Yesterday a Nor’easter blizzard blew through our region, dumping about 9 in (22 cm) of snow on us, while other parts of the state received 19 in (48 cm) and more. In some areas of New England it was even worse. I had food ready for our backyard birds and they came out in droves, consuming most of the sunflower seeds and suet.
Instead of two Eastern Bluebird fledgelings, there are actually four! I was able to photograph them two days ago when they congregated on a high oak tree branch. They were too far, but can be recognized in the photos below.
I don’t know whether they are all from the same brood that lived in the birdhouse in our backyard, or from that and another nest somewhere in the grove behind our house. They seemed to get along fine.
Meanwhile, the female Bluebird still lives in that birdhouse.
Yesterday, early in the morning, a House Wren came near the birdhouse and started calling out.
The noisy call woke the sleeping Bluebird up, and she peered out to let him know the birdhouse belonged to her.
The House Wren promptly left. A young Blue Jay stopped by our bird feeder.
Then a female Hummingbird came to the nectar feeder.
In 2018, some of my photos did not appear on this blog, normally because I didn’t want to have too many in any post. Now at year end, looking at them, some actually deserve to be shown, and here they are.
I still have not ventured out since coming down with the flu. There may also be quite a few people similarly afflicted for the local pharmacy shelves have been laid bare of the more popular flu and cold medicines. The weather has not been cooperating either, being mostly cold, snowy at times, and windy almost always. This has given me time to cull through some recent shots of Blue Jays and other birds in our backyard.
Not much snow fell, somewhat less than 2 in (5 cm), but the cold is staying with temperatures in the teens and twenties (-10 C to -5 C). Nothing is melting. Many birds came to our feeder, and I even saw a new one that was gray with black wings. It was too quick and only appears as a blur in a shot I took.
But Mr. Blue and Mr. Red were there of course and lingered long enough for me to photograph them leisurely.
Mr. Red especially took his time, even checking out the photographer several times.
A Tufted Titmouse patiently waited for its turn at the feeder.
Today skies are mostly sunny and snow is melting at a good pace. I took the opportunity to photograph the various birds that come to our feeder all day long.
Finally, the one and the only Northern Cardinal, resplendent in colors rivaling its human counterparts in Rome.
The following birds are regular visitors to our backyard, and here are some shots of them near the bird feeder.
This year a band of Blue Jays have come swarming in our neighborhood. You can tell when they come as all the smaller birds have to scatter out of their way. Fortunately, they don’t eat everything at once and they leave enough food for others.
Turtle (or Mourning) Doves are always there also, not as aggressive as Blue Jays, but persistent. They will perch on high branches and patiently wait their turn. The one below flew down to our deck to check out some scattered sunflower seeds.
The Downy Woodpeckers are also always there, no matter what season it is.
A regular summer visitor is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, very small and very territorial. The following female will attack attack any other hummingbird that tries to use the special feeder I put out for hummingbirds. It even tried to shoo away bigger birds.
The male Ruby-throated Hummingbird either comes out in late evening, or when I am not home. So far I have seen him but it’s been too dark to photograph him.
Saturday was a cold and snowy day. Only one inch of snow was forecasted, but it kept snowing most of the day and in the end we got at least 3 inches. The poor birds sheltered among our magnolia branches, but only because they know I usually stock our feeder with sunflower seeds to the brim.
After it stopped snowing, as a special treat, I put out a tray of roasted peanuts to provide them with some energy food. Within a few minutes, Blue Jays appeared and swooped down to literally gorge themselves.
Like others on WordPress, I have been going through photos taken in 2016 to see whether some of them could be displayed here. Several are shown below, and others will probably follow in the last three days of this year. As you can tell, there is no rhyme or reason to the order of these images.
Gluttony is the third deadly sin, but that’s for humans. Blue Jays don’t care, they practice gluttony with abandon, as evidenced by the way they swoop down on the peanuts I put out for the birds.
Most birds take one then fly away. Not Blue Jays.
There was an older Blue Jay, who began by scaring away everyone else.
In the meantime, the Red-bellied Woodpecker was the model of bird table manners.
The link for this challenge is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/eye-spy/
When I photograph birds and animals, I try to get a good eye expression, or at least get their eyes in clear focus. Here are my entries for the challenge, all from photos taken this year, some as recently as yesterday.
A Blue Jay came to our bird feeder this morning. They are known for their blue color and crest. When they are feeding at peace, the crest is lowered as seen in the following photos. Since the Blue Jay was so large compared to other birds, it monopolized the feeder for a few minutes.
Once it got a sunflower seed, it flew to the nearby magnolia tree to break it up and eat the inside.
Then of course we had the usual staring match.
This morning I put out some sunflower seeds on our deck still covered with snow. The birds must have been hungry because there was a constant avian stream landing on or around the seed pan, and partaking lustily.
Among the juncos, sparrows, and warblers, I noticed several blue jays and took the following shots of them. These were taken through our patio glass door, and they are they closest I have ever been to blue jays.