Wanamassa Birds

I frequently stroll the streets of Wanamassa, NJ, with camera at the ready to take pictures of birds.

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Location: Ocean, New Jersey, United States

Monday, January 21, 2013

Busy Front Yard

Inauguration Day. Martin Luther Kind Day. And cold. Perhaps it was the coldness that made the feeder, and the rest of the front yard, so popular today. I posted a lot of pictures on Facebook. I took up my vantage point at the front window after seeing both the cardinals and blue jays come by. This is usually a sign that a Red Belly Woodpecker isn't far behind, and indeed, it showed up shortly after I was settled in place with the camera.

The first sign that it was in the area was its call. It's a noisy bird so I always get a warning that it's on its way, but it is also easily spooked by my presence, and so while I was at the window it didn't get any closer to the feeder than the tree. Oddly, after I saw it fly off, I thought I could still hear its call. But it was a Mockingbird in one of the bushes next to the house. I'm not sure what it is about the front yard that appeals to this bird, but we've seen it a few times this month.

The next unusual occurrence happened almost at once. The White-throated Sparrows live under the bushes and normally can be seen scampering back and forth from their safe haven to the foot of the feeder where they are often joined by juncos. This morning, there were plenty to be seen under the feeder and they were indeed joined by some juncos. But I was surprised to see the sparrow in the tree and I don't recall seeing a Junco spread its tail like this shot.

The Downy Woodpeckers were in and out of the feeder with enthusiasm.

Unlike the Blue Jays and Red Bellies, the Cardinals are not so put-off by my presence at the window, but they can be somewhat cautious when I first show up there. Here, the Cardinal was watching proceedings from the far side of the yard. The Red Belly had retreated north to the tree in our neighbor's front yard.


While I was processing those pictures and posting most of them on Facebook, I couldn't help but notice that the Red Belly had visited the feeder three times. So I decided to try again while listening to the inauguration proceedings. Perhaps the sound of the television put off the woodpeckers because they didn't show again. But I did get a number of pleasing pictures.

Chickadee in the tree

This shot came as a surprise when I was processing the images. It looks as though the finch is perched on thin air.

The White-breasted Nuthatches were very active. I was pleased to get this shot of one of them in the tree. They do not keep still very long.

This young-looking House Finch on top of the feeder appeared to be on the look-out for incoming bandits.

When the house sparrows arrive, the perches on the feeder fill very quickly, so some of them wait patiently on the railing of the front steps.

One of the Cardinals came a lot closer. Here, it is at the foot of the feeder among the spilled seeds.

Male House Finch in the tree.

Tufted Titmouse hard at work breaking open a seed it had retrieved from the feeder.

I had not previously noticed the white bib visible in this juvenile House Sparrow, but indeed, Sibley captured it in his drawing of the bird.

Even some Robins dropped by, although they have no interest in the feeder or the spilled seeds from it.

Another female House Finch atop the feeder.

This female Cardinal was less skittish than usual, spending quite some time in the tree close enough for me to get this shot.

Then it flew down to the feeder.

After this shot of a Tufted Titmouse in the tree on the way down to the feeder, I gave up on the idea of getting pictures of a Red Belly at the feeder.


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