Backyard Visitors in the Winter

January 30, 2017  •  1 Comment

During the winter months in the North East have you ever taken the time to look out your back yard window? If you look close enough you can see some amazing birds. One of my favorites is the Red Bellied Woodpecker. They are a medium sized bird common to the Northeast. They have a barred back and pale face that ends with a bright red cap. The one thing that surprised me was how long a tongue the Red Bellied Woodpecker has, I am not use to seeing a bird with a long tongue. Another Woodpecker that is common to the Northeast is the Downy Woodpecker often mistaken for a Hairy Woodpecker which has a longer beak. The Downy is a very active bird they never seem to stop moving around for more than a second. They have a black and white checker pattern on their wings with a white belly and black and white striped head. You can tell if there are male if they have a red spot on their head. The bird that I just can’t get enough of is the Black Capped Chickadee. It has an oversized round head, tiny body, and is curious about everything, including humans. The chickadee’s black cap and bib; white cheeks; gray back, wings, and tail; and whitish underside with buffy sides are distinctive. Its habit of investigating people and everything else in its home territory, and quickness to discover bird feeders, make it one of the first birds most people learn. The Dark-eyed Junco is a medium-sized sparrow with a rounded head, a short, stout bill and a fairly long, conspicuous tail. Juncos are dark gray or brown birds brightened up by a pink bill and white outer tail feathers that periodically flash open, particularly in flight. They tend to forage on the ground but occasionally you will see them on a feeder but more times than not you see them under the feeders. The bird that you will see occasionally is the Purple Finch. The Male Purple Finches are delicate pink-red on the head and breast, mixing with brown on the back and cloudy white on the belly. Female Purple Finches have no red. They are coarsely streaked below, with strong facial markings including a whitish eye stripe and a dark line down the side of the throat. I don’t see them all of the time but they are a welcome sight when I do. The Tuft Titmouse are a soft silvery gray above and white below, with a rusty or peach-colored wash down the flanks. A black patch just above the bill makes the bird look snub-nosed. The Tuft Titmouse often flock with chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers and are regular visitors to backyard feeders. The White-breasted Nuthatches are gray-blue on the back, with a frosty white face and underparts. The black or gray cap and neck frame the face and make it look like this bird is wearing a hood. The lower belly and under the tail are often chestnut. Nuthatches are active, agile little birds with an appetite for insects and large, meaty seeds. They get their common name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to “hatch” out the seed from the inside.


Comments

Sherry lynn(non-registered)
Very Purdy !
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