The view from my perch on the mountain

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

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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.

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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.

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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 

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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

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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 

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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.

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12 responses

  1. Great photos… tell Frankie to get better… and you hold Buddy to his promise to lay on her if necessary!

    January 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    • He’s on the job as I type!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:18 PM

  2. What a view from the bedroom window! So glad you’re feeding your burdz, even the little bullies. Your recipe for Frankie’s return to good health, is one of my favorite go tos in such cases. Tell her we’re thinking of her! Since she’s down, are you or Buddy BOSS today?

    January 27, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    • We’re taking turns, Jeanne. That more than anything will get Frankie back on her feet in a hurry!

      January 27, 2011 at 5:17 PM

  3. I enjoyed the info on the feeding habits of the Mourning doves. I knew they mated for life but I never considered the role of the widow or widower regarding the welfare of the flock. Interesting observation.
    Now on to another note. Stay away from Buddy’s meds!
    Oh, and one more: Get well quick Frankie!
    j

    January 27, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    • Aw gee golly gosh, that’s what THE BOSS said! Buddy says they taste like chikun. My meds don’t taste like chikun; they taste like…..I don’t know, paint stripper or wart remover or something! And his are in a plain old easy open bottle while the damned pharmacist puts the meds for the arthritis in my hands in childproof bottles no matter how many of his stupid little forms I fill out! Then I have to un- childproof ’em and that makes Frankie yell at me; stuff like “Why are you setting up your miter saw? What are you planning to do with that axe? Don’t light that fuse until I get over on the other side of the ridge!” or the ever popular “You better come out from under that bed and take your lumps like a man you big sissy!”

      January 27, 2011 at 7:15 PM

  4. I love these shots! I’m wondering if the Starlings are as big a bullies as the Cardinals I’ve had around lately. Geez, my Cardinals have turned into the birds from hell, running off every other bird or even a gnat near the seed. I never knew they could run so fast across a porch, head down, and heading in a no nonsense attack on the rest. Wow, it’s been a trip lately.
    Tell Frankie I hope she gets better really quickly. It’s no fun being down sick.
    XXX

    January 27, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    • The starlings and blue jays are the bullies here with starlings being the worst. They even chase the blue jays off and they’re bigger than the starlings!

      January 27, 2011 at 7:50 PM

  5. Awesome photography! you have captured such beautiful birds. Jx

    January 27, 2011 at 10:52 PM

  6. the colours of the starlings and the “walrus moustache” of the woodpecker … – beautiful pictures again!

    January 28, 2011 at 1:45 AM

  7. I love the color of all the birds. Mine are mostly gone. I m not sure why but they have. They left when we got so much snow. I hope they come back and I know the spring birds will. I cant wait.

    January 29, 2011 at 1:16 PM

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