I’ve been snapping a fair — maybe even more than fair — number of photos of the birds visiting my backyard feeders. I put up the feeder in early December and I now have quite the number of mediocre photos, along with a few decent photos, and a few I quite like.
Of course, I’m way behind in documenting them, and I doubt I’ll ever catch up, but, what I can do — and will do in this post — is share a few photos of birds all doing the same thing . . . looking at me.
All of these photos are taken from inside the house through double-pane glass. There’s a preferred window I use because it’s fixed (meaning, it doesn’t open) and hence has no screen interfering with photographing the birds. All I have to do is remove about seven slats from the blinds and I have a nice unobstructed view of the patio and feeders. For the record, all the previously shared feeder photos are shot through that window.
All of the birds’ names are linked to a description page. Click on the name and the webpage will open in a new tab or window. Click on the photo, and the photo will open in a new window or tab.
By the way, I mentioned the fact I shoot through a window because it always amazes me that the birds see me from outside. If I go outside and look in, I can’t see squat unless the interior lights are on or something is very close to the window. It’s suspected birds see a broader spectrum than humans (LINK), so that might be why.
Anyway, you might remember that Blue Jay from a recent post. Next, another bird that usually shows up in small flocks of 3-5 birds.
I don’t mind them (much) other than, during the breeding season (Spring, Summer, and Fall), they are constantly calling out for mates. Also, they tend to be a nuisance under some of the eaves (they build crappy nests, so sheltered gutters are sometimes targeted). Otherwise, they make use of abandoned Robin’s nests, often having two broods after the Robin are done with their two seasonal broods. While Robins clean their nest by removing fecal sacks and dropping them well away from the nest, doves make a mess of things around and under the nest.
These next guys also come in small flocks, although they’re sometimes solitary visitors.
This next photo is a crop . . .er . . . well, all of these photos are crops, but this bird was on a neighbor’s shrub, about 35-40 feet distant. The photo is substantially processed to make it presentable.
Here’s another bird I was happy to see. I typically don’t see them other than in the summer, and even then, only occasionally. I’m hoping the feeders will have them visit more frequently.
Next up, always a welcome sight . . .
That guy was intent on keeping an eye on me as he dined.
The Chickadees have gotten used to my presence, even when I’m outside. In fact, the smaller birds aren’t as skittish as their larger cousins.
Whenever I see Grackles, Starlings, or other blackbirds, I make a point to step outside and disperse them because they come in large flocks and crowd out other birds. That will stop in the springs, but during the winter, they move in flocks, sometimes numbering close to 100 (large flocks of multiple hundreds tend to keep to open fields, although I’ve occasionally seen them descend onto large lawns).
However, this next guy . . .
. . . I didn’t bother. He was typically alone and my guess is he was either hurt or old. He didn’t hop, and whenever not flying, he was hunkered down, as if roosting on the concrete. He was always puffed up, and if he flew, it was only short flights. He hung around for about a month, never moving when the flocks moved, and eventually, he was gone. Gone as I didn’t see him, and not gone as in dead (although I suppose the latter could also be true).
White-crowned sparrows are listed as rare for my area, but I don’t know why . . . I often see them (two or three and sometimes more) and I can’t imagine I’m seeing the only ones in the area, or that they’re traveling from afar just to visit my feeders.
Next, more Grackles . . . because of their eyes, they often seem confrontational or disapproving or just plain pissed off about something.
Unlike the other Grackle, most Grackles strut around like they own the place.
How about that!? . . . a twofer! . . . and a single.
Here’s what I mean about the Grackles . . .
I tell you what . . . when I saw him focus on me and advancing, I pulled my pepper spray and gun and slowly retreated!
These next birds are striking, I like watching their flocks do acrobatics (murmurations), and I admire their endurance, but they’re a pain around the feeders.
This is another bird listed as uncommon for my area, which is silly because I regularly see large flocks of them. This next photo is an outlier in this set because the bird isn’t looking at me, but I like the colors and details, so it’s presented here as a bonus.
This next bird is neither rare nor uncommon, and yet, this is the first specimen I’ve seen in the three years that we’ve lived here. I’ve seen a few since, but
OK, here’s a few repeats . . .
. . . before getting to a new offering (with some repeats) . . .
These next birds can also be a nuisance, but not as frequently as the other blackbirds . . . probably because we don’t have cows in our yard . . .
Here’s another repeat . . .
. . . before something new . . .
Because of the curve of the beak and the angle of the eye, this is another species of bird that looks like it’s perpetually pissed off about something. And, in fact, I’ve seen them chase larger birds from their vicinity . . . grouches, they be . . . I like their attitude!
And more repeat . . .
. . . before something new and striking . . .
I had a bit of trouble identifying these guys when I first spotted them on the patio. They are a bit larger than sparrows, they’re not significantly larger, and the app I use narrows the search for possible matches based on the size range you give it. Anyway, I eventually identified them, and I look forward to seeing them more often.
And, we end on a repeat . . .
In case readers didn’t notice, all of the above are embedded from the originals in SmugMug. That’s because I deem many of these photos as ‘marginal’ and I did;t want WordPress to further degrade how they look.
However, because of that, I can’t do an ending gallery . . . but I can link a SmugMug slideshow, and that’s what I’ll do . . .
Note: the transition is set to 2sec, but — if you move the cursor anywhere within the photo — you’ll see a pause button on the lower-left corner, and, once paused, you can use the left and right arrows on both sides of the photo to navigate the slideshow. If you click anywhere in the photo instead of the pause button, you’ll exit the slideshow and find yourself in SmugMug. You can then still scroll through the photos, or interact in other ways.
Here’s Looking at me, kid SmugMug Gallery (30 photographs)
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