Sunday, November 30, 2014


We have two Nuthatch species that visit daily to mostly feed on our peanut feeders. These little birds are delightful to watch as the often feed upside down. The do not migrate and are here year round.  The Red-breasted Nuthatch most always arrives first and visits frequently throughout the day. The White-breasted Nuthatch sometimes does not show up until late afternoon, but sometimes it changes its schedule and is seen at the peanut feeder in the morning hours.Their descriptive colourful names serve to identify one from the other.  The red-breasted Nuthatch with a rufus coloured breast  and with a white stripe on its black head easily sets it apart from the white-breasted one.  Looking at the photos included easily helps you identify which is which.
 Welcome to December, the first winter month.  Brrr..


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tree Sparrow for Saturday Critters

The quality of these photos is not the best as I have just taken them from my window and it is not fully light yet.  These little winter sparrows, Tree Sparrows are busy and actively feeding at our feeders early, as are the Chickadees and the one Song Sparrow which seems to have chosen to overwinter with us.
One characteristic that I rely upon to identify  the little Tree Sparrows is the bicoloured bill, The lower portion of which, as the photo below illustrates is yellow.

And if I don't see a bicoloured bill I then search for the dark breast spot which is characteristic of this sparrow species.  This little sparrow this morning appears to have a double breast spot, but that is okay as its bill is bicoloured, so it is a Tree Sparrow.  You have to look carefully when you are id'ing
sparrows especially when both Tree Sparrows and Song Sparrows are at your feeders as the Song Sparrow also has a dark center breast spot.
Look carefully at these two Tree Sparrow photos above and you can see the yellow portion of the bill, so it is a Tree Sparrow despite its double  breast spot!

Today I am linking with Saturday Critters which is hosted by Eileen at
Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A White-throated Sparrow with a dark center breast spot!?

Huh? A white-throated Sparrow with a dark center spot? I have seen this sparrow before and have wondered why it has a dark center breast spot??  Unusual?  I think so!

I have seen Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows and Tree Sparrows, all with a dark center breast spot , as was expected, but not  White-throated Sparrows, such as this one seen in bird Alley this morning.  What has been your experience?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goldfinch Days

Each day our feeders are  being visited by many, many, American Goldfinch and I love seeing these little birds. I am especially attracted by the warm sunlight tones still remaining on some of them.  The big attraction is the Niger seed feeder and at times it is difficult to count how many are on the feeder at one time as they are constantly shifting position and arriving and departing. The yellow leaves accent their yellow tones and it is in its total appearance a delightful scene from my window.


We are never lacking colour here in Bird Alley and the arrival of this handsome , colourful male Cardinal is always a big treat!

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lots of American Robins in our yard!

The Robins are here daily feeding on rosehips and oranamental crabapples in our yard.

 This is a daily delight as their beautiful red breast really light up the overcast dullness of these darker November days!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Robin Redbreast

"And we shall have snow! " Or so the weather forecast says.  I have been delighted to observe a beautiful Robin visiting in Bird Alley the past few days.My anticipation of the advent of spring is associated with the sighting of my first robin.  then  the rapid arrival of many of these red-breasted beauties dulls my excitement about Robin sightings . However this last glimpse of these season changing birds casts a winsome glance backward to summer and spring as winter approaches.  If this is my last Robin sighting  then  may the next be in the glory of spring.Some weather watchers have already reported snow falling today.  but not me, I would rather report Robin sightings. And I have already sighted another red coloured species this week. Thisspecies usually is more associated with winter:  and it carries a winter associated adjective in its namethe Northern Cardinal.  we had a visit this week from  
a female Northern Cardinal. She had a beautiful chunky red beak and a splash of red on her feathers mid way up her side.

 Our sparrow visitors have been reflecting change also this week.  Its seems that our little Chipping Sparrows have chosen to migrate and so now we will await the arrival of their northern (almost)look alike cousins from the north; Tree Sparrows. Perhaps with the approach of snow these wintering little sparrows will be hastening to our feeders.  I am also hoping to see some Pine Siskins at our feeders soon as we have Goldfinch feeding on niger seed daily now and their Siskin cousins often accompany the Goldfinch.
  On no!!!  I have just sighted snow on the roof of my car!!!