LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Couple of May Birds



We spend a lot of time watching the birds.  We look for them when we are out on the trails.  We look for them at shopping centers and downtown.  And we are truly lucky to find plenty of them right at our house.

The banks along our street have shrubs that are home to several Eastern Towhees.  We hear them very early in the morning and throughout the day.  It is not uncommon to see one of them sitting on the mailbox post in front of our house.  In May, one of the males sits there and sings his "drink your tea" song loudly.

He is so lovely in the bright sunshine



He looks a bit angry as he begins his song.
But it is a sweet song indeed.



We have known for a couple of weeks that the Red-bellied Woodpecker's eggs had hatched.  The adults would gorge themselves at the suet and then fly off with a mouth full deeper into the woods. We are also certain a Pileated Woodpecker pair, and a Downy Woodpecker pair have nestlings as well and wondered which would see first.  Turns out it is the Red-Bellied.  While Red-bellied Woodpeckers have a small streak of red on their lower breast, they have more marked red on their heads.  The juveniles lack the red.  Their heads are gray, perhaps as a safety feature.

Fat little Red-bellied Woodpecker waiting for food

The parent (in this case the male) goes to the suet and comes back to feed the young one.

It is not obvious from this angle that the red on the head is unbroken, but it is.
Both parents feed the young.


This  is such an exciting time for new growth and new birth.  Which brings me to a little secret.  No, I can't tell you yet.  I just said it's a secret.

But here is a little hint:

"Sweet violets, sweeter than the roses"
Photograph from Pinterest



11 comments:

Kay G. said...

We love the birds too!
The Towhee is a beautiful bird, it comes to our deck for water and seeds very often!
How exciting to see the baby woodpeckers! Isn't it fun to watch them feed the young ones?
What is your secret? Do tell!

Arkansas Patti said...

They all posed so nicely for you, even in mid concert. I do love the Towhees and love to watch them scratch like chickens for their food. My nectar loving red bellied woodpecker is back again hogging the hummingbird feeder. Got to be the same fellow. I think I have an addict on my hands.

troutbirder said...

We have the same woodies and even a rare redhead showed up this spring. Towhees are also rare and not regular visitors in our woods...:)

KB Bear said...

You already have baby birds!!! Wow, you are so lucky! We have to wait for a while before we get such excitement. Snow is due on Thursday!

Lovely photos. You are good at keeping a secret. I am looking forward to hearing it!

robin andrea said...

Love seeing the birds there. You see such a beautiful variety of species. So many gorgeous woodpeckers. And now, I can't wait to find out your wonderful secret!

Nance said...

Love the bird pictures, especially since they are sometimes of species we do not have here in NEO. Luckily, we do have the redbellied woodpecker. One was clattering in a tree out back this afternoon. I wish I could put out our suet, but the starlings have arrived and decided to reside, and they zero in on it relentlessly. They ruin everything.

Ginnie said...

Isn't it fun watching "your" birds? I still marvel at the big Cardinal that seems to own the little window feeder I have but annoyed that I've see his mate often but NEVER at HIS feeder !
PS: I have a wonderful visual from your comment on my latest blog ... a very formal picnic and fun for all. Thanks

The Bug said...

I love that song! Who's getting married? (I'm probably totally off base - ha!)

joared said...

We haven't had as many birds since the West Nile Virus came on the scene a number of years ago. Mockingbirds are staying around. Some finches.

Vicki Lane said...

You get such great pics of the Red-Bellied Woodpecker babies. We have several pairs but never see the young uns. And now I'm waiting for the news!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Late to reading this post after the previous one, but I did like the hint at the end. Congrats again to one and all on the arrival.