Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. I hope you enjoy this beautiful view from the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina on 6/24/18.

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Backyard Birdies

male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
I can't believe that I haven't done a 'bird' post in a long time... I still feed them --and watch them every chance I get. I love my backyard birds---but for some reason, I just haven't had the camera in that direction lately... I'll try to do better in 2013. Anyhow ---I did have a couple of pictures of some 'migrating' Grosbeaks --which I took during Fall and never featured them on a blog. SO--today, I'll share those two pictures ---plus some that I took during December...

 Above is a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak --which visited us on October 10, on his way south for the winter. I thought (since we were on our long trip during much of September) that I had missed their visit this year. Luckily, this guy stopped by --so I got his picture. They look so different in Fall --as compared to their brilliant black and red/rose colors which we see in May (on their way north).

female Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
Here is a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak which visited us on  October 13.   Usually,  the males travel a couple of weeks ahead of the females---but this female must have been with the male we saw on October 10.  Unsure of that though!!!!!  You can recognize these females since they have a HUGE white eyebrow.  They are usually this color year round.

male Northern Cardinal
Here is one of our all-time favorite birds --which are with us all year long.  I love these male Cardinals especially in winter when there is snow on the ground.  That red color is so pretty against the white snow.  BUT--as you can tell,  the Cardinals also lose much of their pretty color this time of year...

male Downy Woodpecker
Here is another year-round bird for us,  the Downy Woodpecker.  This one is a male since I can see the red spot on his head.  Another similar woodpecker which visits us some is the Hairy Woodpecker.  The Hairy looks like the Downy ---except that he is MUCH larger.  I hope to get a photo to share with you of the Hairy in 2013.

White-breasted Nuthatch
Another one of my favorite birds is our White-breasted Nuthatch... These birds seem to wait for me to put out the plate feeder.  They love the Nut and Fruit Blend I buy at Walmart for them...  They take all of the peanuts that they can get!!!!

A Carolina Chickadee
Here is a good buddy to the Nuthatches and Tufted Titmice.  He is a Carolina Chickadee---and this little guy loves to talk to me when I am outside... He thinks I am his best friend ---and I may be, since I feed him!!!!! ha......  Mr Chick-a-dee-dee-dee is a bird with ATTITUDE!!!!!

Tufted Titmouse
AND---another buddy of the Chickadees and Nuthatches is the Tufted Titmouse.  Those 3 groups 'pal' around together ---and are so much fun to watch.   Isn't he a pretty little guy????

Finally,  here are some of our MANY Goldfinches.  We have had an abundance of finches all Fall.  For awhile,  we had a zillion (it seemed) Pine Siskins... Luckily,  they moved on ---so that our Goldfinches could find a turn at the feeders.  We have a few House Finches --but not too many.. Right now, it's mostly Goldfinches.  As you can tell, the Goldfinches also lose their bright yellow colors in winter.

Other regulars to our feeders (which I hope to get photos of soon) are:  Red-bellied Woodpeckers,  Pileated Woodpeckers,  Northern Flicker Woodpeckers,  Bluebirds (which I LOVE),  and  Carolina Wrens.

Once it gets cold (and hopefully snowy),  we will see Dark-eyed  Juncos.  Our Robins will come to the feeders also when it gets really cold outside.   The Bluejays and Mourning Doves are gone now---but will be back in spring, along with the Brown Thrashers.  As I've said many times,  we have a great group of Backyard Birds here.

Hope you are enjoying  December, despite the heartaches around us.  Merry Christmas!

Here is a cute poem/story sent to me by a friend in Texas... Thought you would enjoy it.

Do Birds Have Christmas?

On a chilly Christmas morn, as I looked out the window
at a crystal coat of frost on the Mulberry tree,
I saw a sudden movement, like a darting shadow,
that quickly transformed, into a happy Chickadee.
A thought crossed my mind, as I watched this little friend.
Could I learn the truth, from a fine-feathered brother?
If the Chickadee could talk, my ear he would bend.
Do you birds have Christmas, or is this day just another?
I watched, and listened, for action and sound.
Suddenly, a Brown Creeper, diving with speed
halted its plunge, a foot from the ground,
to peck at some old suet covered with seed.
More tiny friends appeared, to my delight.
The tree filled with blacks, reds and yellows
as Goldfinch and Cardinals arrived in a flight.
Do birds have Christmas? Tell me, little fellows.
Some Juncos flew in, these darts of slate.
They were hopping and jumping like children at recess,
while they fed on some seeds with the ground as their plate.
Do they know of Christmas? I can only guess.
I pushed close to the window with my forehead,
as nuthatches and woodpeckers joined in the throng.
All colors of feathers, white, black, yellow and red;
each different, but the same, all getting along.
I sneaked open the window, and heard them all sing,
At last to my mind came all the right words.
It was as clear as their chorus, a choir on the wing.
Birds don’t have Christmas, Christmas has birds!

By Mick Zerr-- Christmas Morning 2005 

On another note,   I feel the need to say something about the horrible tragedy which happened in Connecticut last week.   One of my friends (Donna) wrote an incredible post for ALL of us.  I found myself --while reading blogs and Facebook on Friday---getting upset at some of us jumping to conclusions and placing BLAME  in specific ways...  This incident could happen anywhere/anytime ---and it will continue to happen unless we ALL bring God front and center in our lives, and start living the types of lives which God would intend us to live.  We have a society problem, a cultural one --a FAMILY one.   Let's all continue to pray for our country... Please read Donna's blog (click HERE).   Let's all take a deep breath and be ONE NATION --uniting together to make each of us better. 


Anonymous said...

Beautiful selection of your backyard birds, Betsy. I especially love the picture of the nuthatch.
God bless you and George and your family this Christmas and God bless America.

Catherine said...

The birds are 'slim pickings' here in Saskatchewan in the winter. Looks like you still have plenty still visiting your feeders. Wonderful!
Have a lovely week Betsy!
xo Catherine

the cuby poet said...

Love the Header photograph of you and George your happiness shines out. All the beautiful photos of your visiting little birds are just delightful.

Ms. A said...

Someday, I hope to spot a few different varieties of birds. So far, I haven't been that lucky and certainly not in my yard.

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

i love your header shot. cute couple. sweet folks you are.

i just can't pick a fav ... i love birds. so cute. ( :

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I can't believe you went so long without a bird post! When I think of you I always think of birds :-) Great pictures.

Janice K said...

Loved the picture in your header of the two of you.

I never saw a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak in its Fall colors. It is still so beautiful.

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

Wow, I don't think I have seen Rose-Throated Grossbeaks. Lovely!

And of course, what bird can beat our beautiful Cardinals, hu??? :-)

Thank you for continuing to blog. My view is that, for we who are removed from that horror, it is useless for us to dwell in Mourning. It helps no one.

And it certainly doesn't help our own family or little sphere of influence. To be sad, sad, sad. Especially at Christmas Time.

To add Light to the world, as opposed to dwelling in Sadness, is not being inconsiderate. Of course, a horror shocks us and effects us! Of course!

But it seems that to carry-on-carrying-on, is more of a tribute to those innocent children and adults.


Anonymous said...

Betsy, I adore the header photo of you and your sweetheart, George. You two are perfectly matched and heaven sent to each other.
Love all your beautiful bird visitors. I especially enjoyed the sweet little Nuthatches and Goldfinches.

Hugs :)

linda m said...

Betsy, I love your bird pictures. I still have most of mine as they are year round birds. God has been removed from our culture and until we let Him back in Evil will continue to happen. We must start putting God front and center in our lives. God bless you.

Donna said...

It made me smile, right off the bat, when your new header popped onto my computer screen this morning. You two always have the spirit!

All the little birdies are so cute. We got a new feeder about 2 weeks ago and put it in the backyard. The crowd that has assembled has been nothing short of astonishing. We have it hung high enough for the deer not to get to it. So far the squirrels haven't bothered it either. We counted eight (8!) deer in our yard and back woodlands yesterday at once and a group of four this morning. Nature watching is so soothing.

Thank you you so much for the link to my post. I wrote it quickly and only said what was weighing in on my heart. It's been weighing on my heart for some time too. But the recent tragedy allowed me a chance to share my thoughts and offer a vision of hope.

God bless you, sweet friend.

Nellie said...

Great pictures of birds, Betsy. We don't have that much variety around here, mainly robins, starlings, and crows! Sometimes a bluebird or two, and mockingbirds especially when the blueberries are ripe.:-)

Peace and joy to you during this season of honoring the birth of Christ.

xo Nellie

Dorothy said...

Great post, Betsy! I like all your pictures of your backyard birds! I hope those Rose-breasted Grosbeaks come by here in the Spring. They are gorgeous. We forward to seeing the Goldfinch again...none have shown up yet in our yard.

Beatriz said...

I LOVE little birds!!!
Your back yard is plenty of them.....It's a sign of luck, isn't it?!

Hugs from Brazil


Sweet Posy Dreams said...

I enjoy watching birds at my feeders too. We have many of the same ones. We often get a couple of grosbeaks passing through but haven't seen any this year. I especially love the nuthatches. I like the way they walk down the feeder pole head first.

TexWisGirl said...

i hope i get to see a grosbeak pass through, and i am always jealous over nuthatches. :)

Carletta said...

It is amazing the difference between our backyard birds. I've never seen a Grosbeak. The robins and goldfinches left here weeks ago. I have bluejays,mourning doves amd cardinals all year long.
I've already seen a few juncos.
Fun shots Betsy! It has been a long time since you posted birds.

Fred Alton said...

I always enjoy your bird posts, Betsy. The grosbeak is a beautiful bird - but then so are the others. I enjoy watching them flit about our yard - without knowing what particular species I'm looking at lots of the time.

It was sad indeed to see and hear what happened to the kids in CT last week. My heart went out to the families.

MTWaggin said...

You have such a varied collection of birds for winter. Ours are pretty much down to the few hearty ones, flicker, woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, siskens, redpolls and a few finches. I love the red cardinal (something we don't have).

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Wonderful photo of you and George! I don't know why, but I haven't taken many snaps of the birds lately, either. The finches are really working on the niger seed! I bought another large bag over the weekend.
Have a good week.

Sylvia K said...

First of all, I LOVE the picture of you and George!! Wishing you both a very wonderful and beautiful Christmas! Your birds are delightful as always, Betsy!

Anonymous said...

What gorgeous bird shots! Love the punk hairdo on the titmouse.

Leah | Travel Quest said...

I love birds! they are so cute Betsy :) hugs!

Sandra said...

LOVE the header card, great shot and you post is soooo festive. the little birds are the right color and yes i do think they have Christmas. i know back in Victorian times they used to put birds on the tree... just like you do... Merry Christmas

Terry and Linda said...

I have to some how get rid of the house sparrows they have ran all my birds off...........grrr.


¸.•*¨*•♪♫♫♪Merry Christmas to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

Linda said...

The picture of you and George and your Christmas tree in your header is just perfect! I enjoyed all of these bird photos immensely, but I was most fascinated with the male rose-breasted grosbeak. I've never seen one in its fall plumage, and am amazed at how pretty the colors are.

Small City Scenes said...

I love the little birdies too. We have tones of Chicadees and junco right now. And a bunch ov crazy Stellar Jays that are big clumbsy oafs on the feeders. The Gold finch seem to have header for green pastures but we still have some Robins bob bobbing around.
Merry Christmas. Say a prayer for the tiny babes lost at Sandy Hook.

Happyone said...

How nice for you that you have so many different kinds of birds visit your yard.

Great header!! : )

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I love seeing all your birds. The Tufted Titmouse sure resembles a Blue Jay in the picture you showed. I know the Jay is much larger.Maybe he's pretending to be a Blue Jay.

Big Dude said...

My birds are sure putting away the food this time of year. Love the new header photo, think I'll use it on my blog.

W. Latane Barton said...

You have such a variety of birds in your yard, Betsy. I just see the same ole, same ole... wish something new would visit me!!

Ginny said...

I adore your header, it really showcases the beauty of your tree, and the two of you!!! I am glad to know I did not miss any birds when I was away so long! Today my favorite is the adorable nuthatch!!!

Mountain Mama said...

Hi Betsy. I checked out Donna's post and agree. Until our Lord God is brought back into our country, our schools our everything I can see no change happening. I just keep praying for the killing to stop.
I love your bird pictures and yes we get Chickadee's here too and I especially love the Mountain Chickadees. They seem to be more shy but they are so pretty and their song is beautiful.I don't have any feeders out. The deer empty them so fast you wouldn't believe it! However I am planning to build one that I can set on my front deck where they can't reach.
A Merry Christmas to you & all your family Betsy.

imac said...

Nice post Betsey.

Ashwini said...

Oh.. you seem to have cute little buddies... nice meeting them through this post :)

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I enjoy your birds...so pretty. I will check out Donnas blog...it was a tragedy

Janie said...

Your header is perfect. Such a pretty Christmas tree and Christmas couple. I'm always impressed by the great variety of birds you photograph at your feeder. I'm heading over to read your friend Donna's post.

Ann said...

What a gorgeous selection of birds you have visiting your feeders. I love the story you shared.
Donna's post was wonderful regarding the tragedy. She stated it perfectly

Annie said...

So happy to see a post on birds again. You have everything around your house. What fun you must have watching their antics. And speaking of fun, I LOVE LOVE LOVE all the green and read of your blog this month.

LV said...

The birds in your area are so much prettier than here. Loved seeing them and reading the writeup from Texas. Your header is the best one so far. I am not sure if I told you, but I sincerely appreciated my card and that you thought of me.

Retired English Teacher said...

I loved the photos of your birds! I have never seen a cardinal in real life. I hope to see one someday. Every bird was just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

Your birds are so pretty and varied. I wish I could do birds.

Devilish Angel said...

Colorful lovely birds...

Betty Manousos said...

dear betsy,
what a gorgeous series of your backyard birds!

part of my day was made happy by this visit to your blog. thank you.

have a nice day~

big hugs!


Betsy...some great bird photos!!!
You know how I love viewing photos of our feathered creatures about our land.

I loved this post.

You and George have a blessed holiday season.

The Incredible Woody said...

Beautiful as always but I love the one of the chickadee!

DeniseinVA said...

Dear Betsy, first of all, what a great header photo of you and George. It's a real sweet picture. I also enjoyed your bird photos and your friend's lovely poem. Like you I enjoy my birds every day but I am a little behind on pictures. Wishing you both a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New year.

Daisy said...

Beautiful bird post, Betsy! I enjoyed the pictures and the story you shared too!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Oh, Betsy, I just love the photos of the beautiful birds. What awesome photos. I love all of these birds, but cardinals are my favorite.
Yes, I am remembering the people in Newtown in my prayers. Such a tragedy.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year.

Small City Scenes said...

Hi Betsy, I love your bird blogs. You have several birds we don't have out here but a lot we do and then again we have some you may not. I get both the Downey and Hairy Woodpeckers at the feeders here. The Downeys are so tame. I love to watch the Nuthatches and Chickadee playing together. Yes I believe the birdies do have their own celebrations.
My prayers are with all in Sandy Hook.

Merry Christmas to you and George. . MB

Susie Swanson said...

I love your backyard birdies.. Hope you and George have a very Merry Christmas.

Shug said...

Such wonderful backyard friends...
I've been keeping up with you on FB..really enjoying the old photos..
The Christmas tree today sure brought back some memories for me..

Chatty Crone said...

Did I tell you I liked your header with you and George?

Now I always love your birds - I have a lot of them too - but I don't think I've seen the male or female Rose-breasted Grosbeak - if I did I didn't know it! lol

Love the snow coming down too.

Love, sandie

Rohrerbot said...

Wow!! I know I've said it before but you've got quite the collection of birds at your feeders. That Grosbeak is a winner as are the rest. I love that you have such diversity around the feeders. I have the usual suspects but I'm hoping we'll attract some new friends:) Hope you are enjoying the holiday:)

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Lovely visitors to your garden. I gave up feeding when the racoons from the pond area decided to break down feeders several times.

joy said...

Beautiful birds and poem.
Anyway, you are right. For all these things to stop, we have to put God at the center of our lives.

Neal said...

You got some really great pictures. I wish I had a good way of getting pictures like that. We have our bird feeder where I can see it easily but our windows are the type that have the blinds between the window panes so I can't take good pictures through the window.

Rose said...

I enjoyed your birds:)

That shooting sure got to everyone...I think all of us with kids/grandkids could not help but imagine what those poor families must be going through. It would be so hard.....