Birds of Winter, Part III

Eastern Bluebird (male)

There are four bluebirds who have been visiting my feeders all day everyday for the past few months. And they eat a lot. So much that I’ve gotten in the habit of refilling the mealworm trays before I go to sleep at night–in case I am not outside before sunrise to make sure they have their favorite breakfast. And, indeed, by the time I begin my morning chores (usually about 45 minutes after sunrise), all of the mealworms I left out the night before are gone.

Eastern Bluebird (female)

I have come to realize they will eat as many dried mealworms as I can provide, as well as split peanuts, safflower seeds, and sunflower hearts. Though, I don’t mind one bit, of course, as they’re a joy to have around. It is, to my mind, difficult to see a bluebird on a bright, sunny day and not smile. “Bluebirds of happiness,” indeed.

Hermit Thrush

Anyway, it probably goes without saying that the bluebirds above are among my favorite photographs in this collection, as are the little Hermit Thrush in a brush pile (above), an acrobatic Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and three photographs of a Purple Finch showing off his magnificent raspberry plumage (below).

A quick note about Ruby-crowned Kinglets: Males of the species have red feathers on the tops of their heads that stand up in a kind of “ruby crown” when they are alert or excited. Otherwise, those feathers remain fairly well hidden (In that case, it’s impossible to differentiate between sexes.). It is my goal, before winter’s end, to get a photograph of the full ruby crown on display. I haven’t had that opportunity yet, but here is a photograph in which the patch of bright red head feathers is clearly visible.

I do hope you enjoy these.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (male)
Purple Finch (male)
Mourning Dove
Pine Warbler (female)
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (male)
Blue Jay with a peanut
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Red-shouldered Hawk
White-breasted Nuthatch (male)
Purple Finch (male)
Purple Finch (female, both)
House Finch (male) with a safflower seed
Carolina Wren at golden hour
Northern Cardinal (male)
Mourning Dove
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Purple Finch (male)
Tufted Titmouse
House Finch (female)
Purple Finch (female)

18 responses to “Birds of Winter, Part III”

  1. Fab photos ✨ I can’t seem to attract a bluebird no matter how many mealworms and other prime-quality, hull-less mix I provide. Perhaps you are amidst a more rural habitat? We do get a wide variety of woodpeckers… also, nuthatch, chickadees, titmouse (or are they mice?) sparrows and finch (of course) and my beloved Carolina wren, is always nearby. The feeder has summoned the return of the white-throated sparrow (hauntingly charming spring song I adore).

    I watch, but without proper equipment, I’d never attempt photo captures like yours. Thanks for sharing ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, Donna. It’s interesting: I attracted very few bluebirds last winter (if memory serves, they were more interested in visiting the bath than the feeders), and I only occasionally see them in spring and summer. But, this winter, the four of them are at my feeders all the time. I, too, have White-throated Sparrows this winter (and I love that you call their song “hauntingly charming”–perfect description), but I barely saw them last winter. I also didn’t have any Purple Finches last year, and this year, it looks like there are at least two pairs in the neighborhood. Some of it must be luck of the draw, I think, especially when it comes to migratory birds.

      The Carolina Wrens never fail to make me smile, either. And the titmice, chickadees, and nuthatches are always around. Thank you for commenting, and I’m happy you enjoyed these photographs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! These photos are truly beautiful! You nailed them 🙂 the purple finch is so stunning. And as always, I have a soft spot for the Eastern Bluebird. And thank you for sharing the Ruby-crowned Kinglets “red spot”. I love that and can’t wait for you to capture it when it’s standing at alert!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my friend! For the past month or so, I have been waiting to capture a Purple Finch in just the right light. They are so handsome! As for the kinglet…I wait patiently. They seem to be attracted to a suet feeder I’ve placed on a shepherd’s hook in my garden. They are so tiny, they were always getting pushed around by bigger birds at the main feeders. But the new one seems to be a place where they can eat in relative peace and solitude. So, I’m hoping they continue to feel comfortable and keep coming around…and start showing off more of their colors! 🙂


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