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Category Archives: House Finch

With the arrival of summer birds start bringing their fledglings to the bird feeders. Here a House Finch is feeding its insistent fledgling.

A male Northern Cardinal is feeding its fledgling.

A Downy Woodpecker feeds its fledgling.

This House Sparrow Fledgling was sitting at the feeder waiting for a parent to arrive. He was a stitch to watch because he kept falling asleep and almost falling off of the perch.

This Downy Woodpecker fledgling was alone at the feeder for quite some time and seemed to be bewildered by all of the activity at the feeder.

 

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We recently had our first winter snow storm. I spent the day photographing birds at my feeders.

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

American Goldfinch and White-breasted Nuthatch

American Goldfinch and White-breasted Nuthatch

House Sparrow

House Sparrow

House Finch

Purple Finch

In between our fall trips I managed to get a few bird photos on the farm.

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

House Sparrow

House Sparrow

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

House Finch

House Finch

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

House Finch

House Finch

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Eastern Bluebird male

Eastern Bluebird male

Eastern Bluebird female

Eastern Bluebird female

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

May started off with a bang. I started snowing on the evening of May 1st, continued all day on May 2nd and finally ended mid day on the 3rd of May. Well over a foot of heavy wet snow. It was difficult photographing birds because of the heavy snowfall and the wet snow hitting the windows but I managed to capture a few of the spring birds at the feeding stations.

I had a lot of White-throated Sparrows around during the storm. I’ve had a few of them around in the past but never this many.

White-throated-Sparrow-13-5-_0246

The Northern Cardinals are still around although only a couple of pairs of them. Nothing like the dozen or so I had this winter. They really looked miserable during the storm.

Northern-Cardinal-male-13-5-_0110

 

Northern-Cardinal-female-13-5-_0132

The Dark-eyed Juncos were all gone after a week of 70 and 80 degree weather but a few of them returned after the storm.

Dark-eyed-Junco-13-5-_0228

The Song Sparrows have been around for several weeks and I suspect they will again be nesting in the bushes near the house. I think any thoughts of nesting have been delayed a bit because of the storm.

Song-Sparrow-13-5-_0213

House Sparrows are rarely seen around the farm. I’m not sure why. I see them around town a lot but not on the farm. This one turned up during the storm.

House-Sparrow-male-13-5-_0203

There were a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches at the feeder during the storm but I was not able to get a photo of them together.

White-breasted-Nuthatch-13-5-_0194

I’ve had good number of House Finches around the feeder in the past couple of weeks and they turned up during the storm.

House-Finch-13-5-_0167

The last time I saw the American Goldfinches they were molting. They were not around much during the warm weather but turned up, in small numbers, during the storm. It looks like molting has been completed.

American-Goldfinch-male-13-5-_0162

I’m not sure what this bird is. It turned up at the feeder during the height of the storm but I haven’t figured out what it is.

Unknown-Sparrow-13-5-_0072

There were a variety of other birds around but I wasn’t able to get any Photos.

A number of House Finches turned up at my feeders this past week. I was able to get a number of photos. One bird seemed to have House Finch eye disease. One of its eyes was swollen shut. It seemed to be getting along ok but I suspect its life expectancy is not going to be long. I’ve been watching to see if there are any other infected birds it there are I’ll need to take down my feeders and clean them.

House Finch Eye Disease

House Finch Eye Disease

House Finch Eye Disease

House Finch Eye Disease

When the Baltimore Orioles arrive in the spring I typically put out grape jelly for them. They love it! Last year I went through a gallon of it in just a couple of weeks. What I have discovered is that Baltimore Orioles aren’t the only ones that like grape jelly. This year I have photographed orioles, House Finches and Red-breasted Grosbeaks all eating grape jelly from my feeder. I even captured a photo of a female grosbeak feeding jelly to a fledgling.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Fledgling

Baltimore Oriole and Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Fledgling

 

House Finch male

Baltimore Oriole fledgling

During the last week of spring and the first few weeks of summer quite a few fledglings have shown up around the farm.

In terms of numbers and frequency of visits the Baltimore Orioles have been the most common. It’s hard to tell if it is just one family or several families. When the Orioles first arrived in the spring there were only a few and they only stayed around the feeder for just a couple of days. Now that the young have fledged they are at the feeder constantly. When they first started coming it was a stitch to watch them. The area around the feeder was loaded with humming birds and the fledglings were constantly ducking when a humming bird flew by.

Baltimore Oriole

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks fledglings have also been common around the feeder. They are easily identifiable by the orange on their breast. I’ve see a couple of cases of the adults feeding the fledglings but haven’t been able to get a photo.

Red-breasted Grosbeak

One day I looked out the window and saw this young Grey Catbird sitting in a bush right outside the window. It sat there for about a half an hour looking in the window. I took the screen off of the window so I could get a shot and it didn’t move. The adults were hovering in the background and were a little concerned that I was getting too close.

Grey Catbird

Every year we have some House Finches show up with their fledglings. For about a week the fledglings like to be fed by the parents. There is usually one that continues to try to be fed rather than going to the feeder.

Feeding time

This year, for the first time, I had a fledgling Song Sparrow at the feeder. This is a shot of the adult feeding the fledgling.

Song Sparrows

There has been a Fledgling Red-bellied woodpecker at the feeder. In this shot the adult and the fledgling were both at the feeder. I did get a shot of the adult feeding the fledgling but it was so dark that the photo didn’t turn out.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

Several Downy Woodpeckers brought their fledglings to the suet feeder this summer.

Downy Woodpecker

Tree swallows are a rare sight at the feeder. Earlier in the week I had been out photographing the soon to be fledglings in the nest. A couple of days later this one landed near my bird feeders. It was wild eyed with all of the activity around the feeder. It seem terrified of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds flying around. I can relate because the hummingbirds do make quite the loud noise when flying.

Tree Swallow

I’ve had some Eastern Bluebirds feeding their fledgling on my deck railing but I haven’t been able to get a photo of them. I did get this shot of the fledgling sitting out in the flowers.

Eastern Bluebird

I don’t think I’ve given it much thought but the hot humid weather we’ve had this past week must take a terrible toll on wildlife. I’ve been photographing birds now for quite a few years and have never noticed birds panting before. I really feel sorry for the birds that are nesting in bird houses. Every time I walked by this Tree Swallow she had her head hanging out of the house and was panting. I started noticing that many of the other birds that I was photographing were also panting. With the hot humid weather we have been having the past week I’ve been getting lots of photos of birds panting to try and regulate their temperature.

Tree Swallow

Rose-breasted Grosbeak female

House Finch male

Eastern Phoebe

Baltimore Oriole male

American Goldfinch male

It’s the time of year when I review the birds that I’ve photographed around my farm during the spring. I was a fairly boring spring following a rather boring winter with not many new observations. None the less there were some interesting happenings.

Eastern Bluebird male

Probably the most interesting event was the return of the Easter Bluebirds. I was able to get my first shot of them on the first day of spring. What made this such a great year for bluebirds was the fact that I set up my turkey blind in the back yard and started photographing them when they started nest hunting and followed through while they built the nest and then defended it against Tree Swallows. Apparently Easter Bluebirds build several nests at the same time and then end up using only one of them. That appears to be what happened this year. After building the nest they didn’t seem to be using it so I opened the nesting box up and sure enough there was a great nest but it wasn’t being used. This is the third year in a row that this has happened.

Northern Cardinal female

The second most interesting event was my problem with a female Northern Cardinal. As spring arrived the female cardinal started attacking my basement window. I kept hearing a sound in the basement but couldn’t figure out what it was. After several trips to the basement I noticed the female cardinal banging against the window. Our cat occasionally sleeps in the basement and it must have been driving him nuts. It turned out that the basement window was just the start of things. It then started attacking a large picture window. I tried to put something in the window to discourage it but it then moved to another picture window above it so I took the window blocker down. A couple of weeks later I was awakened by a sound outside my bedroom window. When I looked she was banging against my bedroom window just after sunrise. After about a week of this I pulled the blinds and that  put a stop to it. Attacking the windows went on for about six weeks. At one point I thought it had stopped and started to clean the windows but it started again after a few days. The male cardinal would just sit on a tree branch, with a confused look and watch her. When she finally did quit it was a big chore to clean the windows. Typical window cleaning didn’t work and I ended up using a scratch free scouring pad to get the gunk off.

American Robin

Early in the spring when the American Robins return they sometimes don’t have worms to eat so they love eating Sumac Berries. I usually put them out for the Eastern Bluebird but the Robins also feed on them.

Red Tailed HawkFor a few weeks I had a Red Tailed Hawk that was perching in a tree in the back yard. He had a great view of my  backyard prairie. I would see him perched on the same tree almost every day. I could usually tell when he was there because the Crows would soon be gathering to drive him away.

American Goldfinch male

American Goldfinches are my most frequent visitor in terms of numbers. They congregate in large numbers throughout the year. They eat me out of house and home. They particularly love Black Sunflower seeds.

Tree Swallow

As I noted above I have Tree Swallows nesting around the farm. They usually battle the Eastern Bluebirds for nesting rights. This year the bluebirds won although as I indicated they ended up not using the nesting box. The Tree Swallows wanted the one about ten feet from the bluebirds but ended up taking another nest. The irony of it was that at the end of spring the Tree Swallows ended up setting up their second nest in this house.

Feeding time

Generally I have a few House Finches around my feeders. I mainly see them when they bring their fledglings to the feeder late in the spring. I can usually get a few shots of the adult feeding the young.

Eastern Phoebe

For quite a few years I’ve had Eastern Phoebes nesting above a light over the back door of the garage. Last year they abandon the nest. This year they started nesting in the corner of my house under the deck. The first batch fledged just after the first of June. We weren’t around and didn’t seem them fledge although I did see the whole family out in the woods about a week later. This shot is a little is a little unusual. I was photographing a phoebe while it was attempting to eat a worm. After thrashing around with it for a while it suddenly went down the hatch. I just happened to catch it.

Song Sparrows

I usually have Song Sparrows nesting in some bushes in front of the house. They are near my feeders so I occasionally get a shot of them. This year, for the first time, I managed to get a shot of an adult feeding one of the fledglings.

Chipping Sparrow

Early in the spring I had  a number of Chipping Sparrows around. I thought they were also going to nest around the house but they seem to disappear later in the spring.

Pigeon

This year, for the first time that I can remember, I had a Pigeon appear on the farm. The neighbor has all kinds of them on his barn but they never show up at my house. I noticed him while I was mowing the lawn and after watching him for about fifteen minutes I decided to go in the house and get the camera since it was such an unusual sight.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

Red-bellied Woodpecker fledgling

I normally have Red-bellied Woodpeckers around the feeders all year around. They love suet but only the commercial stuff not the suet you purchase from the meat market. I have an old log that I drilled holes in and fill with suet that I use for a feeder. It makes a good prop for photography. This year for the first time a fledgling showed up with an adult. I tried to get a photo of the adult feeding the fledgling but it was too dark. After a while the fledgling started showing up on its own. I suspect the adults were busy with another batch of young.

Grey Catbird

I normally have a pair of Gray Catbirds nesting in front of the house. They are a beautiful bird. I could see that they had a nest but couldn’t find it but would see them bringing food to the young.

Baltimore Oriole male

What a difference a year makes. Last year I had large numbers of Baltimore Orioles arrive in the spring. There were so many orioles around the area that the stores ran out of grape jelly. I would frequently have six or eight birds around the feeders at any one time. This year I saw a couple of them at the feeders and they were gone off to nest. I think this is my only photo of one.

More birds of spring photos can be found on my website.