about our bluebird family, but when I wrote it, I was thinking of you and how you would appreciate the story. I know another family WILL build in your house, but it hurts when beautiful things have to go through difficulties which we have little power to stop. We connect with 'our' birds, don't we? And care very much about them.

Please have a joyful week.
hugs,
liz

carolina nana said...

This has been a strange spring for birds. A carolina wren built a nest in the side of a bird house on my front porch, any time I got near it flew out and buzzed me but I never saw any activity that would have told me there were baby birds in there. Now I have another wren nesting in another bird house on the front porch,don't know if it's the same one of not.I need to check the first nest to see if any eggs or dead babies are in there.
I hope not !!
Hope you have a blessed tomorrow
Marilyn

Lana said...

Do you have any wrens? My mom loves them, and I need to get a box up to see if any are flying around my neck of the..... well we don't have a woods, but my area. Their singing is so beautiful!

Rose said...

Oh, Betsy, I am so sorry to hear about the bluebirds. They do become like pets, don't they.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love that red headed woodpecker! He seems to like to have his photo taken :)

KathyA said...

How special it is that you all have a red-headed woodpecker who visits!!

Shelley said...

I'm sad about your baby bluebirds Betsy - brought tears to my eyes! I cried my heart out last year when the Loons abandoned their nest due to an irresponsible neighbor. Loved your bird photos - especially the red-headed woodpecker. It is a bird that Greg has always wanted to see.
hugs,
Shelley