Thursday, December 27, 2012

Backyard bird buffet

Addie and I on Christmas Day visiting
Chimney Bluffs State Park, Lake Ontario
Today was so snowy!

I usually hate the winter months, but this year I kind of like it. Probably because I’m on break for a month from school and I have literally nothing to do. I have a big, safe SUV to get around in, and the snow is kind of fun to play in with my pup! I’m at my parents house in Wayne County for a few weeks over the holidays, and we got ~18 inches last night of snow. Luckily my Dad plowed out the driveway this morning, and since I was home all day while they were at work I worked on shoveling out the decks and the doorways.

I also noticed the bird feeders were all covered over with snow, so I trudged through all the snow to clear off the feeders. I swear, within moments there were a large flock of songbirds of all shapes and sizes feasting on black oil sunflower seeds.

Happy birds!
I sat in the picture window for 30 minutes and was able to watch 7 species of birds come and go: Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, Titmice, and Mourning Doves. With the backdrop of the fresh snow, picture taking was prime!

Female Cardinal munching on a black oil sunflower seed.

A male Cardinal, White-throated Sparrow, and a Dark-eyed Junco sharing the birdseed buffet.

Female Cardinal

1 Cardinal, 3 Mourning Doves, and 2 Blue Jays
A pair of Cardinals
A Blue Jay on the suet
Mourning Dove butts.

White-throated sparrow
Blue Jay
Dark-eyed Junco

I wasn’t able to capture any pictures of the Chickadees or the Titmice this time, they were too quick for me and didn’t want to seem to compete with the bigger birds on the feeder. They kept to the bushes mostly.

Backyard birding is really fun and something you can do as long as the birds are there. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been called to the window to see this or that and learn to identify it. That’s what happens when your Dad is a bird nerd.

The Sibley Guide to Birds
by David Allen Sibley
If you are looking for a GOOD birding book- perhaps not a book for beginners, but if you are serious about birding and plan on travelling, check out The Sibley’s Guide to Birds.

This book is $24 and change right now on and worth every penny. I have brought this book with me all over New York to the Outer banks of North Carolina and all the way up to Denali National Park in Alaska. The birds I was looking at were all in this book. I would consider this book more of a “reference” than a field guide. It’s larger than other field guides I have, and is a little heavy. Sibley also has an East coast and West coast field guide. Basically the big book is split in half. I don’t have either of the smaller ones since I have the one big one, but maybe they’re a bit more on the beginner or novice level of birding.

Whatever your favorite book is, it just has to be able to show you what the birds look like and where they are found.

I’ll be off the ‘net for a few days, I’m heading down into the heart of the Finger Lakes region to spend some time eating, drinking, playing the snow, and ringing in 2013 with some of my family!

Happy New Year!


  1. Happy New Year Alyssa. Your bird photos are super, love the close-ups, and such a great variety of species, and yes, a description is so good for us down here.Addie must enjoy the snow too, so at Finger Lakes... ( I looked on Google and see why they have that name ) play, have fun, ring out the old, ring in the new!!! Fond greetings to you and all at your folk's place for 2013, from Jean.

  2. Great bird pics! I love cardinals, but ive always had difficulty getting good photos of them in the wild. They are so shy! I don't get any at my bird feeders either. By the way, Addie is a adorable!


  3. Very nice collection of bird pictures.White-throated sparrow and Blue Jay looking very cute.Florida Villas

  4. Well done. Thank you for making me take a timeout to re-enjoy some of the pleasures of nature.


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