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The Amazing Picidae Family

on Sat, 03/08/2014 - 12:55pm

Red-Bellied Woodpecker Photo by Vanessa L Mitchner Jan. 26, 2014
Picidae is the family name for Woodpeckers, (Order: Piciformes) and they are truly amazing birds! The Red-bellied Woodpecker (male) is featured here at left and right below as well as slide one of the home page feature. Slide two and below center is a female Hairy Woodpecker (left) and a female Downy Woodpecker (right). (Click here to see the photo.)

Red-Bellied Woodpecker Photo by Vanessa L Mitchner, January 30, 2014

From Bird Watcher's Digest we learned that all woodpeckers peck wood to create a nest cavity but not all of them do that for food. Flickers, red-bellied and red-headed woodpeckers (along with 19 other species from the Melanerpes tribe) do just

Eastern Bluebirds

on Sat, 02/08/2014 - 12:59pm

Eastern Bluebird
(Sialia sialis | Order: Passeriformes | Family: Turdidae) Unlike the Robins, around here we see Eastern Bluebirds on a regular basis throughout the winter, like this one on the left who stopped by for my birthday (02/08/14 :). In fact, we probably see them more in the winter than we do in the summer. Of course it does help to have a heated bird bath outside of your front window! We also have many of the wild fruit trees and shrubs with berries that they like to eat such as Cedar, Chokecherry, Pokeweed, Wild Grape, Virginia Creeper and Sumac. 

Six Eastern Bluebirds, one Northern Cardinal
Eastern Bluebirds
Eastern Bluebird bathing in a puddle.
Eastern Bluebirds

The List

on Sat, 01/11/2014 - 11:11am

Below is the "list" of all of the birds I have photographed to date, with 51 species now. NEW to the list this winter, a Ring-necked Pheasant (snowy photo below). Also, seen for the first time this winter but not photographed, a Northern Shrike. Another very interesting bird!

  1. Blackbird, Red-winged
  2. Bluebird, Eastern (8 in photo above, taken Jan. 27, 2013)
  3. Bunting, Indigo
  4. Cardinal, Northern
  5. Chickadee, Black-capped
  6. Crane, Golden-crowned (Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park)
  7. ***, Sandhill
  8. Crow, American
  9. Dove, Mourning
  10. Eagle, American Bald
  11. Egret, Great White
  12. Emu (Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park)
  13. Finch,House

Day One - Return of the Sun

on Sun, 12/22/2013 - 12:00pm

Day One of the returning sun (and a very icy-snowy one at that) I am posting a few sun-filled photos from this past summer of the female Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Sandhill Cranes

on Sat, 11/09/2013 - 11:09am

October 13, 2013

Flock after flock of Sandhill Cranes passed over us, all day it seemed. This one flock came low and circled for a while. We were hoping they would land at the pond for a spell ... but they carried on.

And what are these two doing, a love dance, or a flying lesson?