It’s in our blood. Bird loving and amazement.
Grandmother Feary would sit and gaze at the many birds outside her sitting room window in the New Hampshire winter munching on seed and suet. She kept a bird watching book by her side. Her children took up the cause. Years ago Peterson’s Field Guide to Birds of North America was a valued gift by our Aunt who also happens to gaze upon the countless wild birds out of her kitchen and den in the Allegheny hills of West Virginia.
So it was natural when we got out to St. Louis that we set up some feeders around HQ. There are feeders just off the deck outside the master bedroom. There is a feeder (during the summer) in the side yard in view of the patio – and not too far from the BBQ. There is a feeder now with bird bath off our kitchen. And they are all active when suet and feed are in full effect.
One of our holiday surprises was the Nothern Flicker Woodpecker. I recall years ago being astonished to see one lone NF on the suet off the back deck. The birds are just a tad smaller than a blue jay, a fairly large back yard bird as compared to a Wren or Cardinal. We saw the bird just once and never again. I remember marking the Field Guide just so I wouldn’t forget one of them dropped by.
This year Tracey called down to the bar, “Tom, come quick. You have to see these birds.” I moved quickly only to be warned that a slow entry to the kitchen was necessary so as not to frighten the birds just outside the window. As I entered, I noted several of these larger birds zipping by the front yard to and from the Red Maple where I had hung suet earlier in the month. I couldn’t quite recall where I had seen these birds before so I grabbed the trusty Guide.
Wha-la! The Northern Flicker. But there wasn’t just one. There were four of these woodpeckers all taking turns at the suet on Christmas Day as snow rained down from the sky. I managed to snap a couple of shots out the front kitchen window before the battery died in the camera. I cursed. Then spent the weekend playing IT man to get these pictures off the camera into a PC that could handle the driver (another blog post to trump Panovec’s sad attempt at home IT humility).
At any route… A couple of shots to share that we managed to catch of our Northern Flickers on Christmas Day:
No Flickers just above in the last picture but a woodpecker and wren none the less sharing the booty.