The weather is cooling off and the bird activity is heating up! More birds are coming to the feeder and luckily we have black sunflower seeds ready! I want to share today’s birds with you.
Two Mountain Chickadees came to visit today and since we have not seen them for quite a while, I was excited! They have white eyebrows which differentiates them from other chickadees. I love to look for those field marks and they are very handsome! Remember, the details make the difference! These birds are tiny and flit through the high branches of our pine trees looking for seeds from cones. They often hang upside down to gather insects and seeds – very acrobatic! This winter they may also eat suet and peanut butter so I’m getting ready. It is very funny to watch them shell a sunflower seed. They usually hold it between their feet and hammer it apart with their beak!
Not to be outdone, the White Breasted Nuthatch also visited. Talk about handsome with the sun hitting his white breast and face. It reminded me of a starched white shirt under a man’s black tuxedo. And of course his black cap just added to the image. He also has some gray – blue on his back and sides. They move down the trees at odd angles looking for insects. They eat the same food as the chickadee so I better stock up. They get their name from the way they jam large nuts and acorns into tree bark. Then they hit them with their bill to ‘hatch’ out the seed. I would love to see their courtship some day. The male is supposed to bow to the female, spread his tail and lower his wings as he sways back and forth. Can’t you just picture that?
The third bird in this family that visited was the Bridled Titmouse. There is just something about that name that makes me smile. He has a black bordered gray crest, black eye stripes, white face and a black bib – very proper looking! A group of titmice is called a ‘banditry’ (good to know for those bridal and baby shower games!) These birds eat insects (love those caterpillars) as well as seeds.
These birds are all about the same size, from the same group of Passerines or perching birds. They are very different when you really look at them. I think I will have to carve them out of my silver clay one day soon!