Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Visit From an Old Friend and Visits from Many Birds!

 An old friend from Xerox days was up visiting from Dallas this week and I got a chance to spend some time with her and her husband at her cousin's house here in Rochester.  Her cousin lives in this wonderful ranch with lots of land around it and many feeders visible from her kitchen window.  My friend, knowing I hadn't bought my camera the last time I visited here several years ago, urged me to bring it this time.  All these pictures were taken through the kitchen window and I was amazed at the quality!  This is of course a male Cardinal who is molting I think.  There were a number of females hanging out as well.

 I wanted this and the next picture close to each other as you can easily see the differences between the Downy (first picture) and the Hairy Woodpeckers (besides the relative size -- Hairy is bigger).  These are both males with that little dab of red on their heads.  The beak on the Hairy is much longer proportionally to the size of the head.  It looks like the stripes on the head are a little more pronounced as well but that may just be difference in individuals.  This was the first time I have seen them together so much.  There were a number of females of both the Hairy and Downy as well (missing that red patch on the head).

Really woodpecker heaven as there were also several of these Red-bellied Woodpeckers both male and female again.

Another of the Red-bellied Woodpeckers and here you can see his distinctive red belly!

Also there were Catbirds at the feeder -- you can see his red tail underparts here.

Here is a female Red-breasted Grosbeak although we didn't see any of the males.  She looks very much like the female Purple Finches except she is larger.

This is a Tufted Titmouse.  We saw many of these as well as the flighty Nuthatches -- never did get a good shot of one of them!!  There were also Juncos visiting when I first got there -- it was a very active feeder site.  She says she has to put out more suet about every day which I believe with all those woodpeckers!

There were also both male and female Blue Jays.  I saw my first Blue Jay here at home just this week.  I used to see them all the time but not in the past few years.  When we first moved here, our feeders were very active and I saw about every woodpecker native to this area at one time or another.  The raccoons discovered the feeders and then the squirrels (after many years) finally figured out how to get food from them by balancing precariously.  So we discontinued putting out the feed while our neighbors still do.

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