White-breasted Nuthatch not only shows her underwear but also her unusual perching method of grabbing the feeder with her toes on the fly. Then she flipped around facing the opposite direction and shopped the feeder for the fattest sunflower seed. (They actually do look for the biggest, fattest seeds.)
There is some kind of ruckus going on in the grape arbor again. It's about the houses, also again. There is one on each upright of the arbor. A male House Sparrow is inside the south house fighting off all comers. What is the big deal about these houses? I could understand if it were breeding season but why now?
The female House Sparrow has secreted herself behind the post. See her standing on the pipe to the right of the post? Male Sparrow can't see her. He comes out and flies to the other house on the other end of the pipe.
In the meantime, as he flew out, female sparrow came round to the front. She is in the vines in the bottom left of the above photo. Then she flies up into the house.
Male Sparrow has gone into the second house on the other end of the pipe. Then suddenly he comes bombing out and heads for the first house. Female whips out of House One and Male dives in.
Then the mystery of the house attraction is solved! Male sparrow's head pops out and he is eating what looks like a grain of wheat. Evidently, one of the caching birds, perhaps the newly arrived Blue Jay, has been stashing grain in the houses. I need to find out if Red-bellied Woodpeckers cache. He's back as well.
Not to be fooled again by the female, male also keeps an eye peeled below the house.
What's going on in the Spruce tree? Sight lines just aren't good enough.
Male sparrow comes out and perches on the roof. Better but still not good enough.
Female sparrow bombs him off. And at this point, I have to leave. DRAT! I don't know how it all turned out.
Male Downy Woodpecker is back also as of today. Look at his eyes. There is something about certain highly active species of bird's eyes: Woodpeckers, Hummingbirds, Nuthatch. Somehow they seem to bulge more than other species. It reminds me of hyperthyroid humans.
Your recent postings about the crows, your fondness for bird group names, and your interest in things British put me in mind of our Tulsa Hawk Forum discussion about ravens a couple months ago. Here are some highlights, as well as some links of interest.
During the Second World War most of the Tower's ravens perished through shock during bombing raids, leaving a sole survivor named 'Grip'. Before the tower reopened to the public on 1 January 1946, care was taken to ensure that a new set of ravens was in place.
There are currently nine ravens, whose wings are clipped to prevent them from flying away, and they are cared for by the Ravenmaster, a duty given to one of the Yeomen Warders….as of November 2006):
Gwylum (male, 18 years old)
Thor (male, 15 years old)
Hugin (female, 11 years old)
Munin (female, 11 years old)
Branwen (female, 3 years old)
Bran (male, 3 years old)
Gundulf (male, 1 year old)
Baldrick (male, 1 year old)
Fleur (female, 4 years old)
The oldest raven ever to serve at the Tower of London was called Jim Crow, who died at the age of 44.
Two other entertaining links:
Jackie (Tulsa's KJRH Hawks Forum)