Birdwatching at Our Mountain Home

Over the past month, it seems like the rain and the cold was never going to end.   The bird visitors have been fun to watch, with the variety of birds in colorful plumage all making short work of the seed.  DH has had to fill it up a couple of times a week.  Several bluebirds have stayed all winter.  On this day, a nuthatch hangs off the bottom of the suet feeder while the bluebird stuff his beak.  Funny little guys, they like to eat upside down.  They really took advantage of the suet during the coldest days.

Birdwatching at

Clarence made several visits to beg a bite of whole grain bread, this time bringing a buddy with him.  His turkey friend was a bit skittish, and wouldn’t come up to get a morsel, so Clarence got the whole piece.

Birdwatching at

When it began sleeting one evening, this pair of Carolina wrens were snuggled together under the eve of the veranda.

Birdwatching at

But then, a glorious day when the sun came out.  A flock of robins came to the yard and meadow, there must have been two dozen of them.  Of course, when I eased out on the veranda to take their picture, they all flew off.  But later they came back, so I tried to get them from inside through the rails.

Birdwatching at

There was no way to get them all at once, they were all over the place.

Birdwatching at

Up on the feeder, a titmouse rests after stuffing his beak.

Birdwatching at

A little chickadee stopped by for a meal.

Birdwatching at

Another rainy day, and I looked out the kitchen window to see a flock of turkeys in the lower meadow.  I thought it was the flock of ladies that had come by last fall.  So, of course, I grabbed some whole grain bread and went out to the veranda.  Yep,  those girls came running!!

Birdwatching at

Looking closer, I realized that four of them were males.  They must have been juveniles last year without their beards yet.  So, I had seven females and four males, not eleven females.  One was on the driveway, and refused to come up for a group picture.

Birdwatching at

It was fun to try to get a bite to each one, as they all went for every bite thrown out.  So I threw one to the right and one to the left, down the middle, as far as I could throw, and started over as fast as I could, trying to be sure everyone at least got one bite.

Birdwatching at

Looks like the goldfinches are starting to brighten up for spring with their summer color.

Birdwatching at

DH likes this woodpecker, who comes by often with his mate.

Birdwatching at

This smaller woodpecker is a downy woodpecker.  I used to have a hard time figuring out the difference between a downy and a hairy woodpecker, but recently found that the downy woodpecker red patch is one solid patch.  The hairy woodpecker red patch is in two parts separated by a black line continuing up from the center back to the black on top of the head.

Birdwatching at

His mate comes by with him, and they take turns on the suet.

Birdwatching at

Ground feeding juncos have been regular visitors too, getting the seeds and suet dropped from the feeder above.

Birdwatching at

A pair of towhees come for the bounty, this is the male. The female has the same wing markings and orange sides but is brown on top instead of black.

Birdwatching at

A whole family of chickadees came by this day, taking their turn with the other pretty birds.

Birdwatching at

Just this week, I saw a Northern Flicker on the feeder, which is unusual as they generally feed on the ground. Red-bellied Woodpecker (Thanks, Wendy, I should have looked closer!)

Birdwatching at

Then a new visitor came to sample our offerings.  This is a yellow bellied sap sucker, the first one I have seen at the feeder.

Birdwatching at

The red under his beak is what made me notice him, and look him up. The yellow color on his breast is subtle, but more apparent when you know what to look for.

Birdwatching at

He was also willing to share the suet with a chickadee.

Birdwatching at

Just yesterday I saw a purple finch at the feeder for the first time this spring.

Purple Finch at

A pair of cardinals, and four blue jays are also regular visitors now too. Who is at your feeder now?

28 thoughts on “Birdwatching at Our Mountain Home

  1. Right now, we just have chickadees, juncos, goldfinches, and cardinals. The rest will be coming as the days warm up. I think that your one visitor is not a Northern Flicker, but a Red-bellied Woodpecker. The flicker has very distinctive spots on its breast and a black V at the top of its breast. How fun that you have so many feathered friends who come to visit 🙂

  2. Meta O’Connell

    PBS has a good movie called “My Life As A Turkey” true story that is very interesting if you have not seen it. Enjoyed seeing all the birds that visit your home. Thanks.

  3. Sylvia E Anderson

    Good morning Carole….You tend to have a larger variety of birds, so I thoroughly enjoy your pictures, and Clarence and friends are a real treat to see, since we only see 1 or 2 at a time in our yard. When I first saw the yellow bellied sapsucker at the suet feeder, I thought it was a woodpecker, until I read the description. I don’t have a good vantage point to get the pictures you do, but do keep an Audubon book close by so I am able to reference the birds who do visit our feeders. Thanks for all the beautiful and detailed pictures Carole.

  4. shirleyf62

    I love watching the birds. In the winter we have Cardinals, Blue Jays, Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Evening Grosbeaks, Finches, Sparrow, Juncos, and my favorite, the Mourning Doves. We also have lots of turkeys. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures.

  5. Marianne Barta

    Great pictures of the birds — what a variety! We love to watch the birds also once they come every season! Love the turkeys. Thank You for sharing.

  6. Shirley

    Love your photos of the bird varieties you have near your home. Spring is such an uplifting time of year. Thank you for sharing and making my heart sing.

  7. Wow! That is an amazing variety of birds and great photography too. Thanks for sharing. I loved reading about them and seeing some birds that we don’t have around here. Maybe I shouldn’t say that. I’m not an avid bird watcher so I don’t really know if we have them or not! I think I will talk my husband into a bird feeder or two. Do you have a zoom lens that you use? And are you outside when you take these? Or looking through a window?

  8. And they all seem to eat in perfect harmony/ Those different colours, so many sizes, and each one beautiful. The feeders must be so popular when food on the ground or tree is so scarce.

  9. I always enjoy your bird photos, Carole! We have flickers, house finches, chickadees, and downy woodpeckers who visit us year round. The flickers and downies love the suet. Lots of robins and bluejays have been hanging around lately, too! We haven’t seen the goldfinches recently, but look forward to seeing them anytime they would like to visit!

  10. Naomie Moore

    Love all the visiting turkeys! My friends in Asheville get them all the time too. I have 6 fly through style feeders and I fill them up every morning. I have no idea what types of birds I have in spite of the many books I have on identification. All I know is that they could eat me out of house and home. I could easily go through 10 pounds or more a day. I also have 5 hummingbird feeders as I have some year round. And peanuts for the squirrels to keep them out of the feeders.

  11. You have a few birds I have never seen here, Carole – bluebirds, towhee, sapsucker…isn’t watching the birds at the feeders one of the simplest joys around? My daughter even filled a feeder she found on the grounds of her new house and hung it from her front porch – she was so excited to see her first chickadee!! A few months ago I had a bird I had never seen in all the many years I’ve been feeding the birds – an evening grosbeak, well actually about 6 of them if I remember correctly. They must have stopped by during their migration, I imagine – hope they come back again!!

  12. Mrs. B

    I haven’t commented in awhile but I want you to know, I read it all, even learned a few new things ☺️I have enjoyed every thing every year of all your varieties of subjects.❤️❤️❤️ Thank You for sharing so much of your life.

  13. Jane Lombardo

    Enjoy the birds.We spend 6 months in Syracuse N.Y and 6 in Lake Placid Fla. The birds are starting to move thru now heading north. We have had morning doves white winged doves chicadees titmice woodpeckers mocking birds whistling ducks blue jays all winter.Now we are getting catbirds ,grackles red wing blackbirds ,chipping sparrows almost forgot our painted -hunting with a B pair .Got a treat today an otter popped up out of the canal next door this morning. I share your love for birds even the hawks that buzz the feeder periodically. I used to raise homing pigeons and race them. Nick. Piggybacking on wife’s email.

  14. Quilted Pants

    Lovely photos. We live in town and despite having plenty of trees around have quite a limited number of bird species visit our little garden. They all give us a lot of pleasure though especially Mr & Mrs Blackbird who have taken a liking to pears (when my husband can bear to spare them one!).
    It’s interesting to me to see the similarities and differences between your birds and those we have in the UK – especially as the names are confusing. Your Robins look much more like birds in the thrush family here and nothing like our Robin ‘Redbreast’ that adorns so many of our Christmas cards. Our Greater and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers look similar to the woodpeckers in your photos and we have Coal Tits that look very similar to Chickadees.

  15. What a wonderful variety of birds! You take great photographs of them. I love the turkeys, I have been places that have them come through, and they are fun and docile. I put out some meal worms trying to get the bluebirds to come feed. So far, the Carolina wren and the squirrels have been eating them.

    I believe your goldfinch is actually a Pine Warbler, which is a very nice bird, indeed! They are definitely similar, but with a little less distinct wing bars and a long thin beak instead of a little finch beak.

    I need to get out to the park soon, as it should be warbler migration now. Have a good day!

  16. Patricia Evans

    What a variety of birds you have visiting. I don’t have bird feeders out anymore because the squirrels ate everything including gnawing on the feeders at times. We’ve had robins, cardinals, and our resident house wrens (or sparrows, I’m never sure which they are) in the bird house hanging at the end of the front porch. I can hear the woodpeckers nearby, but all our trees have been taken down due to disease, so I don’t see them up close anymore. We did have a red-headed woodpecker who worked diligently on the rotting tree stumps for a few years. Waiting patiently for the hummingbirds to come back.

  17. farmquilter

    I love seeing your birds! So different from the birds I see here in the west. This spring, a murder of crows/ravens has set up in the neighborhood – over 100 of them! I’ve seen quail and scrub jays so far this year. Since we are still dealing with snow and rain from the winter, I’m hopeful that more of my feathered friends show up soon.

  18. What a lot of different varieties of birds! Great photos, too. For many years, we’ve had a satin bower bird’s bower on our block. Last year he moved just over the border to our neighbour’s. I noticed last week he’s back in our place… yay!!!

Comments are closed.