My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Chirps and Cheeps Bird Blog

A Birder's Blog About Birding in Western New York

A Plethora and a Pileated

Published March 18, 2011
Tags: My Feeders, Pileated Woodpecker, tongue, Audubon, bark butter

Oh, I just LOVE Pileated Woodpeckers! They're marvelously and magnificently made! A female came by again today and indulged in some of our bark butter. I was mesmerized when I realized she was flicking her tongue at the bark of the tree!  I never noticed that before. I looked it up in my Audubon Guide - and sure enough, I wasn't seeing things - these unique birds have very long, sticky tongues.  And wow, they're FAST!  I tried to catch a photo of her tongue, and one does show a short extension of  it, but it doesn't do it it justice - it's really LONG!

A plethora of other visitors showed up today - so a great birding day from my kitchen window all-in-all!
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Female Pileated Woodpecker
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It's not in good focus, but you can still see her tongue either coming in or going out
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Beautiful Blue Jay - he or she was gathering seeds like crazy. I don't think they eat them right away - I think they gather them in their mouth and then eat later.
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Female Downy Woodpecker - the wind was giving her a bad hair day!
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White-breasted Nuthatch
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Male House Finch


Shy Northern Flickers

Published March 12, 2011
Tags: My Feeders, Northern Flicker, sumac, bark butter, suet

I've only seen a Northern Flicker 4 times - once was for a fleeting moment right up on my deck. I know they're out there, but I can't seem to coax them closer with bark butter, seeds, raisins, or suet. Everything is out in plain sight, but they just don't seem brave enough to come closer and enjoy the feast I've set out for them.

Today's sighting found him next to an American Robin in the sumac bushes. I didn't capture a very good photo of him, but I wanted to post this rare occurrence just for posterity's sake!
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A rare visit to our sumac bushes by a Northern Flicker (Yellow Shafted)


Signs of Spring!

Published March 10, 2011
Tags: My Feeders, Spring, American Robin, mealworms, raisins

What a joy spring brings. You can't help but feel more hopeful, more positive and feel a new "spring" in your step! That's the way I felt today when the snow from a few days ago disappeared and I heard and saw the American Robin up close and personal.

I always took this common bird to be "no big deal". But today, I thoroughly enjoyed its sweet, flute-like song with greater appreciation than ever. It truly possesses one of the more beautiful voices.

I've tried enticing the Robins up the feeders, but to date, they haven't ventured here for the mealworms and raisins I put out for them.

Factoid: did you know that the male Robin grows black feathers on the top of his head to attract females? After breeding season is over, he loses these feathers. I should know better than to take any of these little creatures for granted; our marvelous Creator sometimes puts His most awesome handiwork in the most common of His creations!
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American Robin - his beak is wide open in song!
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He was enjoying the remains from last fall's sumac.
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Even this Dark-eyed Junco enjoys our bark butter
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One of my winter favorites, the American Tree Sparrow, should be leaving our area soon. I'll miss their rich and beautiful songs.