Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A daily visitor

In the fall, winter and spring I've been very lucky in the past few years to have a regular pair of visitors. The red-bellied woodpeckers are relative newcomers to this part of Ontario since they are a Carolinian species. Until recently they didn't venture let alone nest further north than Windsor, Ontario.

This is the female, the male's scarlet helmet comes right down to its beak. I was fortunate in catching this photograph yesterday afternoon when the female seemed to be assessing the feeder. She watched from her perch in my weeping birch for about five to six minutes, long enough for me to find the right spot to get a great image - and then she seemed to pose as if she was just waiting till I got it right - then she grabbed a seed and left.

All of which I found quite amusing to say nothing of amazing.

I watch this pair every year, sometimes a third one, obviously the baby joins them for a while. This fall it's as if they watch the clock - they come at such regular times. I'm getting familiar with the pattern and watch out the window at specific moments.

All the birds that visit my feeder provide delight, amusement, joy - any number of emotions. Some of the local birders come by to catch sight of some of the not so regular visitors if there is a special group like the Bohemian waxwings that are around this year, or the pine siskin or the white-winged crossbill. But they all want to see the red-bellies.

Mostly I feel as if these feathered visitors are friends. They greet me when I come out to fill feeders, particularly the blue jays with their raucous calls, and the chickadees - so bold and adventurous they fly right by my ear while I put in more seed. They can hardly wait it seems. Goldfinches whirl up like leaves caught in a swirling breeze, twittering and calling to each other as they move to get a better view of what I'm doing. And the white-breasted nuthatch continues its head-first pathway down the trunk - waiting to be first to get fresh food.

Special parts of my day. Special creatures in my world.

1 comment:

  1. What a gorgeous bird! I am so glad you were able to capture her. That feeder has supplied you with so many hours of enjoyment and now it is supplying me as well :) Thank you for sharing these moment!