Boy Meets Bird

29 October 2008, 10:47 am
Filed under: Birds Seen, MamaPost, Practice | Tags:

I am washing dishes, looking out the window at the way last night’s heavy snow*.  It’s bowed the branches of our small trees and various shrubs, making rather lovely arches and temporary small cathedrals. A few usual small birds have been to the mixed-seed feeder we have going at the moment. There’s one right now, making the feeder swing with every attempt; it’s really too large for that feeder.

“Hey, LittleBirder, there’s a Blue Jay in the crabapple tree. Go look!”

He runs to the front door. This is a glass door, and at the moment surprisingly clean. I assumed he’d look through, since the crabapple is only about 8 feet from this door. Plus he’s in jammies, and it’s somewhat chilly, having snowed and all. But no. I hear it swing open.

And surprise, surprise, the Jay flies away. Oh well!

* 1″-2″ very wet and sticky, perfect for snowballs


18 December 2007, 4:23 pm
Filed under: Birds Seen, birdwatching, MamaPost, What's that bird? | Tags: , ,

LittleBirder and I were looking at chickadees and a titmouse on the feeder.

Me (indicating the titmouse): And do you know what that one is?

LittleBirder, after thinking: Is it a baby blue jay?

A bit later, he wanted a blue jay to come inside and keep him company (we hadn’t seen a blue jay today).

Breakfast Time
20 October 2007, 9:25 am
Filed under: Birds Heard, Birds Seen, birdwatching | Tags: , ,

We started feeding the birds again last week. And before that, Granddad helped LittleBirder fill the feeders too.

This morning is very busy out there! Between 8 and 9 a.m. we’ve seen a hairy woodpecker (possibly a female), a red squirrel who isn’t Stubbs, a pair (or more) of juncos, two blue jays chasing each other, three or more chickadees, a titmouse, a white-breasted nuthatch.

Cheeky Noises
12 June 2007, 6:06 pm
Filed under: Birds Heard, Birds Seen, birdwatching | Tags: , ,

We saw a whole family of Cooper’s Hawks over our house today. I think there were four: 2 adults, 2 young. Very talkative, lots of cheeking sorts of sounds.

High Pond, Low Pond, and Home
5 June 2007, 10:20 pm
Filed under: Birds Heard, Birds Seen, birdwatching, MamaPost

We took ourselves out for a walk today, LittleBirder and I. Near our home is a pair of ponds. In a fit of practicality, I dubbed them “High Pond” and “Low Pond”, referring to their elevations with respect to dirt road that runs between them. There’s easy access to the ponds, even with the raspberries nearby (these are blooming white today).

Overhead, we saw at least two male Red-winged blackbirds and just down the road over the meadow, an American Robin—on a different wire this time, although for all I know it was the same bird as we saw last week. I spotted an Eastern Phoebe on a dead branch dropping low across the stream (there’s a stream just to the north of the ponds, running roughly east; we saw the Phoebe from the bridge).

Indigo BuntingAt home, we saw a male Indigo Bunting on the feeder with the thistle seed. Blue is our favorite color.

We’d mention the amphibians and fish and insects and flowers we saw today too… except we pretend this blog is only about birds. *chuckle* So go see Mama’s blog if you want to know more…

Chickadee Bites (ID #1: Chickadee)
29 May 2007, 1:14 pm
Filed under: Birds Heard, Birds Seen, KidPost, MamaPost

Dadda comes out to tell us there’s a bird in the house. When we get inside, it’s fluttering against the round window. I’m pretty sure LittleBirder knows this bird, both in photos and in person and by song, so I ask him, “Who’s that?”

“A chickadeedeedee!”

I pass the short guy to Dadda, and they go make sure the doors are open. Talking low and easy all the while, I come over to the window and catch him gently in my hands on the second try. It bites me. Chickadee bites are amusing. Sharpish, and way too silly.

I turn, hoping to be able to show it to LittleBirder up close, but the bird is too quick. It sees the open door across the living room as I am about a quarter of the way turned, and with a mad scramble, shoves free of my loose fingers and is outside in about half a second.

As for the learning birds/recordkeeping part of this blog, I’ve been sure for ages that LittleBirder knows this one: we see it often enough. He can identify it by sight in person (feather?) and in photo, as well as by sound, and will tell us the song when we ask even if there’s no bird around. But as those have been my criteria for deciding he knows the bird enough to claim it, I’ve just been waiting for a good opportunity when we saw one to add it.

May 29, 2007, midday.
Starksboro, Vermont
Black-capped Chickadee
Fluttering in some confusion

13 May 2007, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Birds Heard, Birds Seen, MamaPost

This week we’ve seen or heard Cardinals, a Baltimore oriole, a White-crowned sparrow, Ovenbird (I think), Wood Thrush (I think), Goldfinches, Chickadees, Titmice, Chipping Sparrow, Blue Jay, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Red-Winged Blackbirds, and Ravens.

More details for some of these over in MamaBirder’s Small Measures blog.