Funny Bird #1:
Upside down Nuthatch in front of the last lingering foliage.
Funny Birds 2:
Happy looking House Sparrow, House Finch, and Tufted Titmouse chowing down.
Funny Bird #3
Female House Sparrow staking out her feeder spot.
Funny Bird 4:
Spinning Black-capped Chickadee.
Snow Goose! A LIFE-LISTER FOR ME! The photo quality is pretty horrible, but the lighting was poor and we were very far away from the goose.
Snow Geese breed in the arctic, and are rare in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, they are all too common elsewhere, and their population explosion in recent years threatens the very arctic lands they need in order to breed.
The Snow Goose with two friendly Canada Geese in Sudbury, MA. We were thrilled to see this beautiful bird. After seeing him, it seems all the more tragic that drastic methods such as allowing spring hunting of Snow Geese is necessary to keep the population in check.
They really are quite lovely. I wish I had better pictures so you could see for yourselves.
It seems strange to think that this one little white goose is such a problem - even more of a problem than the hundreds of Canada Geese blanketing the landscape. Very sad, in any case.
Winter Finches have taken over! They are all over the feeders as I start another year of Project Feederwatch backyard bird counts.
Seen in my very popular Eastern Red Cedar tree. There are usually bunches of birds hidden in the inner branches, invisible to the human eye.
Through the window shot.
Empty Pepsi bottles are strung along the feeder line, effectively eliminating squirrels from any of those feeders. They don't even try any more!
A lone goldfinch to round out the bunch. There was also a single purple finch, but he wouldn't sit still for a photo.
He's checking me out - and not overly pleased with the result.
Throwing water down his throat.
Just a house sparrow, I know, but pretty nonetheless.
I saw my Red-breasted Nuthatch yesterday, but couldn't get a photo. The White-breasted performed nicely.
There were actually three White-breasted Nuthatches eating suet yesterday.
I could barely hold my camera in the gusty wind, but despite a little blur I really liked this image.
A family of Mute Swans flew in while I was there, making so much noise I thought there must be a dozen or more. In fact, there was only five; one adult and four juveniles. The juvenile swans will turn white over the winter.
Hager Pond in Sudbury, MA is right next to a nice looking restaurant, and the fenced in pond contains quite a few domestic ducks and geese. I truly hope they aren't there in case a customer orders a duck dinner!
AN interesting view of the male Mallard's head feathers. The feathers are shaped in such a way that they sometimes appear green, sometimes blue, and sometimes both! The male Mallard's head feather's are actually black.
A lone leaf blown onto the water.
My Evening Grosbeak seems to have deserted me. Thank goodness I took plenty of pictures! I love this one! I love the branch dissecting the photo diagonally - and the bird is so pretty!
This one was through the window and the light was poor, but it turned out OK.
I think he looks like he is contemplating the universe!
Another through the window profile shot.
I've had Blue Jays all summer, but suddenly I have a lot more of them. It is possible that some of these jays migrated here from farther north; a theory postulated in this blog post by Chris Petrak. I like that idea, but I can't be sure the extra Blue Jays didn't move in from next door! Isn't he a beautiful bird, though?
I'll always be crazy about Blue Jays, despite their voracious appetites and somewhat aggressive feeder habits. Can you believe my mother used to make me chase them away from the feeders? She said they were hogs, and ate the food intended for the little birds. Maybe that's why I always feel so defensive of them!
I have to admit that up close they can look a little scary!
My first Dark-eyed Juncos this year look much darker than usual. Freshly molted feather, maybe?
I hate winter with a passion, but who could could fail to celebrate the return of winter birds like the Dark-eyed Junco?
Another irruptive species from the North Woods is the Red-breasted Nuthatch. They are supposed to come south much more frequently than species like the Evening Grosbeak, but I haven't seen one for decades.
The Red-headed Nuthatch usually makes it to Massachusetts every other winter. I never saw one in Sharon, though (maybe too south?), and this is the first year I've seen them in Framingham.
The two species are so similar in size, shape, and perching behavior that it's seems pretty obvious that they are related. I feel foolish admitting that when I first saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch last month, I was extremely puzzled by what I thought was a red-bellied Chickadee with a striped head!
Had I seen it in this typical Nuthatch pose, I probably would have caught on sooner. The Red-breasted is a little stockier than the white-breasted Nuthatch, but they still look remarkably similar.