Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rare May Visit by Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (Pickens County GA)

UPDATE 2014.04.22 :: NOT sure what happened here. It USED to talk about the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in this post. Something burped somewhere. Will dig up and replace with more appropriate soon. *waving*

Project: Backyard Pishing
Location: Private Residence, Talking Rock, Pickens County, North Georgia
Taken yesterday (2012.05.08). A fledgling Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens, DOWO) spends the length of the short video feeding from MY favorite type of feeder, the nugget ones. Nugget feeders primarily hold raw shelled peanuts and/or sunflower seeds. Personal experience has been that these seem to draw a neat variety of "personable" birds.
PS Contrary to the occasional claim you'll see otherwise, this type of feeder is SO NOT squirrel proof but you can eventually foil MOST attempts by squirrels seeking them out. :))
A "thank you" shoutout to the What Bird Is This? group over at WeLoveBirds for helping me confirm that this IS a Downy Woodpecker. The tail bars were what caught my eye with the bill being secondary and a little more subjective in identification. :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Adult Female Hairy Woodpecker At Nugget Feeder

Project: Backyard Pishing
Location: Private Residence, Talking Rock, Pickens County, North Georgia

Taken this afternoon (Monday, 2012.05.07) by hanging out the window. To the best of my knowledge, this is a Hairy Woodpecker (Dendrocopos villosus, HAWO) that is falling under the category of Nest Watch right now.

The parent in the video is loading up from the nugget feeder (peanuts and sunflower seeds). There are at least two fledglings following her ALL around the yard as of this morning. This time of the year, the "Calgon take me away" mantra runs through my head often. Comes from any time of day seeing some species of babies staying hot on the trail of their parents every time the parents move. :))

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fluffed Up Carolina Wren Preening On Windy Day

Project: Backyard Pishing
Location: Talking Rock, Pickens County, North Georgia

Approximately 20 seconds of bird behavior video'd Friday, 2012.05.04. Had been rainy earlier in the day. This Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus, CAWR) spent a lot of time in that very spot that day. Very vocal. Had company from his own species a few times, too. These guys age out so quickly, I'm having trouble telling the immature juveniles from the adults on the fly already this early in the breeding nest watch season.

The one featured in this video looks like he has deliberately fluffed out his feathers to take advantage of drying them fully in the wind. Mother Nature's blow dryer, I guess. That's not the normal look for any of them, in fact first time I remember ever seeing quite this behavior in my yard. :)

PS Is my bouncing baby first embedded video in a blog post. It appears to be doing well on dialup so here's hoping it works well on the faster connections. If not, please let me know. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

North Georgia Brown Thrasher Eating AGAIN

Project: Backyard Pishing
Location: Talking Rock, Pickens County, North Georgia

Can't quite put my Fingertips on it but there's something about how my Kodak Z740 blocks out or fades the background that seems to make the birds almost looked stuffed and posed. I don't know. Maybe it's the birds themselves voguing when the camera comes out. I'M JOKING! :))

One thing that always grabs my own eye is these Brown Thrashers (Toxostoma rufum, BRTH) have some wicked looking eyes. Like a tremendously intense wide-eyed stare.

The Thrasher pictured here is eating off a cheap platform feeder. Is a very weathered, untreated piece of 4x4 that is one of the more popular feeding spots here. I'd venture to guess it's favored because the board presents a long, open area. That allows for several birds to eat together at the same time with less face-to-face confrontation that a two foot square platform feeder might otherwise cause between them.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thrasher and Towhee Doing What? EATING!

Took these earlier today (Wednesday, 2012.04.25). The Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum, BRTH) started appearing on that suet feeder a couple days ago. This is a new behavior, new feeding station for ANY of the Thrashers. Best first guess is the Thrasher has noticed the Gray Catbirds at that same feeder. And, no, the image is not cockeyed. That feeder normally sits very horizontally aligned. The word "toad" comes to mind. :))

Both the male and female Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus, EATO), but moreso the male, have been hitting the food hard the last couple days. Running theme out in the yard is that the adult birds are looking "frazzled". Any second now I expect the latest fledglings to start appearing in hot pursuit of the parents.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rose-breasted Grosbeak in North Georgia Willow Tree

These distinctly marked Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (Pheucticus ludovicianus, alpha banding code RBGR) started showing up somewhere around early 2009. JUST happened to look out the window in time to catch five males eating sunflower seeds on the front walkway one day. At the time I didn't know what they were and actually only saw all five backsides. Had no clue that year of the phenomenal red coloring on their chests.

The one pictured in the images here apparently has been in the yard a good solid week. He's a strangely relaxed little guy in spite of his flyoffs upon my presence. I kept seeing flashes of a white rump and white under the tail as he was exiting Stage Left when I'd poke my head out the window to check on bird feeders. Have seen two now (two days ago). This is THE ABSOLUTE lateness and longest repeated sightings in Spring they've been in my Pickens County yard yet. Every year the pishing gets better and better out there..! :))

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gray Catbird Listening To Another One Cat Calling

Taken just a little bit ago (2012.04.21). The Gray Catbirds were here about a month ago and had a big blowout catfight then I didn't see them but maybe one more time. This week they've been here I think it's four days. It *looks like* there are four having regular discussions over squatting rights to the front yard. VERY FUNNY to listen to their calls as it really does very often sound like cats and kittens..