Saturday, January 16, 2010

2010-01-08 Cigar-smoking cardinal and other yard birds

I have not posted anything lately, and am working on my photos tonight.

We have a tulip tree in the yard that we see from our dining room. After a recent snow it was quite pretty - it looked like a tree of snow cones!

A pair of cardinals hung out on the tree for awhile picking at the dried tulip flower remains. I really love the pics where you can see the birds with the bracts sticking out of their beaks. It looks like they were smoking cigars! I am not sure if they were cracking seeds at the base of the bracts, or maybe they were finding melted snow at the base. I assume the former. Anyway, what fun pics! Tough guy - don't mess with this cardinal!

Also, I have been getting quite a few pics of deck birds - mostly the "regulars". Actually most visitors are the "trash birds"  - House Sparrows - but even they are appreciated in winter!. This year is not as interesting as last year when we had an irruption of some special northern birds (Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls), but recently I have been seeing one or two American Tree Sparrows around. They are a welcome sight not seen since last winter.

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