Finally Spring!

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It has been winter for a good long while in these parts. And only recently has it finally begun to act like spring! That means bees are buzzing, buds are blooming, and birds are….birding. Obviously I have an obsessive need to document everything and have been taking lots of pictures of the little creatures enjoying the warmer weather as I sit outside and read through The Gulag Archipelago (because it’s such great springtime reading?). I guess you can take the girl out of the poli-sci but you can’t take the poli-sci out of the girl. The birds at least provide a nice counter balance to the sad gulag human rights abuses.

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Goldfinch! We only ever get one or two of them in the spring and summer, and he’s pretty elusive. I guess he was hungry this day.

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A plucky little cardinal.

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House finch sitting in a tree.

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Here are the two of them sharing the feeder! The cardinal looks terribly suspicious of me.

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From top left, clockwise: chickadee, house finch, grosbeak (female), and nuthatch.

We have also seen a new face at our brand new hummingbird feeder!

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It’s a ruby-throated hummingbird! He’s quite small and difficult to spot as he flits back and forth.

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Flapping those wings very hard and fast.

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Getting a hit of that sweet, sweet sugar water. He’s actually pretty frustrating to photograph because he moves so quickly and is so tiny.

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I think I might name him Waldo, after the eponymous and elusive striped-shirt wearer. Relatedly, I wish I had one of those enormous NatGeo zoom lenses the size of an 18th century cannon. Anyone wanna loan me $10,000?

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The caterpillars and the dandelions are also out in full swing. And, finally, the cherry tree in our yard is blossoming! It’s nice to finally see signs of life after all the snow.

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Snow Birds

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I love how his white markings line up with the snow.

Another snow day! This time, I decided to go out and take pictures of the birds that come to our feeder. Because it is winter, there were tons of juncos (above) around. All I wanted was a picture of a cardinal in the snow. Unfortunately, our cardinals are chickens and fly away if you so much as cough quietly within 500 feet of them. So, no cardinal. But I did get some other birds:

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Clockwise from left: American Blue Jay, dark eyed junco, tufted titmouse, sparrow(?).

If you know what type of sparrow(?) that is, let me know! I love being able to identify my birds.

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Titmouse with some snow on his face.

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Caught a junco mid-takeoff. 

A Procession of Birds Et Al.

Oh, I miss my birds at home. My family has a bird feeder that we put out on our deck, and I like to spend my summers sitting on the deck, taking pictures of the birds. They are funny little creatures, and you get to know their various personalities by species. The cardinal is something of a coward; the chickadee is bold and fearless; the woodpecker is a pushy bully but frightened of those who are bigger than he is. When I moved, I bought a 5 picture vertical picture frame and put in my pictures of the various birds. This is what I ended up with:

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♪ One of these things is not like the other… ♪

The last one, whom I affectionately call the flightless striped bird, is such a little pain. We put seeds on the deck for the birds who prefer ground feeding, and his greedy self is never far away. You turn away for a moment, and next thing you know, he’s sitting there, shoving every single seed into his mouth. Ugh. But he’s still not as bad as….

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The night raiders.