A Birder’s Dozen…

I’ve mentioned Jim’s crazy “Bird Buffet” on our back deck many times in my blog…we currently have at least eight bird feeders in operation (in the summer, we also have three hummingbird feeders).  The kids are on March Break this week.  Yesterday, Anna called me at the bookstore and said excitedly, “I think we’ve got waxwings!” 

In my somewhat distracted state, my mind made a weird jump back to the times the kids had come home with lice…I thought, “Oh, no…how do we get rid of waxwings?!”  It took me a couple of minutes to realize Anna was talking about birds, not something contagious!  After I recovered my senses, Anna and I discussed what kind of waxwings we were afflicted with had hanging around.  She sent me a photo via e-mail, and we decided they were Bohemian Waxwings.

Huge Bohemian Waxwing in the lilac bush out front (photo by Anna)

Jim and Anna both have new Nikon cameras (Jim has a D-90, and Anna a D-3100), and have been using the birds as subjects…here are some of their best shots:

American Tree Sparrow sitting in lilac bush out back (photo by Anna)


American Tree Sparrow (I think) coming in for an icy landing (photo by Jim)


Black-capped Chickadee (photo by Jim)


Black-capped Chickadee coming in for a landing at one of the finch feeders (photo by Anna)


Blue Jay perched in the top of the lilac bush out back (photo by Anna)


Blue Jay at our large feeder (before the squirrels chewed it!)...(photo by Jim)


Cardinal in the lilac bush out back (photo by Jim)


Goldfinches and Pine Siskins in a feeding frenzy (photo by Anna)


Hairy Woodpecker cleaning up after the squirrels...(photo by Anna)


Purple Finch trying to decide where to start (photo by Jim)


White Breasted Nuthatch perched on the gate (photo by Jim)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip around our yard…watch out for waxwings!


Filed under family, nature, photos

64 responses to “A Birder’s Dozen…

  1. Those photos leave me speechless, which is rare. Send my compliments to Jim and Anna, please.

    These are the moments which make up living.

  2. Oh my gosh…I am always amazed at the wonderful pictures your family takes! Gorgeous!

  3. Nice pictures, Wendy, and no grackles!

  4. jacquelincangro

    You have some great photographers in your house! And some really pretty birds outside your house! Love the sparrow coming in for a landing.

  5. The pictures are wonderful. I love the hummingbird shot by Anna–and Jima cardinal. My dad is a life long birder and we have travelled far and wide to catch rare birds but I never really caught on. I do love the cardinals though. Their red brilliance never fails to catch my eye and make me stop to admire them. One cardinal summers with us every year and I find myself waiting for him to show up each spring.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, Katybeth…I’ll pass your kind words along to Anna and Jim. We had at least three cardinals this year…they’re so shy, they’re hard to get a photograph of (ditto the nuthatches).

      Thanks for reading!


  6. 1959duke

    What great pictures. We have cockatiels. They are truly amazing. If I fell the way they do I’d be in traction for a month! Birds just bounce right back up! Maybe there is a lesson in that?

  7. Your waxwing/lice confusion made me laugh out loud! But I love the photos–the blue jay is amazing.

    Hugs from Haiti,

  8. Fantastic pictures! Is David Attenborough staying with you?
    In spite of my highly publicized war on the sparrows I really like birds in the wild and seeing these North American birds reminded me of home–thanks!

    • Glad to bring you some reminders of home, Tom! No David Attenborough, just an artsy teenager and a computer tech who enjoys photography when he’s not working on computers! I’ll pass your compliments on! Wendy

  9. Simply gorgeous. I’ve tried bird feeders, but the squirrels take over.

  10. Beautiful photos, Wendy. We have several bird feeders in our yard and I have become quite the birdwatcher! I wait patiently every year for my favorite the Hummingbird to return. Enjoyed the birdwatching trip through your yard. Hugs, Diane

  11. Jess Witkins

    Wow, what beautiful photographs! So clear it’s like I’m staring out your window with you! I love the one of the bird flying to the feeder with all the icicles hanging down. Fun read and nostalgic for me too. My parents house is surrounded by bird feeders and we would watch for different species and name them. Growing up we had a family of cardinals that repeatedly came and we named the couple Scarlett and Redda. lol. I loved that.

  12. Beautiful pictures! What talented people. Love all the birds. The Cardinal reminds of where I grew up. In the summer we have Yellow Waxwings fly through the city. Literally hundreds for a few days then they are gone. I have no idea where they come from or where they go.

  13. Wendy–
    what lovely photos! Send bests to Jim and Anna! I love the one with the icicles…

    just beautiful

  14. Wendy, do you live at the Audubon Society? I’ve never seen so many different kinds of birds in one place. Amazing pictures.

    • Thanks, Charles…I’ll pass your compliments on to Anna and Jim! Nope…not the Audobon Society, just Hammond River, New Brunswick! Put feeders out, and they will come! We’ve had a dozen finches on one feeder at times! Wendy

  15. The photos of the birds in flight are really neat! I’m glad Waxwings aren’t as bad as head lice.

  16. Oh my gosh — I love how your mom mind jumped back to the lice. Too funny. And what beautiful pictures. Glad to hear waxwings are somthing you actually want around!

  17. hiow wonderful to have them so close, my birdfeeder is further away to give them some space to flee the cats should they be nearby.

    what happens to the hummingbirds in winter. I’m suddenly anxious for them

    • Thanks for stopping by, VFTS…luckily, we don’t have cats…just a dog who loves to terrorize the squirrels! The hummingbirds fly south for the winter, so they’re perfectly safe! The feeders will go out again when it’s warm enough! Wendy

  18. What striking photos, Wendy. Until now, I never knew purple finches existed!

    • I’ll let Jim and Anna know you enjoyed the photos, Maura! The purple finches are quite pretty…they look a little bit like they were dipped in raspberry juice! Hugs, Wendy

  19. What gorgeous birds Wendy!! And such lovely pictures!! I’m happy and envious that you have such fine feathered company! My favorite has to be the Bluejay…that incredible blue is a show-stopper 🙂

    Hugs, H.

  20. Good pics. Are you feeders really close to house or is Jim/Anna’s camera just have really great lenses? My camera is so wimpy even the birds on our near feeders don’t come in that clear. We get all those guys in Wisconsin too but have not seen a purple finch in years. Saw red-wing blackbirds Tues! Spring is coming.

    • Both, Jeanne! The feeders are on the back deck, and Jim’s got a really powerful zoom lens, which he and Anna share! I’ve never seen red-winged blackbirds here, but we had them in Ontario. I’m looking forward to spring! Thanks for commenting…I was really concerned about getting all the species right, but figured you’d set me straight if I messed up! Wendy

  21. Beautiful birds – love the photos, Wendy. I love the blue jay, and the cardinal is such an amazing colour – what a treat to see all these varieties of birds in your garden.
    Sunshine xx

  22. I LOVE these photos! I don’t think I’ve seen a waxwing. I will have to look in my little bird book to see if West Virginia gets a visit from them. I like the black capped chickadee. Great post, Wendy.

    • I just checked a “bird map”, Vickie…you’re more likely to see the Bohemian Waxwing’s little brother, the Cedar Waxwing, in your neck of the woods…the Bohemians don’t come that far south! Glad you enjoyed the photos…will pass your compliments along to Jim and Anna! Wendy

  23. Wonderful photos! My partner, Roger, and I live in a New York City apartment, so we don’t have birds like those just out our window, but our apartment is in Staten Island, and there are bird sanctuaries a short drive away, south of where we are on the island. Roger has taken some wonderful photos over the years (though not as close-up as yours), which I occasionally steal as illustrations for my blog 🙂 Some of them are in a piece I did on one of our favorite walking places: http://jevcat.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/my-staten-island-mount-loretto/

  24. You’d love the view from my window next to my writing desk. There’s constantly a swirl of birds around all the snacks left out by the neighbors. Those bluejays are the meanest!

  25. I’ve never been a bird person, but nice work.

  26. Kim Woehl

    Absolutely in awe of the amazing pics. I wish I had a camera that would allow me to capture such detail. This would also require that I had the patience to sit and wait for the birds to come into my viewer. Beautiful!

  27. Love the photos, Wendy. Some great shots!

  28. Absolutely beautiful pictures! What an awesome experience to see them so close up! We had feeders at one time but all we had feasting were squirrels! 😦

    • Thanks, Paula…will pass your kind words on to Jim and Anna. We have two red squirrels and two grey squirrels who give the birds a good run for their money, in addition to chewing the plastic off the feeders! They are fun to watch though! Wendy

  29. Just beautiful, Wendy! And, I’m amazed by the talent of your two photographers. I would love to look out of my window and see those pretty sites.

  30. My grandpap loved to watch and care for the birds. He built several bird houses and we would sit for hours and listen to his enormous amount of wisdom. He passed away recently and this post reminded me of our time together – beautiful photos.

  31. What talent–I’m in awe. This is the fifth time I’ve visited this post! Thanks for sharing!

    • Wow, RITY…you must really like birds! If you want to see more of Anna’s work, check out the link to her Flickr stream at the right (she’s taken several more since then)! I’ll pass your compliments along to Anna and Jim! Wendy

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