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

Snow Birds

Published January 17, 2011
Tags: My Feeders, Blue Jay, Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse

Saturday was tough on our bird friends. The winds were strong at around 40 kph and temps were down around 20. Snow flew and swirled all day long. I felt bad as the birds braved that wind, cold, and snow to get some of the food we put out for them.


Some of the brave birds who ventured out seeking food. From top left: White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, Blue Jay, and Tufted Titmouse

I'm linking to Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House and to Sally's Blue Monday at Smiling Sally. Thank you to both for hosting!
Reply from: Lynn on 1/17/2011 7:40 PM
 Your mosaic is beautiful! How stunning the blue jays look against the snow. I hope the birds fared well despite the cold and wind. Your photography is a joy to view. Happy Mosaic Monday. ~Lynn at Cottage and Creek"
Reply from: Sally on 1/17/2011 8:37 PM
 I love the blue bird! Happy Blue Monday, Sue."
Reply from: cricket on 1/17/2011 9:20 PM
 Love your photos! They are gorgeous! Happy Blue! Cricket"
Reply from: Kelly K on 1/18/2011 4:13 PM
 What a great post - for a blue Monday. I think the blue jay is my favorite. The colors are so vibrant and unique. Thanks for sharing you beautiful birdies :-) Hugs!"


A Common Redpoll - Finally!

Published January 12, 2011
Tags: Life List Happenings, Common Redpoll, house finch, pine siskin, goldfinch, life list, thistle feeder

I finally had one, lone Common Redpoll show up at our feeders today. She accompanied the growing group of house finches and gold finches we’re getting each day. A special thanks to one of the birders in my area who posted to our news group about the redpolls who visited his feeders. After reading of his success, I got re-inspired and topped off my thistle feeder, grabbed my laptop and camera, and set-up shop to work in front of the window today. And sure enough, at about 2PM, the little fellow showed up! This is a life list bird for me…

As a side note, I haven’t seen the Carolina Wren in about 2 weeks nor the Pine Siskins in about 4 weeks that were both becoming regulars to the feeders. Blue Jays are around, but seem rather scarce...

Also seen today:

  • Northern Cardinal – 3
  • Dark-eyed Junco – 8
  • White-breasted Nuthatch – 3
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch – 2
  • American Tree Sparrow - 3
  • American Goldfinch – 11
  • House Finch – 16
  • Black-capped Chickadee – 15
  • Tufted Titmouse – 9
  • Downy Woodpecker – 2
  • Hairy Woodpecker - 2
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1
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A Common Redpoll; not too common to me! This was a life list bird for me today!
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I love his feathery, black feet!
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I caught this Northern Cardinal with food in his mouth!
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A little more flattering of a pose
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A Downy Woodpecker enjoys some bark butter.
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A male Dark-eyed Junco poses nicely
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I caught this Tufted Titmouse puffing in the cold
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An American Tree Sparrow
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A White-breasted Nuthatch scurries down the tree trunk
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A male House Finch; part of the group the redpoll had joined
Reply from: Lynn on 1/16/2011 9:43 AM
 Your photos are wonderful. They really enable the viewer to get up close and personal with our little feathered friends. You feature so many varieties I've never noticed before. Just lovely. Thanks for sharing. ~Lynn"
Reply from: Sue on 1/16/2011 12:02 PM
 Thanks so much, Sis! I love your support!"
Reply from: Jenn on 1/16/2011 12:18 PM
 I can't believe how many birds you see in just one day - and that you can capture them with such beautiful, up-close-and-personal photos. This is just wonderful to read AND to see. And congratulations on your Redpoll siting!"
Reply from: Kelly K on 1/17/2011 2:56 PM
 What beautiful photos, Aunt Sue! I agree with Jenn - can't believe how many birds you see in a day. You truly live in a beautiful setting - I always knew that, but didn't know how many feathered friends you had <3"


Bird Song on a Sunday

Published January 09, 2011
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Bird Song, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Song Sparrow


It's not too often my son, Tom, is available to join me on one of my birding outings, but today was an exception. I had more fun birding than usual with his pleasant companionship. Tom and I headed out early afternoon and trekked through Bird Song, an Orchard Park preserve that is rich with water, deciduous forest, and field life.


My son, Tom at Bird Song Preserve in Orchard Park, NY

At first, we only saw what we thought were Black-capped Chickadees, but later, our enlarged photos showed many of our little friends were actually Golden-Crowned Kinglets. They were very high in the trees, and dummy me, forgot my binoculars!  I would have spent more time trying to entice the little guys to come closer, had I known - and had I also not forgotten the seed I usually take with me! My excitement over Tom coming along must have thrown all of my preparations off today!

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We spied several woodpeckers: Downy, Hairy, and Red-Bellied, but no Pileated, as we had hoped.  We thought we heard a Pileated at one point, but as much as we tried, we couldn't find it. A Song Sparrow was the highlight for me, as I had never seen one, let alone as close as the little one we spied was. At first, I thought he might be a Lincoln Sparrow, but again, those photos helped identify him positively later on. Fortunately, he wasn't shy and we were able to grab several photos before he decided he was tired of the paparazzi and disappeared into the thicket.

We ended with a Red-Tailed Hawk flying low over the skyline, which was a treat. I wasn't able to get a focus on the magnificent creature soon enough to get a clear photo, but it was still a thrill watching him soar and swoop and dive before disappearing out of sight.

This birding trip included:
  • Song Sparrow - 1
  • Golden-Crowned Kinglet - 6
  • Black-Capped Chickadee - 8
  • Red-Bellied Woodpecker - 1
  • Hairy Woodpecker - 1
  • Downy Woodpecker - 2
  • Dark-Eyed Junco - 4
  • Northern Cardinal - 3
  • Red-Tailed Hawk - 1