Sunday, May 15, 2016

For the birds!

 Northern Oriole or Baltimore Oriole
I call him "Orange Lightning" because he flashes by so quickly I'm not sure what I'm seeing! 
The neon orange is a dead giveaway and so's the song.

This fellow is the Black-headed Grosbeak.
He and his wife have been occasional visitors to my feeders.
This is a noisy bird when the window is open in early morning.

 Friendly acrobats, the American Goldfinches are happy with my new mesh feeder.
I particularly like the call "See Me?" among their many squeaks and warbles.

 We've had many, many of the Spotted Towhees on the ground, busily digging and scratching amongst the mulch in my garden beds. They are the size of sparrows, but have that rusty-orange coloring on their sides like a robin.

This is the White-throated Sparrow that I've told you about before.
They are staying close by and treating me to their sweet song.
"Sweet, sweet Canada, Canada, Canada."
Below in the shadows is another Towhee.

Peach, my neighbor grandgirl who is now 7.5 years old, is a great lover of birds.  She reads and studies her bird field guide all the day long, and she loves to be outdoors scouting out the birds in the shelter belt beside her house.  Her mother says she can hardly eat a meal because she is so transfixed on the birds outside the sliding glass door next to the table.  She and I have many excellent bird talks together. 

Her sister, Toodles who is 5, has become an observant bird watcher by default.  She told me of a bird she saw with her dad when they were out farming a field in the tractor.  "It was a very large bird with tall legs and a long neck.  It had a body about this big with a head about this big and it's beak was long and pointed, and it had a little tuft of hair on its head."  I knew immediately the bird she described -- A Sandhill Crane She was so pleased to be able to tell her big sister she saw a Sandhill Crane!  Her silly dad thought it might be a Flamingo, but Toodles knew better because, "Flamingos are pink!"

What birds are you seeing this spring?  Do you have any birding tips?  I've found that a filled bird bath is a great attraction for backyard birds.


  1. Love the stories of your 7.5 year old Peach and Toodles. What great descriptive skill for a 5 year old. Beautiful Oriole!

  2. Jody, you header photo is so beautiful!!! I love it. And the conversations with your grandgirls about birds is just precious. Good to see their grandma's influence. smiles They are having such a wonderful childhood. Sure miss catching up and hope all is well with you and your family. Love from Texas, Leslie

  3. I love that your grand girls love birds. You might know this but binoculars and a bird guide and one of those life list things so she can keep track of all of the birds she has seen in her life. I bet you know all of this though. Now we have the internet to help us identify birds, but those bird sound things are always a plus. Oh, maybe a sketch book. :) My daughter is sitting here and I asked her what she had at that age for birds. :) She is still a great birder. Have a nice day Jody.

  4. All of a sudden the birds are appearing in flocks. Yay!
    My nephew has kept a bird journal every day since he was around 8. He's 27 now and still birds. I love that!

  5. We have been seeing Baltimore Orioles around here lately, too, and there are always plenty of goldfinches. My favorites, though, are the Carolina Bluebirds, which are the most divine shade of blue. I'll see if I can convince some to fly your way ...


  6. Thank you for sharing your birds with us! I was introduced to new birds last weekend when I traveled to my siblings' houses... It takes some investment of time, but when I start to get antsy while studying their movements, something in me sounds an alarm and says,"Your life must be getting really weird if you have no time to watch birds!"

    Your grandchildren are so blessed to be living in a subculture where it is as normal to learn about birds every mealtime and between meals as it is for some children to watch cartoons -- and as we know, much more thrilling and enriching. Their love and excitement will be a source of joy and satisfaction throughout their life.

  7. Birds are such a grace note of Creation. Your pictures are grand and it is sweet to hear of children harkening to nature.

  8. I would love to have orioles here. Their songs are beautiful. I get a spotted towhee once in awhile. We plant food plot to help our deer at both properties. The plant mix provides extra nutrients, especially here in the hills. The flowers are primroses. I have bought some at the garden store and they die. Those happy flowers are descendants from two cheap grocery store sale counter almost dead plants I got years ago.

  9. Wow -- look at all that beautiful color! I SO wish we'd see an Oriole -- I've only ever seen one before and that was about 25 years ago. We get our color in cardinals, woodpeckers and finches -- they're all so pretty. If we could just figure out how to keep the raccoons out of the feeding station -- they dump the birdseed all over the ground! And HOW can it be possible that peach is 7.5 years old??? SLOW down time!!!

  10. I love your new friends, such pretty birds. We have plenty of birds around here but none with such bright colors.

  11. wow...a Baltimore Oriole...this is the first bird I remember wanting to see in person after seeing a "bird" book my nature-loving Mother had...(I still have the book and will never discard it!)...I have never seen one in person because they just don't come here :-( happy you see them and snapped a picture for the rest of us ~ Suzi Q in Texas


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