I finally got over my fear of bear visits and put bird seed out for the birds. They are supposed to be hibernating right now, right? Its been very fun to see all the birds that have come to visit us and learn more about them. It took a few days for them to find it, and then we had an amazing mixed group of birds one morning. I never realized that birds will often travel in mixed species groups from food site to food site. In that very first group there were house finches, black capped chickadees (I think), a red bellied woodpecker, a downy woodpecker, blue jays (of course) and a robin. (Did he forget to fly south?)
Did you know that different birds perch differently? The wood peckers hang off the side of a feeder or branches, while other birds sit a top the branches.
Here is the red bellied woodpecker. You can tell he is a male because the red on his head comes all the way down to his bill.
This is the downy woodpecker. A male because of the red spot on his head. Females are black there. The belly, which you can't see, is all white.
I found a great website to learn more about birds and even listen to their calls. I've been using the images to supplement my photos when I draw in my sketchbook. I really need to get out the better camera and see if I can get some better pictures.
The girl's have gotten really excited about the birds, too. Maddy will sit on the chair by the window, peering over the back watching them so she doesn't scare them. Yesterday, Elsie and Emily made a bread "salad" by breaking up the stale bread in the bread box into a plastic bag. They like to throw out a couple handfuls onto the back patio to see what friends come to eat it. Emily made a pinecone/peanut butter bird feeder at activity day girls this past week, and Maddy has become an expert on the black capped chickadee in her TAG class at school. Isn't it funny how things sometimes all come together like that?
And on Feb 15-18 we are going to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. I think it will be a lot of fun!