Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday's Catch

I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a Chickadee straight on for more than a half a second They are always on their way to someplace else. Their metabolism is cooking constantly. No doubt the reason for their preference for the available foods high in lipids, suet and Sunflower seeds.

Yes, he does has snow all over his face. The fluffy snow is still sticking to the branches of the trees in little drifts.

So after checking the perimeter, Black-capped Chickadee, will nab a sunflower seed, and zip off to a high branch in the Maple Tree. He'll then get the seed under his foot, which will be in snow today, hence his face, crack it open, eat the inside, and flash back for another.

Alright, look at those teeny toes. They really are the cutest ever. These guys spend virtually no time at all on the ground.

Often in the meantime, a second Chickadee will have come to the feeder for a seed while the first is eating. She'll then take off with hers to an eating spot and the first will come back for another .

In this case I'm not sure if it's the same bird or a different one. I admit it. I can't tell them apart yet and they aren't currently talking back and forth to alert me that there's two of them.

Is she checking the air space or deciding on which seed she'd like?

Either way, she has to stick in her entire head in order to get the sunflower seed she's after. Then she whips off again to perch in a tree to eat it.

That's Doorstep on the bath and if you look at the top of the vignette, well, that's Friend's tail. Friend started to land on the bath, startled, perhaps he'd forgotten about the "snake", decided he'd over reacted, braked, and went down on the goodie stump a few feet away. There was a good six inch drift on the top of the goodie stump in which he half disappeared. At the same time one of the House Finches started to land a few inches past Friend, saw the drift, and like a cat that realizes almost too late she's about to leap into a bathtub full of water and looks to be using the surface tension to bounce out again, House Finch threw his weight back enough so that instead of disappearing into the little birdie snow bank, landed squarely on the half submerged Friend's back. Needless to say, Friend having just stopped himself from totally freaking out about the bath warmer, went WAAAAAH, and took off for parts unknown. Doorstep watched placidly.

Even the Blue Jay was around today. Just when he is no longer needed to crack the ice so everyone can have a drink.

I looked out and there wasn't a bird in the feeding area. Or so I thought. Suddenly Mr. Junco walked out of his snow fort with a seed in his beak. Notice how his white belly blends completely with the snow. That effect completely changes his silhouette to something less bird shaped. Especially the case when they go into a ground freeze when a predator passes over.

And into the evening, as a flock of Geese regroup after taking off , I'm assuming, to get out of town. More snow is expected tomorrow. Today it was 8 degrees F.

And the answer to yesterday's Mourning Dove Question: How many Doves were there in the photograph? 10. We're up 3.

Donegal Browne

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