During the 18 years we resided in south Florida, I was disappointed if our early morning walks in the Wounded Wetlands provided sightings of less than 20 bird species. Here in inland northern Connecticut, I expected to find about ten "target" winter resident species. After settling in for a couple of weeks, I put up an iron shepherd's hook and hung a tube feeder filled with black oil sunflower seeds and a suet cake. It attracted absolutely no birds until the fourth day (January 13) when a Tufted Titmouse visited.
My photos were of poor quality, as I was shooting through the double-glazed windows of the front door, although I had carefully washed both inside and outside surfaces.
Almost immediately, there was an explosion of avian visitors. Black-capped Chickadees were next to arrive:
The titmice dominated the feeder, chasing away the chickadees, which flew in and quickly perched just long enough to grasp a single sunflower seed and fly back to a tree to hack open its shell.
I had mixed some white proso millet with the sunflower seeds. The titmice scattered the millet on the ground as they retrieved the black seeds. This was good for the ground-feeding Dark-eyed Juncos, which gathered under the feeder:
They were joined by White-throated Sparrows which scratched with both feet at the same time to expose the fallen millet seeds:
A male Northern Cardinal flew in. He attempted to take some of the sunflower seeds, but the perch was too small. He settled for whatever fell to the ground:
He was joined by a demure female cardinal:
The word "demure" popped into my vocabulary. I meant it to describe her more sudued but certainly beautiful plumage, not her attitude or "birdsonality."
A Blue Jay visited briefly:
The suet feeder attracted a Downy Woodpecker. Note that it has black bars on its tail.
I was surprised when a Hairy Woodpecker suddenly arrived. While its plumage is nearly identical to that of the Downy Woodpecker, this larger bird has a proportionally longer bill (about the length of its head). It also lacks black bars on its outer tail feathers. (To remember this distinction I say that the Hairy "H'aint" got any black tail bars). Red on its head indicates that it is a male;:
While they did not visit the feeders, a flock of "Bonus Birds" settled into trees behind the feeder, too far away for good images but clearly identifiable as Cedar Waxwings:
We were delighted when the waxwings flew into a holly tree next to our door to feed on its red berries. They were so close to an adjacent window that I could not fit the entire birds into the viewfinder:
Eight species on the first day! The birds seemed to be jumping for joy:
Cold night on January 15 (minus 16.1 C):
Over a foot of snow fell after I put up the feeder on January 9:
That night at 9:30 PM in ambient darkness I took this photo with my iPhone 11 Pro Max. The only light was a wash from a window to the left, and the hand-held exposure was 1.5 second. It revealed hidden color and beauty. The low light performance of the phone camera is amazing:
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Fences Around the World
Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)
Our World Tuesday
Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display