Saturday, September 19, 2015

Birds of a Feather

Today I would like to share five 
of my feathered friends that live here
 in the foothills of Western Washington State. 

This little beauty is a male
Black-Headed Grosbeak. 

Every year we have a nesting pair. 
They eat seeds, fruit and insects
and raise their single brood
 of 3-4 chicks in a cup nest. 

They are slightly smaller than a Robin
with a beautiful song, similar to the Robin.

The female is slightly smaller with a duller coloration. 

They migrate all the way to Mexico, 
Central America and South America!  

I love that they come all this way
every year to give me such joy! 

These are our resident Jays, 
called Steller's Jays. 

These three are juvenile and 
haven't fully developed their 
beautiful crests yet. 

They are large Jays - 11 inches, and 
communicate with many different 
vocalizations, including shrieks, clicks, 
 and chatters. 

One call they use is an imitation
of a Hawk's call whenever they 
see one in the vicinity. 

This serves to warn other birds of danger. 

I have also heard them imitate
the 'hollow reed' knocking call
of an Eagle when one is flying nearby.

These highly intelligent birds mate for life
and usually stay within 10 miles of where
they were hatched, living as year-round residents.

They also eat insects, seeds and berries,
and a favorite treat are carpenter ants
and termites which makes them
valuable for pest control.

These striking birds are the brave 'watchdogs'
of the forest and I have witnessed them
forming large flocks to drive away hawks,
owls, and crows.

They are very social and comical
with their squabbling, chattering and curiosity.

I love finding their beautiful, azure feathers.

   This striking fellow is called a
Red-Breasted Sapsucker.

Here, I have caught him eating
apples on my tree.

Or maybe he was eating the worms inside!

I had to use a zoom to capture these photos,
as he is very shy.
They are most common in higher elevations
and rare in residential areas or city parks.

These beautiful birds are about 8 and 1/2 inches
and are year round residents.
The female is similar to the male.

They are an important species because
their cavity nest sites are used
by many cavity-nesting birds
that don't excavate their own.

It drills a horizontal grid pattern of holes
in deciduous trees, from which
it drinks sap and eats the insects
attracted to the sap.

They will also eat berries and fruit.

This alert fellow is a Northern Flicker.
These are the only woodpecker to regularly
feed on the ground, preferring ants and beetles.

They produce antacid saliva to neutralize
the acidic defense of ants.

They are year-round residents
here in Washington State.

These large woodpeckers (12 inches)
undulate deeply during flight while
giving a loud "wacka-wacka" call.

They also have a loud one-note call
while perching, which makes them
easy to find.

They are cavity excavators,
and both male and female
raise one brood per year of
5-8 chicks.

The female is similar to the male
but lacks the red 'mustache'.

One of my very favorite little residents
is the Anna's Hummingbird.

This lovely male has the characteristic
iridescent green body with dark head
that shines a deep rose red in direct sunlight.

The female lacks the dark head.

These are common western hummingbirds
that range from Baja, California
to British Columbia and are partial
to non-migrators.

These tiny birds are 4 inches long
 and feed on nectar and insects.

The female builds the cup nest
and raises 2-3 broods per year
of 1-3 chicks.

These little birds are fierce and territorial
and chase each other around,
buzzing right by our heads!

They are also quite tame and are not
bothered by our presence as
they feed on nectar while we enjoy
ourselves on the deck.

It is quite a sensation to have one
buzz around your face out of

If their feeder is empty, they are sure
to let me know by darting
back and forth in front of me
until I notice!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing and
learning a bit about the birds
that live in my neck of the woods,
dear friends!


Today I am linking with:

Love Made My Home - Five on Friday
Viewing Nature with Eileen - Saturday's Critters

Saturday's Critters

Won't you join the fun? 


  1. Hello1:) You are so lucky to see all these brightly coloured birds in your garden. Such great shots of them all and I enjoyed learning all the imformation about them.

  2. Glorious shots and scenery! Your photos are wonderful and so informative to read about them!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Good Morning Beatrice, I really enjoyed seeing your yard birds. You have a nice variety of birds in your yard. A couple of them are on my wish list of birds to see, like the Black Headed Grosbeak and the Anna's Hummer. I love the Stellar Jay's and the beautiful red head on the Sapsucker. The Flickers are cool birds. Your images are awesome, I love the mountain scenery and colors behind the hummer. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  4. Great captures of the hummers, my favorites. I also like the red headed one. Interesting post of your bird visitors.

  5. Gorgeous! You are so lucky to live where you can see such variety. They are all beautiful, as is the scenery! Red-Breasted Sapsucker -- I've never seen one "in person". Wow! Have a lovely weekend.

  6. Oh yes I did enjoy seeing these birds Karen!! The only bird we share from these are the flickers. I love your Stellar Jays colouring and the way they are the first alerts in the forest. They sound like they share the same boisterous temperament as our Blue Jays. You have some amazing colours flitting through your forest. We keep seeing the little hummingbirds here (ruby-throated), but I don't have any flowers that they like at the moment. I keep forgetting to put up a hummingbird feeder while they are migrating through ... maybe a job for this weekend!! Can I ask what ratio of sugar/water you put in your feeders? Thanks, and have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Hi Wendy - Thank you for stopping by - I always love your visits! To answer your is the recipe for Hummingbird Nectar:

      1/2 cup sugar
      2 cups water

      Mix together in small saucepan, bring to a boil and then turn heat off, stirring constantly until sugar is melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.
      If your Hummingbirds refuse nectar without the red coloring, add a couple drops of food coloring to the mixture. Store in refrigerator. Will keep for a couple of weeks.
      xoxo Karen

  7. I loved this post! Don't you just love birds! I love their singing. The other day we were coming home from work on a service road and I saw so many birds on the ground near the road. There was a large puddle and they were in there playing and splashing. I had never seen that before. I wanted to take a picture and video but I had no where to stop. There was a mist from all the spray. It was the most amazing thing. You got some great shots. Thank you for sharing about them as well. Have a lovely weekend! Diane

  8. Such great shots you captured Karen! I love that you know so much about the wildlife in your area. Such beauty out there. Of course, the hummingbirds are my favorite. ;)
    We have big blue jays here and they sure can be stinkers and kind of "take over" when a group of them is in our trees.
    HOpe you're having a wonderful weekend my Dear! xoxo

  9. I don't have the first of these but we had Flickers and of course, Hummingbirds. Thanks for sharing, have a great weekend.

  10. What a treat to see your beautiful bird visitors. They are all sweet and must be a real joy to see for real.

    Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

  11. You sure know your birds. I love the shot of th hummingbird against sunset. I have heard the jay do the hawk imitation but did not know about the eagle one!

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post and learning so much about the birds in your area. They must sound like a chorus when they all start to sing and talk to each other.....Obviously, where you live is a haven for many different birds. You are blessed to have so many so near by.....

  13. Your photography, as always, is beyond wonderful! The hummingbird photos at sunset with the stunning mountain range in the background, is magical. You've captured such a wonderful moment. I keep going back to marvel how you were able to capture such beauty in a single frame.

    Your photography and writing are always so special! LOVE this blog!!! :-)

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

    I'm amazed

  14. Oh dear such lovely and beautiful pictures you have taken! Just GREAT!
    Take care now...

  15. I have enjoyed seeing your pretty birds! So much more colourful than over here. They are lucky to share your beautiful countryside. :-)

  16. What a colorful group! Add me to the list who have never seen the Red-Breasted Sapsucker.

    (I have gotten pics of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.)

  17. Dearest Karen,
    What lovely photos of your special species of birds you show your readers here!
    Love that sapsucker and also its story.
    Over here I call the blue jays the 'street boys', because they are always very noisy but like you say, for warning others that is a great thing to do.
    Enjoy what you have on your property, it makes us one with nature!

  18. What a nice variety of birds in your area. A few I've never seen around here in my part of WA state. The Jays are in the mountains and I've seen them a time or two. - Here recently I've had several visits from a Wood pecker that I now know is a Northern Flicker. It scared me half to death one night with that shrill one note cry from atop of a telephone wire outside. I got pictures of it the other night on the ground eating some of the seeds/sunflower seeds I leave out. - Hummers are always fun to see but I never have seen them long enough to get pictures like you have. Thanks for sharing.

  19. You have a lot of birds at your house. We've had red shafted flicker here. I've seen both male and female. Not seen any hummingbirds here this year nor butterflies. We had some rain mid night and Thursday which we really needed. Thanks for sharing your bird photos and what the birds are. Amazing song filled creatures. I'd miss them if they weren't around at our place! They love our big trees. Take care and have a good weekend!

  20. How wonderful! You are just so much blessed even for their coming. I love how you captured them and it just made me laugh how they give you sign when they need to eat :)
    Hope yoi enjoy your week mrs. Karen.

  21. What strikes me Karen is the colour of your birds. Looking out of my window we have greys and browns and not much else. I would be sitting on your deck all day watching the comings and goings of these little creatures. Have a wonderful week x

  22. Beautiful pictures of these creatures, some I have never seen before, and very interesting to hear how they work in the wild, it is just amazing the gifts God has given to each one isn't it. I enjoy watching the birds in our feeders and this year we bought a hummingbird feeder because we noticed some around and I see them flying in front of my window to go to the feeder, they are fun to watch and one day last week I had my first one fly right by my head while watering my plants on the deck, it is amazing what their wings sound like. Interesting post :) Have a wonderful Sunday!

  23. Such beautiful birds, so wonderful to see them and read more about them! Your photos are wonderful, especially the one of the hummingbird in flight. Thank you for joining Five On Friday. Sorry to be so late commenting. I hope that you have had a great weekend! xx

  24. Love all the wonderful birds in this post! That red breasted sapsucker was a new one for beautiful! Great photos of them all!

  25. I enjoy all types of birds - they too give me joy to watch them.. I've yet to see the Red-Breasted Sapsucker and to me this is a great snap shot .. way to go nice capture!!

  26. Your bird post is delightful, Karen. Your birds are a bit different in Washington than ours in California. Your Steller's Jay is similar to our Blue Jay, but yours has a black head......ours is all blue with a whitish tummy. I see so many blue jays around here. The precious hummingbird is my favorite bird, and yours looks very much like ours........fluttering free, tiny, and very beautiful. I don't have the bird feeders, so when I see a hummingbird just in nature, it makes my heart sing.

    Thanks for sharing with us your lovely "birds of a feather" post. It was very interesting to me, as I am a bird lover myself.


  27. Beautiful birds, and quite different from the ones I see here in Michigan. We have blue jays and woodpeckers and hummingbirds, but they are different varieties. I've never seen a sapsucker. You have a wonderful habitat for all those birds; must be wonderful to hear them all singing and chirping. Great photos, too!

  28. Beautiful pictures! My Hubby is an avid bird watcher and I have learned so much from him. Now I even point birds out to him! I love birds, but my favorite have to be the hummingbirds. One year we were so lucky to find a tiny nest on one tree branch very close to one of our windows. It was really special to see these babies grow.

  29. Hi Karen, my dear friend, you can be so lucky, to have such wodnerful and colourful bird-friends arround you! Thank you for those georgeous pictures!
    Sending Love and hugs for a blessed week full of Joy and Happiness!
    Claudia xo

  30. Really enjoyed reading this post. Your photos are amazing. Joan at

  31. I love watching birds and you took really beautiful pictures of them.

  32. Beautiful captures Karen. Most of these are birds that we don't see in Texas. We have lots of Jays, but not the Stellar Jays, which I think are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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