From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bird Update

Feathered friends



Recently, I wrote about a mystery bird who is fixated on getting inside our house. Sarabeth and Mark thought it might be a bluebird female. Heelers hoped it might be a little robin.

I got out the bird books again and read about the markings of female and juvenile bluebirds. The books said to look for patches of blue on their backs and wings.

Then, I tried to get a good look at my little bird's back and wings -- not an easy thing to do! When he approached the windows, his wings were moving much too fast to see their color. He often landed on the outside window sill, but he flew away in a fright everytime I tried to look through the window at him.

So, I had to foil my little feathered friend. I opened the window about an inch -- just enough so I could peek through the crack. When the little bird came back, he fluttered around the window, trying to get in. Then, as is his custom, he perched on the window sill. I peeked through my little viewing slot. His wing was directly before me, and yes, there was a small patch of blue on it.

My opinion is that he is indeed a bluebird. (Sorry, Heelers.)

The bird books say the juveniles have speckled breasts. I didn't see even a hint of speckles, but I do think it's a juvenile. Surely an adult female wouldn't spend so much time, day after day, trying to get into the house. She'd be too busy with nest-building or egg-setting or baby-feeding.

In other news on the bird beat, a red-bellied woodpecker has been visiting the hummingbird feeders recently. He is not a particularly large red-belly, but he's heavy for the hummingbird feeder. When he lands on the little perch, the feeder lists to that side. In a day's time, he drinks or spills a couple of inches of sugar water.

All in all, it's been an interesting spring for bird watching.

4 comments:

RunAwayImagination said...

We find that the woodpeckers love our suet cage.

Mark said...

No woodpeckers on the hummingbird feeder, but we finally are getting back close to our full population of hummers from last year.

ptg said...

I'm seeing lots of goldfinches this year. I don't feed them, so I'm surprised they are hanging around.

Genevieve said...

They are finding some sort of seeds in the area, I assure you.

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IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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