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

Bark Butter Draws a Pileated Woodpecker!

Published February 23, 2011
Tags: My Feeders, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Junco, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, bark butter

A couple of months ago, I bought some bark butter to see if I couldn't entice a Northern Flicker or a Pileated Woodpecker to come up closer to the house so I could photograph them. After all this time, to my surprise, a Pileated came today! It was super exciting to see this large and beautiful creature right up close.  So far, the Northern Flicker that I've seen occasionally hasn't found the bark butter yet.

And by the way, a little plug for bark butter: lots of birds LOVE it - not just woodpeckers. I've seen Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and both Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches going for it.

I'm still hoping to see a Northern Flicker - AND - now that I've seen the Pileated here, I'm beginning to hope I'll see a Red-headed as well. I hear they're pretty rare to our area, though...

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Beautiful Pileated Woodpecker
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Pileated Woodpecker - her bill and feet had a real bluish tinge
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Look at how big her feet are!
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A rather regal shot of her
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A close up of her face
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And another close up
Reply from: Lynn on 2/28/2011 8:17 PM
 The red is so vibrant and eye-catching on this guy. What a pretty and interesting bird. Thanks for the tip on the bark butter too. I may have to give that a try."

Life and Death

Published February 21, 2011
Tags: General Observations, Cooper's Hawk, life and death, song birds, feeders, pines

Today, as I watched "my" feathered friends happily eating at my well-stocked feeders, I was horrified to see a Cooper's Hawk descend upon the group.  This was the first time I've witnessed such a terrifying event.  Fortunately, for the song birds, no one fell victim to this impressive creature. He stopped for a few moments directly under the feeders - only giving me enough time to grab my camera and take 2 quick shots before he slowly and gracefully floated into the nearby pines.

I was struck by how tenuous the lives of our little friends are. Often I've thought that they're just too "flighty". Sit down, relax and eat! But the least little shadow or noise sometimes scares them into flight. NOW I get it! Their very lives depend on their quick response to potential danger.

As I sit here in my cozy home, I now have a deeper understanding about the life and death matters going on right outside my window.
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Cooper's Hawk
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Cooper's Hawk - a most impressive creature. Look at those talons...
Reply from: Lynn on 2/28/2011 8:22 PM
 Wow. I had no idea birds eat birds. How scary and sad. He's kind of an ugly brute, if you ask me. But I'm glad I got a look at him. Your blog is so enlightening. I really enjoy reading it."

Bugs and Crows

Published February 17, 2011
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Green Lake, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Crow, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, insects, bugs

I went to a nearby park today, Green Lake, to see if I could catch sight of the Red-tailed Hawk who has nested in the park. I never caught sight of her, although my son reported seeing her perched on a post right near the entrance to Route 219! Oh well...

I'm still glad to have gotten out on the warmest day we've had in months. It was almost balmy at 50 degrees! There was still a lot of snow and mud to trudge through in my big, ol' boots, but it was wonderful getting down to the creek in the park. Stopping to rest, I absorbed the peace and tranquility of nature once again. Sigh. It is soothing to the soul and I vowed to do this more often.

One observation I made was that there were a number of little flying insects. Many bird species must be going crazy with delight and absolutely LOVING the warmer temps.

I also saw quite a number of crows everywhere. Back at home, on the road from the car window, and in the park - small flocks of crows were making their loud caws and soaring and flying all around me. I wonder what's up with that? Is this normal behavior?

Alas, other than the numerous crows, I only caught sight of a Red-bellied Woodpecker. I heard a Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadees, a White-breasted Nuthatch, and a Blue Jay, but never saw them. So, pardon the photographs, but I was desperate to shoot SOMETHING!
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Red-bellied Woodpecker - my only "fun" bird to photograph. He never indulged me by coming a little lower either!
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American Crows were EVERYWHERE!
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On a disappointing photographic quest, I jumped at the color this sumac offered!
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Even in the snow, the park was really quite beautiful and tranquil.