Sunday, October 2, 2016

Drama in the back yard

(Please note. These gifs can run slow at first, or at least they do for me. Once they have gone through a full cycle, usually 10 or 15 seconds, they should run smoothly.) The first day I ever worked with the video camera, every bird in the neighborhood suddenly showed up - including some we had rarely seen before. This is a female flicker who has taken to the suet feeder. She hung around for quite a long time - oh, so beautiful, while I scrambled to capture video of her.  I hadn't put the camera on the tripod yet and was wobbling all over the place. I don't know when we'll see her again.

Up close and personal with a Steller's jay. These guys are frequent visitors and tend to gulp and guzzle the seeds, quickly emptying out the feeder. They are so beautiful, almost as mystical at the flickers.

We were amazed that the flicker hung around for so long. In this case, it flew down and pecked at the crack in the door. Flickers are a kind of woodpecker and would normally go after grubs in the ground. This time it actually used the feeder (very briefly), hammering away at it.

Squirrels! We have three baby squirrels living in the back yard. This happens every year. They were likely born in the spring and are SO CUTE that we can't bear to keep them away (like so many bird-feeding people try to). We couldn't believe they'd go after suet or be able to get to it. Obviously they can. Occasionally we get fat bushy-tailed grey squirrels, and even the odd red squirrel which is particularly adorable.

We have tons of juncos in the yard. This is an example of a particularly handsome male. They just hang around and eat, mostly the fallout from the feeder. They are easygoing and don't attack each other, believing there is plenty to go around.

And this is the miracle - even more miraculous than the appearance of the flicker. This is a spotted towhee, a bird we have only rarely seen, and always on the ground. Not sure why so many amazing birds showed up when I was using the video camera for the first time! 

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