Outside My Window
The storm has passed, we didn’t get as much snow as expected and the streets are clear of ice for the most part. However, it is cold out there and THE BOSS is down with a bad cold so I’m staying close to home while Buddy and I nurse her back to health. I’ve prescribed bed rest, Nyquil and Lipton’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Buddy has volunteered to lie on top of the patient if that’s what it takes to make her rest.
In the meantime, I’ve had my lens pointed out the bedroom window as our feathered friends return for the free buffet in Burd Town. These are a few of the species I captured today.
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
These guys travel in large groups and are bullies. They’ll chase all the other birds off the feeders and spill more seed on the ground than they eat.
As is the case with human bullies, starlings are also cowards and startle easily. If I move too suddenly while seated at the window they make a beeline for the trees and do the same at the first glimpse of Buddy coming out the door. Odd because when Buddy is in the yard the birds are safe from marauding cats.
However, their slovenly ways and atrocious table manners do not go completely unappreciated. Mourning doves are ground feeders and there is always a feast awaiting them under the feeders when the starlings have been around.
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
These are a couple of the mourning doves mentioned above. They take their name from the fact that they mate for life. If the mate dies the remaining bird will live out it’s life without taking another mate. We have a flock of at least 2 dozen birds and there is a solo member of their flock who always arrives alone and leaves alone
Having the solo bird attached to the flock benefits the entire group because it usually arrives first, apparently to scout the feeding area and ensure it is safe to feed. After feeding for a few minutes it will fly off into the trees, returning several minutes later with the rest of the group. While they eat it perches on a nearby power line, keeping watch while the others eat.
Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
Today I managed to get shots of the male (above) and the elusive female (below). She doesn’t stay in one place very long and it’s tough to get a good shot of her but I was lucky this afternoon.