why I like to participate in this project. This morning, for about an hour, there was a white-breasted nuthatch flitting between my feeder-trees out back. This is only the second time I've seen a white-breasted nuthatch in the yard since moving here 5 years ago. If I hadn't been doing a count, I'm quite sure that I would have missed it.
Since I had the camera out to photograph that bird, I decided to take pictures of a few other birds that were coming in this morning as well.
So my question is whether this is just a plumage variation? Or is this bird a hermaphrodite? Or is there some other abnormality occurring? Chances are that I'll never know, but it's interesting to speculate!
No unusual issues for the rest of these feeder visitors, but they posed very nicely for me and the light was good, so I thought I'd share them with you. This is a mockingbird who's a regular visitor to the water bowl....
In mid December (on a count day, of course) I photographed this female yellow-bellied sapsucker who stopped in to sample the suet, much to the irritation of my usual starling,...
as well as this male spotted (western) towhee, who had a penchant for digging in this same spot for several weeks. I haven't seen him recently, though.
Beginning over Christmas break, it seemed like some of the birds started pairing up. I've seen only male red-bellied woodpeckers so far this year, only one tufted titmouse at a time, and the downy woodpeckers came in to feed separately. Today I've seen pairs of both the red-bellied woodpeckers and the downy woodpeckers, feeding in the courtyard at the same time. I've also seen two tufted titmice at a time, as well as two chickadees. It seems awfully early for courting behavior, but maybe they're living together for a while before committing to raising children together!
Before I know it, the red-winged blackbirds will be back in numbers and the early spring migrants will be headed north again. The turning of the seasons in all its predictability and magic.