Sunday, November 15, 2009


Oh goodie, it's snowing again; which almost always
brings wonderful birds down to feed. Sometimes, birds I seldom otherwise see in my yard appear in bad weather
...though it's not that bad today.

In really bad weather, I sometimes see Purple Finches which looked dipped in raspberry jam, Cassin's Finches with their spiky-red heads and even my beloved Pink-butts (Rosy Finches) all three color variations.

I can hardly wait!

I am able to add a Hairy Woodpecker to my weekend Count, however. There seem to be 1-2 pairs of Woodies and 3-4 pairs of Downys who live around my yard. I probably see the smaller woodpecker twice or even three times as often as the larger one.

And perhaps because they love the fat-worms I offer them, I counted eleven (11 !!!) magpies in my yard, all at once.

Who knew a number of these birds is called a 'Murder of Magpies'?
Well, I tell ya, watching them eat bits of raw meat and fat makes the name really seem to fit!

I got a picture of the new squirrel baffle I built yesterday, see the dove shots below. I like it better than the first baffle...but both work just fine. I've yet to find a squirrel in a feeder from a protected pole, or a feeder torn apart and ruined by visiting raccoons, either.

And, I offer two pictures: how to tell if the bird on your suet feeder is a Hairy or a Downy Woodpecker?

Size is your first clue; the Hairy is noticeably larger.While the photos are not an exact comparison should be able to see one bird is diminutive compared to the huge one; use the feeder as the comparrison. What is it called when you use words to cue a lable? Try: Diminutive Downy and Huge Hairy.

Measure your feeder; discover how long six-seven inches compared to over nine inches. Perhaps even mark your feeder, if you have to. Anyway, these are two photos, different species that look nearly identical, taken from about the same spot on the same feeder. On a standard, single-cake suet-cage, a Downy looks tiny and a Hairy is longer than the cage is. I hope it helps.

OMG The White-winged Dove is still here! Poor stupid! (something my friend MaryAnn says of people who make bad decisions, "Poor stupid," it cracks me up...and fits into so many instances, to boot.)

I love those big windows in my kitchen; the three curve the entire width of the room and even just walking through the kitchen affords me a nearly perfect view of my backyard counting area. And here you can see the new baffle. It's made from a piece of light-weight stove pipe and duct tape. The one I made a year ago is still holding up fine, so I'm pretty pleased with my $5 DIY Squirrel Baffle design.

Mostly I try to discourage doves and pigeons from coming here...but occasionally am tickled to find an unusual one. I thought I saw a white edge along the wing of a dove sitting in a feeder.

Grabbing my bad little camera, I looked for the small, black, crescent-shaped smudge just below the was there!

And then the bird noticed me at the window and stretched up just before taking off. Yup, it was a White-winged Dove!

On a related topic, I was wondering if the Eurasian rats, I mean Eurasian Collered-dove and the White-winged dove might cross-breed. Some of the EUCDs almost look to have a white edge along the front of the wing; but no, I imagine they do not cross-breed. Actually, White-winged doves are more closely related to the smaller Mourning dove; both are the family "Zenaida"...and both have the pretty little cheek mark.

  • White-winged Dove: are said to sound like "Who cooks for you?"
  • Mourning Dove (they sound like they're lamenting...which has nothing to do with the time of day!)
  • Flying rats...I mean Eurasian Collared-dove (I mean seriously, what color IS a Eurasian?) Their call is far more guttural and boring.

White-winged Dove Clip

Mourning Dove Clip

Clips are from YouTube, photos are mine.

1 comment:

mdmnm said...

The Eurasian doves croak, more than they coo. Not terribly pretty. I haven't seen them interact much with white wings or mourning doves, though the latter two will frequent my feeder (shoulder to shoulder). Down in Abq., the white wings will stay all winter, much to my surprise.