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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More Birds and Relaxing...

There's a few things nice about winter.
First- you have no choice but to relax, sit back and catch up on your reading or watch TV.
Second- you can keep your nails looking good since you're not spending any time in the dirt.
Third - you get to gain weight and get stiff muscles because...well we're just not as active. Ok that's NOT a good thing but it's true!
Forth-there's less material for posting...well that applies to me and some others. Anyway this means less people are posting frequently sooo...less time reading and working on the computer.
Have to admit I love gardening and blogging but this little break of only getting online a few times a week is, in a way, kinda relaxing !

Now, here come the BIRDS !

Not sure why but now we have Grackles and Starlings galore.
Been making my own suet and this seems to attract more big birds NOT too desirable, as opposed to beautiful woodpeckers.
We used to get these two varieties of woodpecker everyday......not now :(
Red-bellied Woodpecker Male

Red-bellied Woodpecker Female

Downy Woodpecker Male

Downy Woodpecker Female


White-throated Sparrow

Same Sparrow as above but more mature...different light,angle and temperature outside. I remember Kim saying it was hard for her to ID some birds...these elements play a part in the difficulty to ID them.
Plus your bird guide book often only has one picture of each species and you really need more pics to ID easily.
This page from E.J. Peiker might be helpful.


  1. I always enjoy your bird photography.

    That last photo is my favorite! :-)


  2. I know I haven't been keeping up long, but I swear--I think your bird photography gets better and better with every entry!

    Some of these are just AWESOME! But all of them are fun fun fun.

    You should live here, there's plenty to do in the winter. Our winters are so comfy.

  3. Hi Patsi, you are so funny. Finding something to post about is getting challenging here too. Cabin fever is a way of life this year, new to us southerners, we don't know how to cope! Thanks for the delightful bird photos. The sparrows are difficult to ID, wonderful photos like yours make that job easier. Do you want to come to TN and snap some of mine? :-)

  4. wow, fantastic photos - you get so much more colourful and interesting birds than we do. We have a nice line in brown!
    What on earth is a Grackle?

  5. Cameron,
    Glad you're enjoying my NON gardening photos. We get alot of white-throated sparrows.
    Ok...rub in it !
    Not sure if Texas would work for my DH growing his heirloom tomatoes.
    I believe you have 2 seasons for growing but they're very short lived. But that's good for Russian heirlooms.
    By the way their's a trick to getting good pictures...put the feeders as CLOSE to the window as possible.
    Never been to Tennessee. Bet I'd love it!
    I'm sure you get more than just brown birds.
    Good question about the Grackle...I have the pictures but can't tell you much about it.

  6. Patsi, those are stunning photos taken in the pine trees. We have about the same selection of birds here except not the grackles.

    Every now and then I get busy and make some homemade suet. Even the little juncos like it. If I don't watch closely the starlings will mob it and drive the woodpeckers, nuthatches and other birds away.

  7. Ah, feeders closer to the window, got it! But then I'd have to clean my windows. And take off the much needed solar screen!

    We actually have quite a long growing season due to the lack of cold air. Hubby can't seem to grow maters but others around here grow them just fine. They just need coddling to protect them from the severe heat.

  8. Gorgeous bird photos! The woodpeckers are especially beautiful.

  9. What beautiful, unusual(!) photos! You have a LOT to post about! ;-)

  10. Your photos are amazing Patsy. Really lovely. How did you get photos from under the suet feeders? I'd like to be let in on that little secret, if possible. I'm sure your house and yard are set up differently than mine, so it's probably not practical for me to do that...but they are awesome. I get all of the same birds. The white throated sparrows don't come around as much...but they've been here; especially the little one with the yellow on his head.
    Keep's fun,isn't it!

  11. I hope my last post went through...just checking...

  12. Very nice series of photos, Patsi. I'm still spending too much time on the computer, need to do something about that! You are right about the lighting and angles with I.d. attempts...especially with the sparrows. I've also went to various sights to research and have come up with even more confusion at times.

  13. Marnie,
    The starlings and now the grackles do drive our other birds away. Very fustrating!
    Kim and Victoria,
    Glad you enjoy the pics.
    Sounds like your summers are a little too hot for me. Can't take the heat anymore.
    I agree,the woodpeckers are stunning.
    Really isn't much to post about...I do like having a record of the birds we get and this blog is a good way to do it.
    The suet feeders are in the trees so their up high. For close-up shots by your window...You can put a 10 foot pipe in a deep flower pot with a shepherds hood stuck in the top and hang any feeder you want on it. Then move the pot where you need it for pictures.
    Get as many pictures as you can and post them at the bird forum at Gardenweb. I can almost guarantee they will help.

  14. Great bird pics -- I especially like the first two.

  15. Wonderful photos. Great shot of the red belly. Sorry to hear you now have grackles and starlings. We get lots of grackles every spring and I have tried everything short of cats and bb guns to get rid of them. No luck so far. If you figure something out, please let me know..

  16. Those red-bellies sure are pretty. I love the downys too. I've found that they prefer straight suet to the suet cakes, but will eat the suet cakes if plain suet isn't available. Recently read a tip in Birds and Blooms mag to leave the birdseed out when you make your own. The ones that eat it can get it from the feeders. I wonder if that might help keep the starlings and grackles away from it.
    We've had a white throat around for the first time this winter.
    Your photos are really wonderful! :)

  17. Sweetbay,
    I also love the Red-bellied Woodpeckers.Just glad the pictures came out clear.
    A BB gun is something I thought of also. ha
    I won't have them in the spring because I stop feeding the birds in April. That's when I put up hummingbird feeders,the other guys are on their own.
    Now that's some good info!
    You must have been excited to get your first sighting of the white-throated sparrow.


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