Monday, January 05, 2009

Chilly Titmouse


We've had single-digit temperatures on several recent days here in southeastern Ohio. On one such frigid morning, I took this photograph of a fluffed-up tufted titmouse, visiting the suet dough tray on the front porch.

It was so cold... (How cold WAS it?)
It was so cold, that you could actually see the bird's cleavage.

I could go on, but won't, in the fast-fading spirit of the season.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Death Rocket

Northern cardinal male. We have one less of these on the farm this morning.

First thing this morning, while I was talking on the telephone with a hick buddy from West Virginny, the death rocket came blasting past the studio window.

This was a big female sharp-shinned hawk and she swooped up into feet-forward position to grab a male northern cardinal. Her piercing talons must have killed the redbird instantly because he hung limp as she pumped her wings and propelled the two of them into the sumac thicket. Entering the thicket at full speed, she turned just so, and did not disturb a single snowflake from the branches as she passed.

The entire event took less than three seconds. The sharpie was in blurry, fluid motion the entire time. Many of the birds at the feeders next to the birch tree were so surprised that they did not have time to react. And in the aftermath, no one dared visit the feeders for half an hour, despite the ice and snow covering everything.

Nature red in tooth and claw...


Sharp-shinned hawk at our feeders last spring.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Today at the Feeder


An adult female yellow-bellied sapsucker showed up at the peanut feeder today. Zick had noticed that the peanut consumption was way up and the peanuts in the feeder were way down, and wondered why—even going so far as to wonder specifically about a sapsucker.

I think she may have even conjured this bird. It's been years since we've had a sapsucker at the feeders regularly. I'm hoping this gal stays for a spell. We've got lots of peanuts on hand—she can eat all she wants.

Happy Friday everyone.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

On Sirius Radio Today

Subadult male ruby-throated hummingbird.

If you are a Sirius Satellite Radio subscriber you can tune in to Channel 112 for Martha Stewart's "Living Today" radio show hosted by Mario Bosquez today at 3 pm. Mario and I will be talking about the backyard birds of summer.

Sorry for the short notice.

More Brazil posts here on BOTB starting tomorrow.

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