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MLK Quote

Nature's Inspiration Movie

http://www.flickspire.com/m/HealthierL433/NaturesInspiration -- Nature's Inspiration Movie: The photographs in this short video are from award-winning photographer, Ken Jenkins, and they are breathtaking. However, this video is much more than beautiful photographs! Peggy Anderson has compiled beautiful quotations from the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and many others that truly capture the beauty of nature and solitude. Absolute must watch for nature lovers.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Some of the winter birds -- putting up a show for me.

Winter came forcefully on Saturday. Rain, sleet, ice, squall, blizzard, everything was happening together. One moment it was squall; with heavy wind it turned into blizzard. Then, ice-balls were raining down. Squirrels did not come out of their nests but birds were. I have always noticed this -- in heavy rain or in bad weather, squirrels or other mammals do not come out until the weather subsides a little. But birds come out. Why? Their wings are much more delicate which can easily get battered in dire weather; but rain or snow, sun or cloud, birds are out flapping their wings and chirping.

Saturday was no exception. As it was snowing heavily outside, I was standing by the window and taking pictures of some of the winter birds that visit the bird-feeders. I have about four or five bird-feeders and a suet-feeder. I always try to keep them filled up as I do not know how all the birds survive here in this winter with so few native plants around. Wild birds eat seeds and berries during winter as most of the insect population has either died down or gone into hibernation deep into some holes which most birds cannot penetrate. But with more and more native trees being cut down in the suburban USA and replaced with non-native ornamental trees or plants which do not provide any berries or seeds, birds find it hard to find food. As the winter goes by, food become more scarce as the remaining food gets covered with snow. That is why February is the bird-feeding month in the US as it is the peak month in winter when everything is hidden under snow, temperature is freezing, water is frozen and that's when most birds die due to lack of food.

I provide black-sunflower seed and suet for my birds. I should also get some thistle which juncos and finches prefer. Suets are mostly favored by any kind of wood-peckers. I get all sorts of birds -- sparrows, finches, juncos, doves, cardinals, chickadees, titmice, jays, nuthatch, wood-peckers (red-bellied and downy) and starling. Squirrels also come to the feeders. I do not chase them away as they also need food during these winter months. Birds and squirrels share the feeders together and all survive. With so many birds and squirrels, I should be getting raptors in my yard. Luckily I am yet to see them in my yard though I see them flying high in the sky. I know they also need food but please no murder and blood-shed in my yard. Here are pictures of some of the birds that I could capture on Saturday. They dart in and out too fast; or move around too fast to capture properly. Also, the window and the screen were not helping as most of the pictures have come out hazy.

This is a blue-jay. Do you know jays belong to the crow-family!? Crows and Jays belong to the "Corvidae" family. Who would say they are related!? Like their cousin crows, jays are also highly intelligent birds. You can also train them to get food from your hand if you have the patience and time to stand still, everyday at the same time, with food. This year I had the rare luck of having a jay-family raise their brood in front of my eyes. I will write about it later in another post.

We can learn a beautiful lesson from jays -- as soon as a jay finds a source of food, it start giving out loud calls so that other jays might find that source of food. Just imagine us humans announcing the source of food, resources, wealth to all and sharing them with all.



This is a sparrow hanging upside-down from a suet-feeder. From sparrows, we should learn how to work together in a flock. Sparrows are not native birds of the US. But wherever they have been introduced, they have become hugely successful for their flocking habit which helps them with protection and food-sharing.



This is a Tufted Titmouse, one of my favorite birds. They have such huge circular eyes and such cute mohawks on their tiny heads that one has to fall in love with them. They are considered song-bird species of the eastern deciduous forest of the US. They dart back and forth between the feeder and a tree-branch. They will take a seed, fly to the branch, whack the seed open with their beak, eat and then again fly back to the feeder.



This is a nut-hatch with habits very similar to wood-peckers. During spring and summer, one can find them poking onto the tree-trunks to eat insects. And, it is one of the few bird-species in the world, that can climb down a tree (or climb down anything). In this picture also, you see it hanging upside-down on the bird-feeder.



This is a chickadee, another exceptionally cute bird with a tiny body and a round-head. This is a bird which has no fear of humans, I think. They will come and sit right next to you as you fill in the feeder or work in the garden. A very restless bird which cannot sit still for a second. Where does its little body get so much energy? It also behaves like tufted titmouse, flying between feeder and trees with one seed at a time. AND IF YOU START PROVIDING A BIRD-FEEDER, THEN PLEASE CONTINUE DOING SO BECAUSE CHICKADEES BUILD NESTS AND REAR THEIR BABIES WITHIN A ONE-HUNDRED-FIFTY FEET RADIUS OF A FOOD-SOURCE. That is, these birds build their nests very close to a food source. If that food-source happens to be your bird-feeder and if you suddenly stop feeding them (especially in winter), then they might even face death.



A female downy-woodpecker waiting for its turn at the suet. I see much order, respect and cooperation among the birds in the feeder. They seldom fight. Each wait for its turn. They are not greedy, do not hoard and occupy the feeder -- they come, eat to their fill and then leave.



This is an European Sterling. They move around in great flock and can finish everything in a bird within matter of seconds. Also, when they are at the feeders, smaller birds like titmice, chickadee, nuthatch, finch or sparrow cannot approach the feeder. Again, I do not have to chase them away so that the smaller birds can feed. As they descend in a large-group and starts eating, squirrels notice the food-source. So, they come. As soon as squirrels come, these birds fly away. And when squirrels on the feeders, all the smaller birds come and eat from the other side of the feeder.



I spread some seeds on the ground as well for ground-eating birds like dove or juncos.



This is a mourning-dove, another of my favorite bird. It is one of the most hunted species in the USA. Why would anyone want to hunt such a beautiful-looking bird which does not create any kind of destruction or anything? All it wants to do is sing out lamenting songs in spring. I know you will say that it's killed for food. It seems like all we humans can do are elect stupid leaders, eat anything and everything and destroy world for our needs and greed.



I think this is a house-sparrow (sometimes also called garden-sparrows). There are couple of different types of sparrows one can find in the eastern USA. House-sparrow is the most common among them.



The next two pictures are that of Cardinals. The first one is a female Cardinal. The bright red one is the male cardinal and is the state bird of New Jersey. Though they are of medium size but these are dominating and quarrelsome birds. No two cardinals will sit in the same-feeder; they also do not allow any other birds in their vicinity. But they are superbly gorgeous birds, and especially the bright-red male-cardinals are sight to behold in bright white snow.





And this is the rarest phenomena that I am seeing in my yard for the first time -- an American Robin still hanging out. American Robins do not stay in New Jersey and migrate south during winter. Rarely, one or two birds stay behind. I think it is one of those rare birds. I hope it soon migrates and as otherwise it will die without any insects or berries for food.




I'm joining in the memes hosted by Eileen,  Rambling WoodsSt Germain's meme.

30 comments:

  1. wow...i didnt know there are still so many birds around in the winter

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  2. Hello, I miss feeding the birds. I love seeing your variety of feeder birds. Great shots. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy day and week ahead. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  3. Oh so very lovely, each and every portrait!! I especially love the blue jay [we don't get them in my area at all!] and the starling. Wow!

    I'm here to send along my thanks for sharing this with us birders this week, at I'd Rather B Birdin' Hope you're having a lovely week!!

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  4. Your bird portraits are wonderful ... and you provide them wonderful banquets in exchange for posing for you ;). ... That is one thing I miss nowadays ..l can't feed birds at either of our homes. Of course the ones here in Florida don't have any problems with snow and ice.

    I share your worries and disillusionment about our country (and the world, because of what happened here) but for my sanity I have decided to keep my blog mostly my happy place. I haven't given up, but I just can't talk about it all any more.

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  5. Thank you for this post! So many different birds around you! I keep a little leaflet in the kitchen to find out what birds are visiting my garden. ... It was so sad to see a dead bird near our porch after a cold night... When I brush our two dogs, I leave their hair outside, hoping that birds or other creatures can use it somehow.

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  6. They are all gorgeous!!! It does look to me like they were posing for your photo shoot! Thank you so much for sharing, and Merry Christmas to you! :)

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  7. I really enjoyed learning all these facts about the birds you photographed. I did not know Jays called out to other jays when find food, and that cardinals were so dominant and bossy. The most common bird that I see where I live in Colorado is the magpie. They behave very much like crows and are carniverous. We see many different kinds of hummingbirds in summer --a treat for me as I never saw them when I lived in NY. Another treat for me this past summer was watching sparrows sit on my lavender bushes to eat the lavender seeds off the stalks. They were very entertaining!

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  8. You have a nice selction of birds arrriving at your feeding station. Good for you in feeding the birds in poor weather. SA to your question to me . One word "experience", but for Chrismas treat your self to a good field guide, read it thouroughly and have it close at all times. As below

    http://anotherbirdblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/crossley-id-guide.html

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  9. PS...to answer your question in my comments at I'd Rather B Birdin'. The cranes with the red crown are adults and the ones with the rusty colored crown and black around the eye are juveniles. Both female and male ADULTS have the red.

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  10. I love sparrows and doves as well KL. Starling is well known here and is one of the first spring birds. When people see them flying so say that spring comes.
    Lovely photos!

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    Replies
    1. I wish you a Merry Christmas!

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    2. KL, thanks for your comment on my blog. I was born and live in Saint Petersburg, and I love my city very much. I'm glad you liked the pictures of Christmas here. My video of Clock collection I've made in British museum in London.

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    3. Happy New year 2017! С Новым годом!

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  11. Lovely bird photos! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. We got a new bird house and feeder. Birds don't like it and we came to conclusion of it made of plastic.
    Coffee is on

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  13. What a fantastic variety of feathery visitors! I love the bright ones and the little ones!

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  14. sorry for my lateness! It doesn't surprise me that Blue Jays are related to the crows. They are both chatty and loud, lol! We had a bunch of Jays in our yard, but a lot left when several trees were cut down. Many thanks for sharing your findings about these birds with ALL SEASONS, as well as your kind comment:)
    Have a great rest of the week!

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  15. Such beautiful birds! Black-capped chickadee (or rather its European cousin) is my favourite bird too. When I fill the bird feeder, I often stay there for a while, letting the fearless and cute willow tits to come to eat without the more bullying species. :)
    May you have a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year!

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  16. Wonderful birds!
    I have Sunflower Seeds and Suet for the birds here (seeds on the ground, too, for the Doves)
    Merry Christmas!

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  17. Thank you for your visit and kind comment. You sure did get fabulous photos of some gorgeous birds. I do miss seeing those in Hawaii.

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  18. Beautiful post. I spent some time in the woods yesterday just watching the wildlife.
    Garden seeds arrived in the mail.. There will be a lot of work ahead and that is a good thing.
    Merry Christmas.. I appreciate your comments on my posts. Thank you

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  19. We have many of the same birds: chickadees, cardinals, woodpeckers, mourning doves ... We haven't seen a bluejay in quite a while, which is too bad. And we don't get titmice for some reason. We do see many juncos and goldfinches.

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  20. Stopping by again to wish you a happy New Year -- and like you I hope for peace and improvement in the world situtation.

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  21. Sound advice on continuing to feed the birds. It does worry me when I see an empty bird feeder at this time of year. We are fortunate to have enough land to let clumps of thistles grow - they are such excellent plants for wildlife. I love watching the finches swooping down on them and devouring the seeds. I was particularly taken by the tufted titmouse. I haven't seen one before - what a cutie!

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  22. You and I have a lot of the same birds. :) Chickadees, like most birds, feed their babies insects. Chickadees prefer caterpillars for their babies. But the adults do enjoy seed. I hope you can make it to the Fling!

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  23. Hi KL, it was nice to see you visiting my blog, again! And thanks for leaving a comment!
    Your bird photos are so pretty! To me the one of the Tufted Titmouse is really touching. This little bird looks as if it is so cold in the harsh and icy weather.
    I think it is absolutely wonderful that you are thinking of the birds and are feeding them. In your climate they certainly have a hard time during the winter.
    We have fed the birds regularly in our garden, too, but somehow stopped quite a while ago. I don't even know why. In our climate it is, of course, not as necessary as in yours, but I realized that since we stopped feeding them, we do have way less birds in the garden, which is sad.
    Even though our winters are not harsh by any means in our area a lot of trees and shrubs have died due to the drought. I believe that there are less food sources for the birds available, so it might be a very good idea to get the bird feeder up, again.
    Thanks for writing this post and reminding me of putting my own bird feeder out, again.
    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones,
    Christina

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  24. Hi KL, you took a great selection of photos. I didn't know about the relationship between the Blue Jay and the Crow. Thank you for sharing that and also leaving a sweet comment on my blog. Happy week to you:)

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  25. Some lovely shots of your feathery friends. I love birds, and often feed them with bread. I live in a flat, so don't have a garden to put out feeders! Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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