One of our favorite year-round birds is the American Goldfinch. Many mountain residents still refer to them as the "mountain canaries." I've heard many stories of great-grandparents who would steal some of the fledglings and put them in cages for pet birds. What a shame, especially when theses birds are so beautiful flying freely in the forests. One of our much-anticipated signs of the passing of winter is the brightness of the male goldfinches. No one is quite certain why they take on their bright plumage so early in the year when they are among the latest nesters around.
We've been plague by an irruption of Pine Siskins this year who flocked with our goldfinches and drove us mad. Finally they have departed and we can once again appreciate our little canaries.
Note the chickadee at the bottom of the feeder
The feeder is filled
A nice drink is always refreshing
Thank goodness the chickadees who took up housekeeping in one of our pottery birdhouses don't seem bothered at all by the presence of the goldfinches. They are quite busy now trying to force the Red-bellied Woodpeckers away from the suet feeder that is hanging not far from the bird house. It's an amazing sight to see the little chickadee fluffing up and trying to scare off the woodpecker. And he always succeeds, even if he has to dive-bomb the woodpecker. Most often the woodpecker will fly to a second suet feeder which is further away from the nest.
Silly chickadees. It really was not a great location for a family, not four feet from a suet feeder and three feet above a bird bath. But it does make for an interesting sight. We watch them coming and going all the time and never cease to be entertained.