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hazelrunpack January 30th, 2010 05:30 PM

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I forgot about the woodpeckers :o

All the eastern male woodpeckers have red on the head. The most common are the downy, the hairy, and the red-bellied (which doesn't have much of a red belly :p). The pileated also has a red crest (that's the Woody Woodpecker type :D) and the red-headed woodpecker (which migrates south for the winter from these parts) has a totally red head.

The hairy and the downy look pretty similar to each other but the hairy is half again as big as the downy. The hairy also has a proportionately longer bill than the downy does. The next two pics show the same suet feeder with two different female woodpeckers, one a downy, the second a hairy.

Look at the bill size--the downy's bill is proportionately shorter. And although the absolute size of the downy's image is bigger, see how the bird is dwarfed by the suet cage? The hairy sort of wraps herself around the bottom of the suet cage. The downy looks like it could crawl into the feeder; the hairy wouldn't fit very easily :D

This last one is a red-bellied:

hazelrunpack January 30th, 2010 05:37 PM

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Just for good are some other birds you might be seeing--the nuthatches.

White-breasted nuthatch:

Red-breasted nuthatch:

Okay, I'm done now. :rolleyes: I tend to blather on about birds. :o

(Chris, if those pics are too big, let me know and I'll remove 'em!)

hazelrunpack January 30th, 2010 05:38 PM

Gol dang! :eek: And they [I]are[/I] big! :o I gotta play with my editor some more... :o

Chris21711 January 30th, 2010 06:11 PM

Pics are fine Hazel :thumbs up....I'm patient :)

Love Winston's LBB......You didn't put any LBB's up Hazel, I have none :o

Yesterday evening I had 6 male Cardinals and 3 females from what I could see, it was getting dusk already...Question: IF there are more males than females, how do they go about finding mates :confused:....then when they do, if they do, do you think they will stick around or move elsewhere?

Winston January 30th, 2010 07:58 PM

Hazel thanks for the pics! I will save them for reference! The woodpecker was 100% the red bellied but I have to say much bigger??

I just went downstairs and checked through my old books! I am crazy that way I dont like to get rid of books..anyway I found this really really old book probably from the 70's...called National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America....actually I googled it and her eis a link to it...covers is almist exactly the same...I forgot I had it! its gor pictures and lots of good stuff!

I will have to try to get some pics but its so hard..the 2 trees are about 50 feet high and very bushy! you can hardley see them but boy you can hear them! especially in the spring...we sometimes have to close the windows...they start early in the am!! :D



ownedbycats January 30th, 2010 10:33 PM

Chris, I'll have to post a picture of the hedge to show you (complete with birds:D). It is a 6 foot and counting cedar hedge, meaning each individual plant is a small tree, with closely placed, fairly thick branches. The branches are closely placed enough that if one won't hold a cat's weight they will balance on two or three or four. Next time Seuss decides to go on a climbing expedition I'll get pictures of that, too, showing you how he uses several branches when one isn't big enough..

hazelrunpack January 30th, 2010 10:47 PM

No LBBs, Chris, cuz I have no pics. :D At least not of what Winston likely has... Ours pretty much just migrate through. I have some pics somewhere of white-throated sparrows and juncos, maybe even a fox sparrow...if I can find them, I'll post them, too.

As to how they find mates if the gender ratio is skewed, some of them don't...but there can also be a fair amount of infidelity even in monogamous species, so a lot of them will lurk and await their chance to flirt with the ladies when their mates are away forgaging (or flirting with yet other ladies :rolleyes:) There may likely be other individuals that will move into the area as spring arrives, too, so your bachelors may yet be able to find a lady-love of their very own (give or take a few dalliances that happen on the side :laughing:)

Winston, I have that field guide, too! It kept falling out of my photo vest, though, cuz it's a little taller than the Golden one. I'd lean over to look at some plant or other and I'd hear this plop as it fell out and landed in the patch of poison ivy I always seem to be near :laughing: But it's a pretty good guide.

The red-bellied woodpecker is just a few cm longer than the hairy, and it's stouter, so yes, it is bigger.

What kind of birds fill your hedge, ownedbycats?

Jim Hall January 31st, 2010 09:17 AM

sparrows all kinds never saw a b/w though cool

hazelrunpack January 31st, 2010 11:09 AM

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Here a few LBBs for you Chris and Winston.

The first two are yellow-rumped warblers--one in the sun at the top of the spruce and one in a more usual place, hopping around in the pine.

These are both from October, during the migration. Yellow-rumped warblers are among the earliest to arrive and the latest to leave each year. They'll be back in April.

hazelrunpack January 31st, 2010 11:23 AM

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A pine siskin:
Except for the heavily streaked breast, it's very easy to mistake them for goldfinches--they're about the same size and the pattern on the wing is similar.

Siskins are pretty common, we see a few every year--but last year there was an irruption of pine siskins and common redpolls. We were inundated with both species! Very exciting!

Redpolls (notice the red on the head that helps distinguish them from pine siskins and goldfinches).
We probably won't see another redpoll for 2 or 3 years still the next irruption.

And here are some American goldfinches in winter plumage at the feeders for comparison.

All three of these species are similar in size and often feed together at the feeders.

hazelrunpack January 31st, 2010 11:28 AM

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And finally, in the category of LBBs, some juncos and white-throated sparrows.

The dark-eyed junco is on the left and the white-throated sparrow on the right.

A dark-eyed junco solo:

A white-throated sparrow close up:

Both of these are about the size of house sparrows.

That's all I can find. I have some somewhere of fox sparrows, but they've gone MIA :o

About the only thing I haven't posted here is the red-tailed hawk from a couple of winters ago and the purple finches. Maybe later...the Pack wants out now. :D

ownedbycats January 31st, 2010 01:50 PM

Our hedge mostly has sparrows. That male cardinal keeps visiting briefly, and he brought his mate one day, I got some pics, just have to resize. Oh, and occasionally starlings, but they seem to have temporarily deserted us. And of course, there are the cat "birds" (though now I want pics to show, they have all gone on vacation, :crazy: critters)

hazelrunpack January 31st, 2010 03:50 PM

Our cardinal pair has been absent this winter :( I hope they resurface in spring! Did you get cardinal pics, ownedbycats? :fingerscr

Chris21711 January 31st, 2010 06:02 PM

Nice foray of pics Hazel :thumbs up....We have a few different kinds of sparrows, I will try and get pics :rolleyes:...I'm not too good at identifying the different kinds...I read my books and convince myself that I will remember indentifying marks and then I fergits :o

Hopefully my Cardinal population continues growing and none of the males look for greener pastures.

Looking forward to seeing your pics [B]ownedbycats :)[/B]

ownedbycats February 1st, 2010 09:56 AM

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Here is the cardinal couple. The male is showier, but I love the gentler patterned reds on the female (and she has a crest too!)

ownedbycats February 1st, 2010 10:00 AM

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And it sounds like Chris and Hazel get lots of these guys, but this was the first time EVER that I have seen one at our place. (and we have lived here for 20 years. ) granted, when I was really little I probably didn't pay much attention to species, but once I got older I aalways used to check and see what was visiting. This is the least fuzzy shot. Those little guys are QUICK! (Excuse typing mistakes, I have cats "helping")

Chris21711 February 1st, 2010 10:24 AM

Neat pics [B]ownedbycats [/B]I too really like the female Cardinals, the males are showier but the creamy colours on the female remind me of Waxwings and I just love it :cloud9:.

Not too many Chickadees in your area....which area of Ontario do you live?...sorry to be nosey :o

hazelrunpack February 1st, 2010 11:25 AM

I love that pic of Mama Cardinal sitting on the lawn chair, ownedbycats! :flirt: What a great shot! Papa Cardinal is pretty handsome, too! I really hope ours come back from wherever they've gotten off to :pray:

hazelrunpack February 4th, 2010 01:59 PM

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I was out throwing some seed under the bushes this morning and this white-breasted nuthatch landed about 12 feet away (less than 4 m) and posed for a pic. :cloud9:


hazelrunpack February 4th, 2010 02:01 PM

I just noticed the shadow under your flying chickadee, ownedbycats! That's pretty cool! :D

Chris21711 February 4th, 2010 03:29 PM

You was throwing seed :eek:....I thought you placed each one gingerly :laughing:....nice clear pic Hazel :thumbs up...I haven't seen my Nuthatch for a couple of days now :(

I must be getting delusional, I thought I saw a female Cowbird at one of the feeders, ya right, come back in 2 months from now :yell:

hazelrunpack February 4th, 2010 07:48 PM

I don't usually throw it--only when the goldfinches start lining up in the sumac. :D Today they were massing so I tossed some sunflower and some thistle in under the bushes so more of them could eat. The feeders will only accommodate about 15 of them.

Chris21711 February 5th, 2010 10:40 AM

This morning when I came back upstairs to make beds etc....I took a lookie out of the window and there were 3 male Cardinals in the cedar hedge, they looked like Xmas ornaments on a Xmas tree :cloud9:

ownedbycats February 5th, 2010 12:34 PM

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If I'm posting too many pics, tell me, but I really wanted to show you these ones I got of the woodpecker at the dog park yesterday. Sunshine found him for me, scared him close to me, let me take one shot, then scared him away :laughing: We found him again later, and I got one as he was taking off, to get away from the pesky photographer. The nest we found at waist height in a bunch of thin low bushes, and I thought this was the best place to post it. No idea what made it.

Jim Hall February 5th, 2010 01:03 PM

ohho so thats what i saw a while back in the park never saw one flying in a pic till now

Chris21711 February 5th, 2010 02:56 PM

Great pics of the Hairy Woodpecker you got there [B]ownedbycats [/B]the nest could have belonged maybe to a Goldfinch, I'm not sure though....maybe Hazel will have a better idea.

I have a collection of nests, my pride and joy being the Hummingbird nest I have. I did post a pic of it a while ago, I'll look for it :)

Chris21711 February 5th, 2010 03:01 PM

In this thread is the pic of the Hummingbird nest :cloud9:


luckypenny February 5th, 2010 08:06 PM

Oh I [I]love[/I] this thread and all the photos :cloud9:. I wish I could add a few :( but the dogs keep scaring all the birds away when I get close enough to get a shot :frustrated:.

So far I've seen lots of Blue Jays, a couple of Cardinals, and man, can we ever hear the woodpeckers in the woods out back. Why do they peck :shrug: :o?

hazelrunpack February 5th, 2010 11:05 PM

[QUOTE=Chris21711;881321]In this thread is the pic of the Hummingbird nest :cloud9:

How did I ever miss that, Chris? :eek: I musta been unconscious at the time! :o In all my years of looking, I've yet to find a hummingbird nest in the wild... maybe this year! :fingerscr

That's a great catch of the hairy in flight, ownedbycats!!! :cloud9: Nice shot on the tree, too. :thumbs up I'd guess goldfinch for the owner of the nest, too--but it's just a guess. I'm not very good at nest identification. :o

LP, the peck cuz if they didn't, they'd have to be renamed, of course. :o


OK, OK, that was madame hazel being a PITA :p I know they peck to find food--they actually peck grubs out of the wood...they find them by listening for them :eek: And they also peck as part of their courtship ritual--in spring the males look for hollow logs or metal-clad poles to peck on because it makes them sound louder and their stacatto love messages travel farther. :lovestruck: The pileated woodpeckers hammering on the metal guards on the power poles along the utility company right-of-way here in spring can be quite deafening at times. :D

ownedbycats February 6th, 2010 05:27 AM

Goldfinch, really? Thanks for the identificataion, now I'll know to watch for them. We switched dog parks in the late fall, so I have only been going to this one over the winter and don't really know all the birds. (I only recognize the most common birds anyway.) I saw another nest, higher up, but it was in tree/bush above my head and the plant had inch long thorns. I'll post a pic if I can find a way to get close without getting shredded.

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