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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Oh What A Beautiful Morning

We have been feeling quite put out and envious of the snow that the rest of the state has been getting storm after storm since early January. We can look up into the foothills and the Sandias themselves and see the covering of white, while we have just grey cloud cover and unremitting cold. But, last night we finally got a dusting here in the city ourselves, and it certainly brought the birds into our yard.  The hanging feeders bring in tons of sparrows, finches, juncoes, chickadees;  and the seed dropped from them onto the ground brings several different kinds of doves (as well, unfortunately, as that urban species of pest, the pigeon). (Photo: Male Downy) But it's the suet feeders on the cottonwood that bring the woodpeckers, and this morning I couldn't tear myself away from the kitchen window, where the cats and I do our winter birding.

There was a pair of ladderback woodpeckers, and a pair of downies, bopping up and down the trunks and branches, flashing to the suet blocks for a bite, then back up into the branches to check for insects. They are in fact all still there as I write this now. It's a marvelous show, as the males flash their red patches.  There has been a curvebill thrasher on the cottonwood suet feeder for the past weeks, but I didn't see it this morning. The snow brings that wonderful negative ion feel-good high, and I'm looking forward to going out for my Thursday stint at the Rio Grande Nature Center shortly. (Photo: Male Ladderback)  Both photos in this post are from the pricelessly fabulous Western Views US photoblog.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful birds and photos. Thanks for sharing.


Neil said...

Great photo of that male downy. MaryBeth and I have enjoyed watching the birds in our yard, more easily observed now that snow covers almost everything in sight. Drinking a cup of coffee and admiring the birds in my yard -- now that's a fine way to spend a morning!

marigolds2 said...

It is just exactly the way I spend every morning I am home. With snow, w/out snow, the yard outside our kitchen window is always full of birds. I discovered the reason the woodpeckers were so busy recently is that they're looking for mates, getting ready to nest. Maybe we'll even have some junior woodpeckers this spring!!!