The Littlest Guests

Carolina Chickadee

As you’ve probably noticed, I tend to include a variety of species in my bird photography posts. As a result, I’m sometimes afraid that I focus too much on larger, visually stunning species, like hawks, jays, and certain woodpeckers, and I, perhaps, don’t give enough attention to the littlest guests at my feeders. So, I thought I’d give them a post of their own.

Some of these little songbirds are difficult to photograph because they always seem to be moving. When a flock of 5-10 chickadees visits my feeders, for example, it is a constant flurry of activity: back and forth between the feeders and the trees, then to the bird bath, then back to the feeders. They never stop moving. The same can be said for titmice and nuthatches. That said, I do appreciate them (and appreciate them a bit more when they sit still long enough for a photograph). Please enjoy.

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Fun fact: according to my field guide, the littlest guest at my bird feeders is a Brown-headed Nuthatch, with the Carolina Chickadee coming in a very close second. Brown-headed Nuthatches live in or around pine forests of the southeastern US, and they make a very distinctive “squeaky toy” or “rubber ducky” sound. (You can listen to their call in the video below.) They are 3.9-4.3 in (10-11 cm) in length with a wingspan of 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm), and they weigh in at a whopping 0.4 oz (10 g).

Pine Warbler (male)
House Finch (male)
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
White-breasted Nuthatch (male)
House Finch (female)
Eastern Bluebird (juvenile)
Carolina Chickadee at sunset
House Finch (male)
Eastern Phoebe (hunts insects near bird feeders)
Chipping Sparrow
Tufted Titmouse

Also, this afternoon, I had my first sighting of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker for the season. They’re a small-medium size woodpecker that migrates south from Canada and the northern US for winter. These photographs show a juvenile who has just drilled fresh sap wells in a birch tree.

9 responses to “The Littlest Guests”

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