New-to-me Bird  

The bird feeder three feet from my desk had gotten gloppy.  When the seeds get low, rain blows in and mats them down.  I raked the muck out, leaving the stuff scattered on the deck.  Coming back with coffee mug in hand, I saw a very blue bird among the seeds.  At first I thought it was a bluebird, since we see them fairly often in the bushes close to the house.  The bird turned, and I could see it was a deep blue color all over, front and back.  It was an indigo bunting, a bird I’d never seen close enough to identify.  The bright yellow pansies near the rail quivered in the wind, looking as excited as I felt.  This was a blue ribbon day!

Neighbor Shawn said she had seen a hummingbird on her porch, so I boiled sugar water and put out our two feeders.  The very same day I saw a hummer at both feeders.  That was rich reward for very little work.

I didn’t get photos of the indigo bunting or the hummingbirds, but I did get a pair of courting doves on the deck and a pileated woodpecker.  We had doves billing and cooing on our railings last year, making me wonder if this is the same pair.  They are never far from each other.

050416 Doves on the deck.JPG

I was most excited about the big woodpecker.  It was one of my mother’s favorite birds.  She always talked about how shy it was, and the only time I saw one with her was in a thicket way at the back of our property.  She would have been thrilled to know I’ve seen one on a tree beside our road and now this one at the side of our house.  The pileated woodpecker can be 16 to 19 inches long and is the largest woodpecker in the US.

050616 Pileated woodpecker.JPG

14 thoughts on “New-to-me Bird  

  1. I’m officially jealous you have bluebirds flying around like robins do here. My old neighbor used to get them occasionally, now and indigo bunting has probably never even crossed the state line in Indiana! Speaking of hummingbirds that reminds me………I NEED TO GET THE FEEDERS OUT!

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    1. The whole state of Indiana has indigo buntings for the breeding season. Actually, their breeding territory covers 2/3 of the US from the east coast through the Dakotas. I hate to tell you, but even Kentucky has them. How many hummingbird feeders do you have?

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    1. It was exciting, David. Several years ago I was walking near a beach on Long Island Sound, and I met an Englishman who was there for several days on business. He pointed out an oystercatcher. I had walked there for 20 years, and a visitor was the one who introduced that bird to me.

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  2. We saw a Summer Tanager a few years back, a first for me. They stay in one location among a stand of pines, been there every year since. A neighbor has numerous hives of bees, seems the bird likes them for food. The Hummers have been here a few weeks now and the Yellow Finch is plentiful. Keep track of the Hummers via http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html

    My lady is off to a 5K mud run today, she really could use the back yard, Dear Lord please send this rain where it’s needed. Hi John.

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    1. I saw a summer tanager only once and that was years ago on Long Island.

      Thanks for the link to the hummer map. It’s hard to believe someone saw one here a month and a half ago. We are just now noticing them.

      My knight in shining armor might come home covered in soot. He has been at the Mid-South Live Steamers in Columbia TN, and he’s due home today. He’d return your greeting if he were here. That doesn’t sound nice, does it? What I meant was, he’d greet you back. He’d probably greet your front, too, not wanting to affront you.

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  3. I think that I’ve only ever seen blue birds twice in my life–once earlier this spring. I’m in awe that you regularly see blue birds, as well other less common birds, in your neighborhood.

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