Breakfast with the baby birds and a visit from two others :)

This morning in the yard,… the main action was in the chokecherry tree where juvenile sparrows and waxwings were having breakfast.

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Sparrow eating a cherry

I saw a pretty European Starling way way up in a tree and managed to take a decent photo considering the distance between us.
European Starling

Good morning waxy!

This is one of my favourite photos…
Juvenile waxwing having breakfast

A new sighting in my yard this morning- a bird caught my eye and I couldn’t instantly recognize it. She was flying from tree to tree up high but the light color helped me to keep an eye on her until I could get a lock on her with my camera. It was a dark-eyed junco but I’ve never seen one in these lovely pastel colours before! One more for the yard list!

Dark-eyed Junco - so pretty!

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A Downy in the Sparrow-Free Feeder

Today I was looking out my kitchen window at my new ‘sparrow free’ cedar birdfeeder to see if there was any interest in it yet.  Much to my surprise (and delight) – a Downy Woodpecker was flying around it and eyeing the feeder holes.  This particular feeder is aimed at the smaller birds – mainly chickadees and nuthatches – made with small entry holes and no perches in hopes that the house sparrows won’t be able to use it.  Since my house sparrows seem to eat everything from every type of feeder I own –  I decided it couldn’t hurt to try it.  I purchased mine at The Wild Bird Store (click here) where Kris and Dave are happy to help you!

I guess ‘sparrow free’ technically doesn’t mean ‘downy free’ …. so he helped himself to the treats inside for quite awhile.  What a cutie!

The video is below in standard format – if you want to watch it in beautiful HD – click on the vimeo link. :)

Downy in Sparrow Free Feeder from Morningside Life on Vimeo.

 

Downy Woodpecker on "Sparrow Free" Feeder
Downy Woodpecker on “Sparrow Free” Feeder
Downy Woodpecker in Feeder
Downy Woodpecker in Feeder

 

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Brrrrr! An Early Snow

Well, after the cold rainy days – we had a brief snow overnight… the weather here is always changing so it won’t last, but still it’s no picnic to wake up to.  I headed outside around ten to do the usual bird watching and hoping to see the Catbird again.

Let’s see who was out and about…

Chilly Little Sparrow - wishing away the snow
Chilly Little Sparrow – wishing away the snow
Cold Little Finch on the Snow-Covered Feeder
Cold Little Finch on the Snow-Covered Feeder
Male House Sparrow peeking around the tree
Male House Sparrow peeking around the tree
Sweet little pair
Sweet little pair

 

And aha! I see the Catbird again, and this time he’s having lunch in my tree :)

Grey Catbird having lunch
Grey Catbird having lunch

After lunch he hopped over to the Mayday tree where I was able to take a couple more pictures through the branches.  He’s such a beautiful bird.

The elusive Catbird is back!
The elusive Catbird is back!
House Sparrow fluffing up and keeping warm
House Sparrow fluffing up and keeping warm
Squirrel keeping watch..
Squirrel keeping watch..
Grey Catbird in the Mayday Tree
Grey Catbird in the Mayday Tree
Grey Catbird
Grey Catbird

 

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Backyard Birding Today: Another Lifer!

I’ve been hearing the call of a Blue Jay in the area for a week now but have not managed to capture him with my camera yet.  Today was my lucky day – he stopped in my tree for a second and then he was gone.  Blue is my favorite color – so I have a penchant for blue birds…. <3

Beautiful Blue Jay
Beautiful Blue Jay

Here is a new one for me! It’s my first time seeing an Ovenbird – he was in the trees by my backyard.  When I called my friend all excited that I finally captured an Ovenbird – she said “do you mean like a chicken or a turkey?”  HA HA!  Ovenbirds are named so because of the type of nest they build – the are like little mud ovens.  I watched a documentary on them once – its really quite amazing how they build their nests and the ‘secret’ room they put inside to keep the babies safe.

The Elusive Ovenbird
The Elusive Ovenbird

The color of this Wilson’s Warbler against the color of the tree is eye-popping here…

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Male House Sparrow
Male House Sparrow
Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
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Backyard Birding in Alberta

Welcome to my new backyard birding blog…

I love being in nature and I love photography so this hobby of mine combines two of my passions. Moving into my house this summer motivated me to watch and see which species visit my new neighbourhood and I’m excited to say that I have been happily surprised at the variety!  I have decided to get my backyard certified as a wildlife friendly habitat – but more on that later.  This blog is a place for me to document what I see – mainly in my own backyard and neighbourhood, and sometimes further out.  I’d love your comments and ideas and I love to do related topic link swaps, just click the comment button beside each post.

If you are reading this – I hope you enjoy the images :)

*Click the photo for best viewing results.

House Sparrow
Male House Sparrow in my Schubert Chokecherry Tree.
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