Monday, March 4, 2013

Back to Birds

We have lots of birds in the yard - and many of them are yellow. The Pine Warblers are bright yellow and have streaks on their chests with grey and white wings. 

They prefer the peanut butter suet to the sunflower seeds and will also eat the seeds that have dropped on the ground.

This time of year we have hundreds and hundreds of American Goldfinches. We are filling the feeders daily with black-oil sunflower seeds. They fill every available seat at the feeders and blanket the ground underneath. They are gathering and fattening up for their journey north.

Most of the goldfinches do not have all of their bright yellow yet and look mottled with striking black and white wings.

A frequent visitor is this beautiful Yellow-chinned Warbler. This is the first year we've seen them in the yard. I sure hope they stay!

Another regular is this fabulous Red-bellied Woodpecker. People tend to refer to these as Red-headed Woodpeckers for obvious reasons - but they really do have a red blush on their fronts.

Out by the back gate we have several dead snags - home to lots of woodpeckers. We went looking for the real Red-headed Woodpeckers and saw this Piliated Woodpecker first.

But not too far away was Red-headed Woodpecker.

Look what we found in our backyard when we got up early this morning! I took this picture through the lanai window and screen so the quality isn't very good - and the sun wasn't yet up, but you can tell it's a coyote.

Always a favorite visitor is this beautiful male Cardinal.

No, this Brown Pelican wasn't in the backyard. We drove over to the Gulf Coast looking for new hiking & birding trails and he was sunning on the pier at Crystal River Preserve State Park.

There was an interesting drainage ditch on the side of the road that leads back to the Chrystal River power plant. We saw this Yellowlegs and stopped to take a closer look.

This was a real thrill - a Common Snipe! He was at the edge of the puddle - but as soon as we approached, he flew to the other side and sat very still in the brush. His camouflage was amazing. If we hadn't seen him fly - we would never have found him.

And huddled by the bank were these two Mergansers. Lots of good birds in an unlikely spot!

This Eastern Phoebe watched as we drove away.

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