Thursday, December 11, 2008

Free food in Mariandy's backyard!

We put out several bird feeders a few weeks ago and have been really amazed with some of the birds we've seen. This Downy Woodpecker is a frequent guest. He swaps places at the suet feeder with his partner (the female does not have the red patch) and so far they're managing to eat a cake of suet every four or five days.

A Red-bellied Woodpecker occasionally reveals himself - briefly - to compete for the suet. As you can see from his photo, he has a red head, not a red belly (there is another bird called the Red-headed Woodpecker that doesn't look like this one at all). Here he is:

We've also seen White-breasted Nuthatches, which are funny to watch because they climb face-first down the trees. A large family of Dark-eyed Juncos forages for seeds that have fallen on the ground. For the past week or so I've spotted a couple of birds with what appear to be red throats and breasts, and although I suspect they're House Finches, I can never get close enough to be sure. They're skittish. Maybe I need to invest in a pair of binoculars.

This past weekend I noticed that we have another species hanging out by the bird feeders - squirrels. There were three of them - one on each feeder. Hmm. Not sure what I think about this. But I guess if we're going to put food out, we can't be too picky about who comes over for dinner.

If you live in the Indy area and are looking for a good place to buy bird feeders, suet, or seeds, check out our friends at Backyard Birds. This is a locally-owned, independent store and the people there are experts on local birds. They're located at 2374 E. 54th Street, just west of Keystone. If you're lucky, you might get to meet Webster or Wrigley.