Monday, December 15, 2008

Since we didn't go to work...

...we decided to post a whole buncha photos. Today there wasn't any precipitation but it was bitterly cold! We awoke to temps in the teens and wind gusts of up to 45 MPH. Yowza! We finally ventured outside, after getting so bundled up that I'm sure that we looked like large spheres rolling down the street.

They are calling for more snow on Wed. and Thurs. and then again on Sun. The storm on Sun. is supposed to be pretty big. If Portland keeps these low temps for another few days, it will be the coldest stretch of winter in over 30 years. Michelle and I didn't go to work today, so birding was a major part of the day. Here are some more photos and we hope you all enjoy! Good birding and stay WARM!


Our resident male Anna's Hummingbird in for some fresh nectar. We had been swapping feeders out every few hours until we read a wonderful article by NW Nature Nut. You can read it here: http://backyardbirdshop.com/index.php/site/archives/cold_weather_tips_for_hummingbird_feeders/ and it is full of great tips and info on keeping your hummingbirds happy throughout the cold winter months.

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The resident female Anna's on the same feeder a few minutes later.


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The male Anna's attended the feeder every few minutes. The cold weather has taken away a lot of their normal food sources.

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Braving the wind and snow for a little sugar water!

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A male Red/Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker hybrid. You can tell by the red markings on the back of the neck. A true Red-Shafted doesn't have any red on the back of the neck and a male Yellow-Shafted would have a black mustache instead of a red one. Laura over at http://www.laurawhittemore.blogspot.com/ just caught one of these on her Wingscapes BirdCam. This is the first hybrid that we have seen this fall/winter season.

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They (the hybrids) seem to be more protective/defensive of their food source than the "regular" Red-Shafted Flicker.

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The hybrid chasing of Starlings from his suet feeder. The pure Red-Shafted Northern Flickers will often leave the feeder without much of a fight. But not this guy.

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A White-Crowned Sparrow searching for some tasty treats in the snow.

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The Sharp-Shinned Hawks have, again, started coming back into the yard more often.

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Their visits had decreased dramatically over the last couple of weeks.

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We thought it might be in part to a juvenile Cooper's Hawk that we have been seeing more of. The Cooper's will not allow a Sharp-Shinned to live in the same area.

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However, this Sharp-Shinned was more than happy to stop by for a visit and pose for a few shots.

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2 Lessers waiting their turn for one of the thistle sacks in the grapevine.

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Water is extremely important to our feathered friends during the icy months. They need fresh water now more than ever!

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Juncos, Junco everywhere!

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Taken through our living room window. Just sitting on the lights, trying to figure out what sounds good for dinner. Nyjer? Black-Oil Sunflower Seed? Suet? Hmmmm.

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This Junco absolutely loves the homemade suet. He'll sit there forever just eating away.

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This bush sits right outside our bathroom window. A Junco waiting for a good seat to open up at the "Ground Feeding" restaurant.

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A Junco just outside our backdoor on the grapevine that grows there.

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The House Finch and the Junco out for a little stroll and some lunch.

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2 female House Finches enjoying a newly filled feeder.

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A House Finch, Pine Siskin and a Junco snacking on the seed underneath our bedroom window.

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We have seen very, very few Robins this fall. But this morning, just down the street from us, we found about 20 Robins eating cotoneaster and holly berries! I think the frigid temps might have something to do with the big flock.

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Before our walk today, I filled this feeder with mounds of mixed seed. After our return, only 2 hours later, we found the feeder empty. This poor little Black-Capped Chickadee was not very impressed with our empty feeder.
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As annoying as the Starlings can be, they really are gorgeous birds.

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Chestnut-Backed Chickadees sharing a little suet.

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A Chestnut-Backed Chickadee on a "nutball" purchased from The Backyard Bird Shop. The Chickadees, Nuthatches and even the Finches like these tasty treats!

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Our birdbath this morning about 7:30 am. We purchased a birdbath heating element today. The water flow can not keep up with the sub-freezing temps on it's own.

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We walked up to the store today to get some appropriate weather-wear and as we were walking back, we were somewhat struck by our shadows. We have a tradition in our household that we do not leave the house during the month of December without wearing antlers on our heads. We have many fuzzy sets of antlers (even a set that we put on the car) that we have picked up over time and I hope we continue this tradition for a long, long time!

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Such an odd year. Roses still blooming and half of our trees have new buds on them as if they assume that it is spring again. Little did they know...

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Gem, our indoor kitty, stares longingly at the Juncos just outside the window.
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One of our pups, Ashley, enjoying the snow!

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6 comments:

dAwN said...

Well that was a fun few minutes of cyber birdwatching in oregon..yikes..all that ice...i am glad i am in north carolina right now.
loved the tour and tee hee...the antlers were cute.

Stephanie said...

Great pics! I love the antlers, how cute! My new birdbath heater is working nicely! So far it's kept up with 2 nights of single digit weather, negative degrees with the windchill. BUURRRRR!!!

NW Nature Nut said...

Thanks for all the plugs! I'm glad the hummer tips helped. The feeders that I have in a container with holiday lights under it are working well. I have the lights that are the big ones that give off a little heat. Out heat lamp bulb gave up and I put a regular bulb in it, but it can't really keep it thawed well. Yesterday when the sun came out in the afternoon, I think it got enough heat off the house that it stayed thawed. I was up at 6am yesterday putting out the hummer feeders and turning on the "systems". They showed up at 7:25am. So today I got up at 7am and got them out at 7:20 and they were waiting!

Love the antlers! By the way, when your seed ball disappears, you can get that same blend in a cake that fits in a suet cage too.

Stay warm!

Sandy said...

I'm skimming through quickly (due to lack of time). Enjoyed the photos and I'm hoping my comment posts because I've been having compute rproblems...

Ann4mation said...

I'm so happy I've found your page with all the wonderful bird snaps! I have no garden where I live, but since the last of the leaves disappeared, my kitten has hardly left off meowrling at the glass french doors that look out onto our tiny deck -- that's when I realized how many winter birds were perched in the tree next to it. Somehow didn't think about their food sources til it snowed, and then we rushed to the pet store and bought suet and birdseed, and now I'm getting very curious about just what kinds of birds I'm feeding...which is how I found your blog -- thanks so much!

me ann my camera said...

What a wonderful group of pictures and birds! I have never seen, or heard of, a Chestnut-backed Chickadee, how beautiful they must be!! It was a delightful surprise to see such a bird! Lovely.

It does look and sound cold there. We are used to such weather but when it is unusual it is and adjustment and a change for sure, for both birds and people! Hope it warms up soon for you all.