feathered backyard visitors

For the past few weeks when I have had some extra quiet time, I have sat poised by my window, camera in hand waiting for my little bird friends to show me their best side. They’re pretty cute, huh? These are some of my most frequent feathered visitors to Baumann’s Birdseed Banquet.

The little dark-eyed juncos are perhaps some of my most frequent guests. They come in small groups, males and females, excitedly chirping and hopping all over the roof. Montana cat loves to watch these regal fellows the most.

Ah, the kinglets! I have both golden crowned and ruby crowned kinglets visiting the feeders throughout the day. They are virtually identical except their red and yellow crests the males sometimes display. The ruby-crowned kinglets are WAY more high-strung, however, and they continually flick their wings nervously when feeding on suet.

Townsend Warblers are perhaps my favorite. One even flew into my room and hung out with me during the snowstorm. I eventually caught it in my hands and it hung out on my finger for a minute before I placed it back on the windowsill. They are very noble, curious and fearless little birds. When I walk across my room in view of the window, all the juncos and kinglets scatter, while this little warbler continues eating seeds.

Common bushtits descend on the feeders in flocks of 15 – 20 at a time. The females, like the one pictured above, have distinct white eyes while the males are simply large and dark. There’s a little bushtit that is missing a leg, and she often flops on the roof using her tiny wings to flutter about while eating suet. These are the smallest birds that visit my feeders (though I hope to get a hummingbird feeder this spring).

The orange-crowned warblers are way more trepidatious than their cousins, the townsend warbler. They stay at the back feeders and don’t come near the suet on the roof by my window.

Northern flickers are by far the most attractive backyard residents. They are incredibly noisy, however. I always know when they’re around because they yell from other trees in the backyard before they come to the feeders. The cats know their call as well. This is the male of the species. He has regal red cheeks and a distinct black band across his breast.

The downy woodpecker is one of the smallest woodpeckers in North America. They’re beautiful as well. I really want to get a telephoto lens so I can snap better images.

Stellar jays are scary, mean and noisy birds. When they come to the feeders, all the other, smaller birds disappear. They’re extremely smart and know when I’m watching them from the window. They are the most beautiful shade of blue.

The varied thrush is my newest feathered friend. I believe there’s a breeding pair that have found the birdseed banquet. These birds, when relaxed, form the most perfect fluffy round balls. It’s like a bird ball with a beak and a tail. SO CUTE!

There are a few more birds that I have not been able to snap satisfactory shots of, so watch for them in the future. Yay, birds!

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