Fledglings through the Window

I moved my home office to a room that does not get as much direct sun on summer afternoons…and discovered I have a better view of our bird feeder through the window. One of the first birds I noticed on the feeder was a downy woodpecker that seemed to be coming very frequently.

And then came the explanation…the parent was showing the way to the feeder to a fledgling! It could have been more than one fledgling because these pictures were taken over several hours….and then I haven’t seen the birds again. Perhaps they are finding plenty of food in the trees behind our house. They are – after all – woodpeckers.

A few days later – I saw a titmouse that was very tentatively perched on our deck railing. It didn’t go to the feeder but succeed in fluttering off toward the maple tree…maybe back to the nest.

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Fast forward almost a week and I saw 2 types of fledglings: 1) There were parents and fledgling Carolina Chickadees at the bird feeder (there were several smaller and somewhat clumsy birds with the two adults)…moving too fast for me to get a picture. 2) A crabby fledgling on the deck railing in the rain. I think it was probably a Catbird fledgling. It didn’t go to the feeder but flew off to the sycamore.

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Overall, it’s been a busy month at our feeder. In some cases, it was probably the first meal away from the nest for the young birds…and certainly fun to watch from my summer office window. I enjoy these kinds of distractions!

Birding through a Window – February 2019

It’s great to see birds from my office window – I take a little break to observe while staying warm…and I get other things done between sightings.

Some kinds of birds I see every day.

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The Blue Jays generally make a lot of noise, so I notice when they are around. They come for the water in the heated bird bath and then for seed if it’s spilled out from the feeder (the feeder itself does not work for jay-sized birds). Somehow, they always seem to be looking in my direction when I take a picture of them.

The Dark-eyed Juncos are also around every day. They come for the seed and, sometimes, the birdbath.

The Northern Cardinal also is a frequent visitor. We have a resident pair that stays around our area. They made their nest in the bushes in front of our house last season. Sometimes more than the pair are around…but not every day.

Mourning Doves are plentiful. One morning we heard one seemingly very close to our breakfast area door but couldn’t see it. My husband opened the door and it flew from it’s hiding place under the deck railing. These birds are also too big for the feeder, but they enjoy any seed on the ground and the bird bath and just sitting around on the deck railing or the roof of the covered deck.

The Tufted Titmouse makes rapid transits between the feeder or birdbath and the red maple. It must feel safer in the maple. We have at least one pair, and maybe more, that frequent our deck.

The Carolina Chickadees are very similar to the titmice in that they don’t linger on the deck. They prefer to get seed and take it back to the maple.

This year we have more American Gold Finches coming to the feeder. In previous years we’ve had more House Finches but I’ve only seen one this year and I didn’t get a picture.

And there are birds I don’t see as frequently.

One American Robin came to the bird bath – and I got a picture. There will be a lot more of them around soon.

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Sometimes we have Northern Flickers visit – usually as a pair. They like the heated bird bath in very cold weather. The area under the pines appears to be a good place for them to find insects.

The Downy Woodpecker returns again and again to some damaged branches not that far from my window. I’ve seen a male and female…only got pictures of the female this month.

European Starlings are not an everyday occurrence in our yard. There must be better food sources for them elsewhere. That’s probably a good thing.

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We have a White-Breasted Nuthatch that comes to our feeder occasionally. It moves very quickly and goes back to the forest.

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There are birds that I remember seeing but didn’t manage to photograph this month: Red-winged blackbirds, Turkey vultures, Black Vultures, Pileated woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, and House sparrow. Overall – not a bad month for birding through window.

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 7, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

How Do We Carry Our Shopping Home Now? | CleanTechnica – I’ve been using my collection of reusable bags for years. Some of them are over 10 years old and still in great shape. Occasionally, I still get a Lightweight Plastic Bag (or a newspaper in plastic, or other plastic bag packaging) which I take back to the bag recycling bin at my grocery store. I’m always sad when I set a grocery cart full of stuff in the plastic bags…hope none of them escape into the environment.

A Harlequin Duck’s Long Cross-Country Migration – Cool Green Science – A bird banded in Glacier National Park migrated to Long Island! Zoom lenses on cameras and binoculars make it possible to record banding info from a distance.

BBC - Future - The small Scottish isle leading the world in electricity – Eigg has an off-grid electric system powered by wind, water, and solar…they average 90-95% renewable energy. The time of year they tend to need back up generators is in the spring.

Implications of access to high-quality fruits and vegetables: Quality has potential to impact consumer selection and consumption in rural areas -- ScienceDaily – There has been a lot of discussion about food deserts in big cities – places that lack affordable, high-quality food. It appears that food deserts occur in rural areas as well.

Top 25 Endemic Wild Birds – National Geographic – The weekly bird photography fix! The chickadee we see frequently in our areas of the Mid-Atlantic of the US is endemic to our part of the world (and is one of the 25 pictured).

New Beginnings: Cherry Blossoms and Helen Taft's Landscape Diplomacy – Some years we manage to see the peak of the cherry blossoms around the tidal basin in Washington DC….but every year we enjoy the cherry tree in our front year. It is always at least a week later than the ones in DC.

US electricity use drops, renewables push fossil fuels out of the mix | Ars Technica – Total electrical generation was down 1.5 percent in 2017. Coal and natural gas declines were more than that with renewable energy projects coming online. Energy efficiency has made a difference! Another article reported that some utilities are planning for the uptick in electric vehicles to cause the trend in electricity generation to turn upward again. Right now – it seems like people that buy electric cars are often the same people that install solar panels; that could result in no uptick to the draw from the electric utility.

The Life Issue | WIRED – A collection of thought provoking articles about ‘what it means to live in an age of improvisation.’ I started with the articles about the 55-infinity age group.

Microscopic Images of Seeds • Insteading – hmm…maybe I’ll take a magnified look at seeds before I plant them in my flower beds.

Meditate regularly for an improved attention span in old age – Nice to know that something enjoyable immediately is also good for the long term too!