Saturday, August 25, 2007

High Wire Act

I noticed the other day that my suet feeder had a unusual hole up at the top of the block. Most the birds that frequent the suet block are Carolina Wrens and occasionally, my little Downy Woodpecker friend.

These are very small birds and don't get much when they peck at it. So this large hole was definitely a mystery to me.

Well, I finally found the culprit. I have several Blue Jays in my back yard. They have seem to have developed a knack for hanging upside down to peck at the suet to knock it loose and get a little bit to eat.

They look particularly strange as they hang precariously upside down from the limb above the suet feeder.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Addition to the Backyard!

I got a call from Shelley the other day about a new bird she noticed on one of the tube feeders in our backyard. She described it as bright yellow with a black cap and black wings. I felt for sure that it was a Goldfinch. I've been watching the feeder ever since trying to catch him.

He hasn't returned yet but he have must brought a friend.

I've saw the female Goldfinch today at the feeder. The female is not as bright and colorful as the male. The Goldfinch is easily identifiable as it is one of only a few yellow birds in Arkansas that is this small.

With the female around, the male can't be far behind. Check back soon, I'll have a picture of him.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

These days here in Arkansas have been some of the hottest on record! We reached 104 degrees several days last week. The bird activity has pretty much come to a stand still in my backyard.

I caught this squirrel getting a drink out of the fountain yesterday. The fountain is having trouble keeping up with the hot weather too. I refill it sometimes twice a day!

It's only supposed to reach 99 degress today. What a cold front!
There are still a few regulars that don't seem to be too effected by the weather. My little Downy friend is still very active. I caught this picture of him this morning on his breakfast run!

On a personal note, I read a great blog post this morning over at Journey Through Grace about a gentleman with Lou Gehrig's Disease. Take time to read the post and be sure to give thanks to the Lord for all he has blessed you with.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sweet Sip of Nectar

I have a male Downy Woodpecker that loves the peanuts in the feeder I have in my back yard. He frequents the feeder several times during the day. The Downy is the smallest woodpecker in North America measuring only 6 3/4". Male Downy Woodpeckers have a red patch on the back of the head.

The Downy is very similar to the Hairy Woodpecker in appearance. The Hairy is larger and lacks the dark bars on the outer tail feathers.
I love watching the little woodpecker on the peanut and suet feeder. He has started exhibiting a strange behavior today that I haven't noticed before. He has been sipping nectar from the Hummingbird feeder! I've heard that woodpeckers like fruit so this may be the reason why he likes the sweet, sugar water.

It may be because of the extreme 100 degree heat we've had lately. I've never seen a woodpecker at my bird bath before so I'm not sure where they get water from.
I know where he got some today!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dance of the Flickers!

We went out to dinner tonight and got back to the house about 7pm. As usual, I checked our backyard for bird activity. Late in the day toward evening, the birds come out to eat dinner. Tonight, I noticed two birds out in the back of the yard on the ground.

They were two Northern Flickers, bobbing and weaving around. I thought that it was a male and a female at first, but upon closer inspection, they were both males. Notice the black moustaches!

After thinking about what was going on, it must have been a show of dominance between these two males. I watched these two and it went on for at least 2o minutes. The moved their display up on a fence and continued doing their dance.

I've included a short video of some of the 'dancing' that was going on between the two Northern Flickers.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

White-Breasted Nuthatch

This weekend was another one visiting Brush Mountain in central Arkansas. I did a little bird watching and saw several titmice flitting about in the trees. They were flying up to the bird feeder at the house and then back out to the trees to eat the seeds they had found.

While watching the titmice, I was saw a White-breasted Nuthatch climbing up and down a tree. These birds are 5.75" tall with a wingspan of 11". Nuthatches are tree climbers with a woodpecker-like bill. They have a square cut tail but it is not used to brace them as they typically go down trees headfirst.

There are 31 species worldwide with only 4 species residing in North America.

The White-breasted Nuthatch is identified by their black cap with beady black eyes on a white face.

They are present over most of the U.S. from southern Canada to the Gulf Coast and from the Atlantic to the West. They are absent in the treeless plains and prairie of Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma.


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