More Feathered Friends

I may never move. Not unless I can take the backyard with me.

The activity at the new feeder, delightful as it is, is only part of the show. Other birds — cardinals, juncos, chickadees, blue jays — seem attracted to the area by all the frolicking finches, and the finches themselves flit in and out of the flame bush and the Japanese lilac, both for the cover they provide, I suspect, and for the red berries (on the former) and the leaf buds (on the latter). No wonder that tree is having a tough time growing in a symmetrical fashion.

While in theory all birds are welcome, I admit I was glad that the European starlings moved on quickly after dropping by to check out what all the fuss was about. They’re pretty enough, but a tad overwhelming in large, noisy groups, and that’s just how they roll.

European starling in bare branches of flame bush

European starling

Male house finch in flame bush

Male house finch


Junco eating flame bush berries


Blue jay in bare tree

Blue jay

House ficnhes eating berries and leaf buds

House finches methodically maiming the Japanese lilac

3-photo collage of femalenorthern cardinals in flame bush eating berries

Female northern cardinals

3-photo collag eof male northern cardinals eating flame-bush berries

Male northern cardinals

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19 Responses to More Feathered Friends

  1. Ralph says:

    Nice photos !

  2. Tom Watson says:

    You manage to get the most striking pictures.


    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Thanks. Again. I also got some for my upcoming video of “My blurriest things.” 🙂 But as someone said in another context and on another site . . . perseverance.

  3. Jim Robertson says:

    Such nice visitors Isabel

  4. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – a mirror image blue jay. Sneaky! Jays may not have a great singing voice, but they are still my favourite.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Isabel – You’re right – blue jays have a grating call. I quote the Cornell Ornithological Society: “Blue Jays make a large variety of calls. The most often heard is a loud jeer. Also makes clear whistled notes and gurgling sounds.” By looking this up, I discovered that they also have a less obnoxious vocalization, called a “whisper song,” which I’ve never heard/noticed It’s sort of squeaky, but at least it doesn’t sound like fingernails down the blackboard. For those interested, scroll down past 8 recordings of the jeering call to find the single one of the whisper song. I don’t know if that represents the typical proportion in the wild, but wouldn’t be surprised.

      • John Whitman says:

        Isabel – I can honestly say I have never heard a blue jay’s whisper call.

        It may sound like fingernails on a blackboard to some, but I like the jay’s normal call. That’s because in NS it is mostly commonly heard in September which means it won’t be long before hunting season begins. And that was something important to me as a teenager growing up on the farm.

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          John – I expect that whisper song gets lost in the general hubbub – their usual call, not so much. 🙂 Next time I hear it I’ll think of it in that autumnnal sense. I have favourite childhood memories from that time of year, too.

  5. Spectaular! Such high resolution to photos — and backlit on the screen.

  6. Judith Umbach says:

    Fabulous photos! Reminds me fondly of our afternoon together with Ruth.

  7. Alison Uhrbach says:

    I want you to produce a calendar of birds!! I’m trying hard to attract birds to our new backyard, but with only limited success. In the meantime, I LOVE seeing your photos!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Alison – We have quite an advantage here, with the City’s linear park providing decent habitat for birds just behind and beside our yard. Re the calendar, I wonder if there’s a way to do it digitally, only. Many/most would not print so well, being too low resolution and JPEG format, besides.

  8. Marilyn Smith says:

    Thank you for sharing those beautiful bird photos, Isabel! I can’t stop looking at them, nor, it seems, can I stop feeling envious of all them feathered friends gathering in your yard and passing mine by! I guess I am going to have to plant some berry-producing bushes, and I’m also searching for a bird feeder that sticks to the window, as showcased in a previous blog! There is such a lovely softness to these images, where the focus on colour and background and branches and berries and feathers and birds looking straight at you all merge in clarity and simplicity and natural beauty. I could rapturize further…. but am just enjoying a vicarious visit with these little aviators.

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