nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Red-breasted Nuthatch

bird feeder visitors – personalities

with 2 comments

I put my feeders up late this year, but the birds have found them. So far the diversity is low, but the numbers are high. We have chickadees, goldfinches and nuthatches. I know from my bird diary of other years, redpolls, purple finches and blue jays will come later.

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I spend a little time each day watching the birds. And, as in other years, I am amazed at how different are the  personalities of these birds.

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Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) – sings ‘chick-a-dee-dee-dee’ or ‘fee-bee’ 

  •  the chickadee hoards food, storing food in times of plenty under bits of bark or a patch of lichen. Canada’s Hinterland Who’s Who says a chickadee can remember where it has stored its food up to 28 days.
  • the chickadee is a grab and go kind of feeder. They zoom in on a sunflower seed, pick it and leave.
  • chickadees hang out in flocks, and have a hierarchy and a ‘pecking order’. The birds are very aggressive with other birds, chasing away other chickadees, nuthatches and goldfinches.

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Red-breasted-Nuthatch (Sitta Canadensis) – sings a nasal ‘yank-yank-yank’ over and over

  • the nuthatch walks head-downward after it lands and in Newfoundland is called the ‘upside-down bird’.
  • nuthatches are very solitary at the feeder and are easily chased away by chickadees.
  • they get-their-food-and-get-going, not hanging around even for a second.
  • nuthatches also hoard and hide food.
  • Hinterland Who’s Who says these birds carry tree pitch to build their nests!

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American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)  – sings ‘perchickoree’ and flies in a series of hanging loops, potato chip, potato chip.

  • at this time of year goldfinches are dull olive-yellow.
  • they hang out at bird feeders, staying put until they are chased away. They arrive at feeders in flocks and feed quite happily side by side.
  • although they eat sunflower seeds, they seem to prefer thistle seed.
  • Hinterland Who’s Who says goldfinches go into feeding frenzies before snowstorms, putting on significant weight before times when seeds are scarce.

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Do you feed the birds and what kinds of birds come to your feeders? Do they have distinct personalities?

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Copyright 2018 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

at the bird feeder #2

with 4 comments

We had snow during the night and I can see clearly who has been at the feeder this morning…  so far, only a few chickadees and nuthatches, and , of course, the pesky grey squirrel. 

Do you have a bird feeder and what birds do you see?

 

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birds at the feeder

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feeder fill

seeds spill

nuthatch and chickadee

upside-down

crowds of goldfinch, redpoll

branch to branch

to ground

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©   Jane Tims   2011

 

Written by jane tims

January 7, 2012 at 8:30 am

at the bird feeder #1

with 4 comments

Today our bird feeders are a mess.  Racoons and grey squirrels don’t keep neat houses.  However, the seeds scattered across the deck are attracting a delightful array of birds.  The last few mornings we have had:

a few chickadees (Black-capped Chickadee, Parus atricapillus)… they grab a seed and swoop to the nearest low branch to break the seed open… they seem to travel in small groups, but bicker with one another at the feeder…

a few nuthatches (Red-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta canadensis)… they are acrobats, grabbing to the feeder and then flipping inside to get the seed… they are solitary, sometimes in small groups of two or three… they leave one another alone, each taking their turn…

a flock of goldfinches (American Goldfinch, Carduelis tristis)… gregarious, they are all a-flutter and feed together side by side… they hang around to break open the seed and tolerate other species beside them…

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goldfinches

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bright feathers distil

yellow from atmosphere

essence of sunflower

tipple and sip champagne

make small talk at parties

gesture with hands

paint scallops on air, animated discussion

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the gregarious obtain information

best feeder in the neighbourhood

best seed

least squirrel

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© Jane Tims  2011

 

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