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Monday, September 14, 2009

Backyard Feathered Friends

Sometimes it's the simple things that bring joy. For us, it's sitting outside and watching nature. Our favorite thing to do is watch the little animals and birds that visit our yard. The birds that we have here in Texas are so varied and beautiful and I thought I'd share them with you.
American yellow finch and lesser gold finch flock to the thistle socks in the spring. They can't resist them! About 19 or 20 fit on the socks and the rest of them wait their turn in the branches above.

The is a Great Roadrunner. We used to have two that came by, but now it's only one. He's very shy and it's difficult to get a good picture of him.

Very common to this area is the gorgeous Cardinal. This is a male. I forgot to get a photo of the female. She is grey-ish brown and not nearly as colorful as he is.

I think this is a Carolina Chickadee. They're not exactly supposed to be in our area, but I'm not complaining when they visit. They're so cute!

These two little love birds are Common Ground-Doves. They're much smaller than the Mourning Dove. They're always together. So sweet.

This is the female Painted Bunting. She's an overall grey-ish green. Take a look at her handsome husband below...

This beautiful bird is the Western King bird (I think). They don't come to my feeders, they come to the pond. The way they take a bath is by doing a cannon-ball into the pond. At first we thought they were after the fish, but after watching them, it was obvious they were diving in to get wet, then fly up to the branches to preen.

Although this male Summer Tanager is supposed to be in our area all summer, we only saw him and his lovely lady (below) for a few days. They're spectacular in real life. He's almost a neon red and she's the brightest yellow. Beautiful!

It's a hoot to watch this Ladder-backed Woodpecker eat. He pops back and forth to see if you're watching. We had a little family of them in late spring. The babies are even funnier as they peck at everything to see if it's edible.

This is the Black-Crested Titmouse. They're all over the place and very brave. I'll be out having lunch under a tree and they will sit within an arms reach to get at sunflower seeds in the feeders.

You've already met the painted bunting. The much larger, and very aggressive grey bird in the upper right corner is a Northern Mocking bird. We have a pair that nest very close to the feeders and can be quite aggressive towards other birds. (Which is good because they keep away Grackles - boisterous, noisy and gang-like birds). We were very surprised to see the mockingbirds leave all of our desirable birds alone.
Hope you enjoyed "my" pretty birds!
Patricia :o)