Monday, May 14, 2012

Babies Galore

This week's activity has been full of young birds hounding their parents for food. We also get a few surprises, and news from the porch that the Green Heron has returned, so we have the promise of future pics of him.  Enjoy this week's offering.

 The young female Lesser Goldfinches continue to frequent the thistle sock.

 A young Black-crested Titmouse. Like the other young birds, they follow mom and dad around fluttering their wings and whining!

 Dad House Finch feeding a young one.

 Notice the stance that says, 'Feed me!'

 No lack of House Finches at the office feeder.

 This Black-chinned Hummingbird is guarding the feeder at my porch.

 This young Chickadee was chasing mom and dad around.

 Back at my yard, the Chickadees have found the new feeder I hung up.

 This week's special surprise. I spied this Yellow Warbler down in the trees below the office deck. Last year he came near the deck and posed nicely. This may be as good as it gets this year.

 My favorite songbird, the Bewick's Wren, singing his song near my porch at the house.

 Not far away the Carolina Wren is feeding his babies in the church house. The chick peeping is growing stronger.

 The female Painted Bunting also found the new feeder. You will not see a greener bird in the wild in Central Texas.

 My special evening treat right now is having multiple Painted Buntings visiting the feeders. This one has a yellow breast patch that I haven't seen before. One evening there were 3 at one instant. That's unusual for us, so all the better.

 This guy is hanging around at the office feeder.

I even saw a male Painted Bunting that I thought might be young. He just wasn't very well-groomed, if you know what I mean!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Overload

It does no good to be a procrastinator when the Spring birds are coming in, just no good. So understand that this post has more pics than usual. But the new blog format seems to handle the downloads better, so if you can bear the verbiage, we're good. Enjoy my Spring overload.

 This Black-chinned Hummingbird was scratching from all directions, so he gave me a peek at the purple in his chinny-chin-chin.

 At the office, this Black-crested Titmouse (Texas race) was just calm enough to give me a cute pose. Like their cousins the Carolina Chickadee, they are hit-and-run artists with the black oil sunflower seeds.

 The young female Lesser Goldfinches have been faithful, especially at the sock thistle feeder, their new favorite feeder.

 'Nuff said.

 The House Finches enjoy the thistle as well.

 The male Lesser Goldfinch on the left figured out he could get seed out of a crack at the top of the perch cowling.

 A little study in symmetry.

 This female Lesser Goldfinch had some interesting feather coloring on her side, and I just happened to catch this action shot.

 Mornings at the office deck with the window opened give me some good lighting and photo ops. Male House Finch.

 Contemplating a morning dip.

 The immature female House Finch did not contemplate long, she just dove right in and had a ball.

 The immature female House Finch.

 They really can bug the heck out of Dad, chasing him until he relents and puts a seed in their mouth. Hmm, sure there's a lesson there.

 The Carolina Wren, noisy and ready to get a sip at the office deck.

 Back at the house, this Bewick's Wren is trying to nest in one of the feeders. The Bewick's is my favorite song bird; there is no more cheerful morning song to brighten your day.

 The male Red-winged Blackbird, with especially showy shoulders. We used to have tons of these at the house, but they like to nest in the tall reeds, and yours truly got rid of those!

 I'm sure this is some kind of display, just not sure who he was displaying TO!

 Too large for this feeder, but he just won't listen!

 Doin' his call. Just google it and you'll know what it sounds like.

 Immediately knew I had something different here, because this one was just black all over, but I knew it wasn't a Grackle. (Those red eyes!) Our newcomer is a Bronzed Cowbird. I don't know if all Cowbirds have the same nesting habits, but just in case; 'Oh the SHAME!'

 Same nesting spot each year for these Phoebes on the bottom side of the office. There were three, and I caught them just in time, because the next day they were gone.

 Mama Eastern Phoebe bringing a bug for her babies.

 She's a quiet friendly little flycatcher, perching and watching for her next snack. And yes, her call is 'febeee, febeeee!'

 It's a sorry shot, but I was glad to get it. The White-eyed Vireo is elusive, and doesn't care to come around the feeders. I just happened to be near the brush at the office for this shot.

 Rare action shot of a Carolina Chickadee coming in for a landing.

 As I mentioned earlier, they are hit-and-run artists that grab a sunflower seed and go find a branch to use for breaking the shell.

 My Sunday morning surprise on the porch. I heard the Red-shouldered Hawk and saw it land in a tree just across the creek. Looks like a nest is getting started, so I'll keep you updated.

 It was very vocal, even making some calls I hadn't heard before. I'm thinking the neighbors' turkeys and hens might be the reason for making her nest closer.

 Northern Cardinal visiting the platform feeder.

 The Painted Bunting has been a regular now in my yard for about a week.

 I camped out in the yard about equidistant from each of the feeders that he frequents.

 Here's something I haven't seen. At first I thought it was white on the breast, and might be albinism. But it's yellow, so not sure what the explanation is. Just not the norm.

 Love that bird!

And we won't ignore Mama Painted Bunting, 'cause after all, takes two to tango!