In Focus #14—One Fun Bird at Feeder

There are so many good photographers of birds on the internet. The photos are remarkable, and some do not even seem possible to me to capture. Such patience and great timing. I admire all of them.

For me, it is more of a ‘catch as catch can’ with photographing birds. It was so thrilling to see this special little bird at our feeder last week. I have fed birds for forty years, and still have some I am waiting to see, i.e. an Evening Grosbeak and/or a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. Oh the joy of seeing one of them at our feeders.

I hardly believed my eyes early the other morning when looking out at the feeder. Transfixed at the window, I did not dare to move, but needed field glasses for a positive identification. To my intense joy, my eyes proved correct.

There foraging all around the ground was an adorable Rufous-Sided Towhee! Happily eating the sunflower seed off the ground (they are ground feeders). I have admired Towhees for many years, and enjoy beyond measure their sweet, Spring song, “Drink your Teeeaaa!”. But I have never had one at the feeder.

There was no photo taken because I was having such joy just watching it. It flew away just as I was thinking I could get a photo. That sweet little bird gave me a second chance. It was at the feeder the following morning. I did not dare to open a window or door, so the photos were taken through windows with screens.

These photos are surely not the best, but by golly, I have one, and that is so fun. Just look and see how cute and happy this bird is! It is sure to put a smile on your face. I love what Calvin used to say in the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, “There is treasure everywhere!”

Indeed so.

See the seed in his beak?

In Focus #8—Birds in the Hood

Catching photos of birds has always been a joy and pain at the same time. It seems my camera is always not on me when I see a great photo. Forget about running into the house to fetch it!

Bird watching has been a wonderful pastime for years, learned from my dear Aunt from many a walks in the woods. I started keeping a ‘life list’ of the species in my 30’s. I only have about 130 species checked off so far. The last, very exciting species I saw (and have only once) was the Bobolink!

Our feeder is filled daily with sunflower seeds. The bird bath is next to the feeder. Watching a bird take a bath will make one laugh! One day I’ll catch a photo of it. BTW, sunflower seeds attract Goldfinches as well (some folks insist thistle seed is the only feed to attract goldfinches). Truly, life is not the same without the beautiful, cheerful Goldfinch in it.

Another fun discovery for us with sunflower seed is how easily they grow all around the house and garden! We have beautiful sunflowers from the seeds the birds drop all around the house. We leave them on the stem and enjoy watching the birds, especially the Goldfinches, eat on them all through the fall and winter. Bonus! If your zinnias are left to dry out in your garden, you will see the birds eating them as well, plus they will re-seed themselves next spring. Double bonus!

There are many other birds around here on the farm than posted on this blog. These are the few that just happened to turn out rather nicely. Thought it would brighten the day to share a few of these lovely, happy neighbors that are all around us.

Thank God for birds. A friend of mine recently told me where she read “of another service rendered as the birds sing their praises in the morning…that somehow the vibrations of their voices actually affect and aid in the awakening of God’s creation for the day.”

Isn’t that a beautiful thought?