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Posts tagged ‘Photographs’

Chipmunks Out and About

The Eastern Chipmunks here have occasionally come out during the slightly warmer weather we have every few days.  I have seen the Eastern Chipmunk on my front porch where it sometimes explores a cardboard box that has a chipmunk-friendly hole in it.  The Eastern Chipmunks eat grains, seeds, nuts, berries, and insects.  The Eastern Chipmunks are quite speedy.  The Eastern Chipmunks here need to be quick as to avoid the birds of prey such as the Bald Eagles, Red-Tail Hawks and the Mississippi Kites.  The Eastern Chipmunk is a very cute little rodent, indeed!  There are now three little chipmunks living in my backyard.  Because the weather is now warmer, the chipmunks have begun to come out of their underground homes much more often.  They are very entertaining to watch.   Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Red-Bellied Woodpeckers in Action and Perched

The beautiful Red-Bellied Woodpecker uses its sharp long claws to hang on to tree bark and the perches of the bird feeders.  The woodpecker also tends to use its long tail to help balance it.  I have seen this use of the tail over and over.  The Red-Bellied Woodpeckers often pause for a short break in all of their busy work.  I sometimes see the birds just perched seemingly at rest.  The Woodpeckers generally do not roost for the night outside of their cavity nests in trees however.  I am always happy to see the woodpeckers here.  So far, I have not had any woodpecker damage to my home, decking or dock.  I hope it stays that way.  Occasionally woodpeckers can be innocently destructive by drilling into the siding of a home or other structure (note that in two pictures here the bird is on a telephone pole).  I took these pictures during the first two weeks of February, 2011 from my deck and from my windows.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photograph.  Enjoy!

An Update on the Greylag Goose

The Greylag Goose is a permanent resident of this private 101 acre community lake.  I don’t know the history of this goose but it has lived here for at least 18 months.  I think this Greylag Goose is a domestic goose that likely either escaped from a local farm or was let loose here at the lake as an older gosling or very young adult goose.  She raised an adoptive brood of Canada Geese when the Canada Geese were just goslings themselves.  Somehow, the Canada Geese just imprinted on her and away the group all went.  Now that those Canada Geese are grown, they have left for other places.  I do see a few Canada Geese every few days but they tend to come and go.  We have several smaller lakes nearby.  At first, I thought that the Greylag was unable to fly.  I was surprised earlier this summer when lo and behold, the Greylag up and flew!  She does not prefer to fly but certainly can and does fly on occasion.  Recently I have seen the Greylag Goose paddling around with the always good-natured Mallard Ducks.  This Greylag basically hangs around with any water bird that will allow her presence.  Of course, she prefers the company of the Canada Geese when they are here.  I took these pictures yesterday and also two weeks ago (flight).  The pictures were all taken from my balcony and from my window.  As you can see, the Greylag is healthy and seems to be doing quite well.   Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Northern Cardinals in Winter Finery

Northern Cardinals are exquisite birds, and especially so in winter months.  The males have neon-red feathers with a black mask,  The females have reddish-brown feathers with a orange-red beak.    The cardinals have been enjoying the berries, small bits of peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet in my bird feeders.  The Northern Cardinals also enjoy the fact that I have put bird seed on the ground here and there in my yards.  Cardinals eat a variety of insects, seeds, nuts, berries and fruits.  They are outstanding parents.  They are pretty shy and enjoy being in evergreens where the males can hide.  The females often blend in with the ground or the bark of trees and shrubbery.  The males being so brightly red, have a hard time going un-noticed.  I am always glad to have these musical birds in the area.  The Northern Cardinals are welcome guests in my yards!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

Birds of Prey Here on the Lake in Cumberland County, TN

Red-Tailed Hawk

A Red-Tailed Hawk, and Bald Eagles have recently visited our shoreline on the 101 acre private community lake where I live. I have taken pictures of the Red-Tailed Hawk and the Bald Eagles both in flight and perched in the tall Oak Trees just at the shoreline.  One of the interesting things about the Red-Tailed Hawk is that like an owl, the Red-Tailed Hawk can completely turn its head all the way around over its back.  This helps it find its food when hunting.

There are probably at least nine Bald Eagles in the greater community area here.  We are so glad to have these wonderful birds!  The Bald Eagles have been around my lake daily during this past week.  The American Coots are here in numbers as are several other waterbirds and smaller ducks.  All of these waterbirds are favorite foods of the Bald Eagles as well as the Red-Tail Hawk.  In addition to eating the waterbirds, the birds of prey will eat fish, and small rodents such as the chipmunks.   The Bald Eagles in the United States have made a good come-back from the decline in their population seen in the mid-Twentieth Century.  These photographs were taken on Jan. 30, 2011; Feb. 7, 2011;  Feb. 8, 2011, and Feb. 10, 2011,  from my windows and deck.  By the way,  Our snow was very light here and is melting or sublimating away.  We did get single digit temperatures last night and so the lake partially froze-over yet again.  I expect the lake to thaw by the end of tomorrow or Sunday at the latest.  The weather is supposed to dramatically warm up into the high 40’s to low 50’s F. on Monday.  Who can tell?  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

This Woodpecker Has a Mohawk!

The Pileated Woodpecker does have a wedge-shaped tuft of neon-red feathers on the top of its head.  The jumbo woodpecker is such an interesting bird that I am thrilled each time I see it!  There are a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers living in a large tree on the opposite shoreline from my home.  The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker that lives in the area here.  This beautiful black, white, yellow and red bird has a very large pointed bill that it uses to poke bark for insects.  The woodpecker also uses its bill to drill into the wood of tree trunks and branches.  This drilling is done to create cache areas to store food, and to enlarge a hollow in the trunk for a nest cavity.  That drilling is a true loud drumming sound.  The call of the Pileated Woodpecker is a shrill trilling siren type of sound.  The call can be heard a long way off.  I was totally happy to have the big bird visit my yards.  I took pictures of the Pileated Woodpecker in my front yard on my Black Walnut Tree and also in my backyard on two different Oak Trees.  The pictures were taken on Feb. 4, 2011 and Feb. 6, 2011.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

Wood Ducks on the Wing

The Wood Ducks have been here in a small flock lately.  I saw four of the colorful, medium-sized ducks just off my dock on the morning of February 7, 2011.  The Wood Ducks are year-around residents of this lake and a few nearby lakes.  The Wood Ducks eat insects, grains, and small aquatic animals.  The Wood Duck drake or male, is brilliantly colored while the hen or female is brown, tan, black, white and blue.  This is the first time I have taken pictures of a group of the Wood Ducks in flight.  The Wood Ducks are very wary of people and prefer quiet waters with few boats, or shoreline animals such as dogs and cats.  The Wood Ducks nest high above the water in tree cavities or in man-made nest shelves.  The newly hatched ducklings jump down from about heights of eight to twenty feet without any harm and find the water to paddle away with their parents.  I was quite glad to see the Wood Ducks and take these pictures.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photograph.  Enjoy!

The Bluebirds Love my New Suet Cake Feeder

Eastern Bluebirds have seldom come into my yards in the past.  That all changed recently when I added suet cakes to my bird feeders.  I have a very large suet cake that is designed for the woodpeckers to eat.  This larger cake has proven to be a big draw for the Eastern Bluebirds!  These Eastern Bluebirds even browsed for insects on the ground under the feeder.  The Eastern Bluebirds are insect-eating birds.  They will use a suet cake feeder to supplement their diet, when suet is offered.  I had a small flock come through on Feb. 5, 2011 and again on Feb. 6, 2011.  I noticed the birds perching in the Oak Trees just near the feeders.  They patiently took turns getting the suet.  I just love seeing the stunningly beautiful little blue and orange birds!  By the way, we have had a slight snow this morning.  One of the great benefits to having these Eastern Bluebirds around is that they are marvelous insect eaters.  I also saw the Starlings come to the feeder (Suet) for the first time this winter.  Love ’em or not, the Starlings have arrived.   Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

A Juvenile Bald Eagle Makes its Debut Here on the Lake

A Juvenile Bald Eagle has been flying around and also briefly perching in trees quite near my home in recent days.  This particular Bald Eagle is likely about a year old.  The Bald Eagle is just now showing its almost adult color pattern but still has a lot of speckled white on it.  The Bald Eagles here are attracted by the population of American Coots, Bufflehead Ducks, and the abundant fish in the lake.  There also are a more than a few other tasty Eagle foods such as Grey Squirrels, Chipmunks, and Mourning Doves.  The Eagle has not come with any regularity as to time of day.  It was here three different times yesterday and flew by very fast this morning at about 7:30.  I am showing two very different photographs of the Bald Eagle here.  One is where the Bald Eagle actually is flying almost sideways with its feet straight out to the right.  The other is a very interesting picture with the Bald Eagle flying very close by a flag pole with both the U.S. and Tennessee state flags flying!  That is a sight not often seen!  It always is a thrilling sight to see the Bald Eagles here.  We have had four breeding pairs and now, it seems, we have at least one young Bald Eagle added to that count.  I have only been seeing this particular Juvenile Bald Eagle for the past week here.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

A Gold Rush in the Yard (Goldfinches, that is)

Goldfinches are really beautiful little yellow-white and black birds.  These birds are year-around residents here but usually hang out in the area near the dam because the wild weed seeds that they love, grow there in the spring and summer months.  The male Goldfinch usually is a bright lemon yellow in color with black and white wing bars.  The female Goldfinch generally has a duller version of the male’s coloring with a bit more of an olive yellow color.  In the winter, the male’s color is much more pastel yellow and the female does not change color much.  The Goldfinches eat bird seed such as Millet, Niger, Oil Sunflower Seed, and small pieces of nuts and dried fruits.  The Goldfinch is a seed eater and does not eat insects.   Like most finches, the Goldfinch has a short, wedge-shaped beak.  The Goldfinches here in my yards, tend to perch in a spot for several minutes – even if that spot is a bird feeder’s perch!  I welcome the little Goldfinches when the flock comes by.  We usually will see between four and six Goldfinches when they show up here.  I took these pictures in my yards from my windows on Feb. 3, 2011; Feb. 4, 2011; Feb. 5, 2011, and Feb. 6, 2011 (the top row of photographs was taken just this morning).  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photograph.  Enjoy!

Goldfinches with male House Finch (red and brown bird)


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