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Birds Beyond the Glass
Blue Jays rarely visit our feeder so I was happy to catch this one having a snack of sunflower seeds. His bold blue, black, and white feather jacket stood out against the soft yellow and green leaves.
In the backyard of my childhood home in Wisconsin Blue Jays were frequently seen in the large oak trees growing there. I didn't know it at the time, but Blue Jays love to eat acorns and they had piles of them to devour in the shade of the huge oaks. They'd sometimes bury the acorns and forget about them creating new oak trees that would sprout up months later. They also like to eat caterpillars, beetles and grasshoppers.
Blue Jays are social birds often seen in pairs or small groups. It is a large songbird with a distinctive call, "Jeer, Jay, Jay, Jay." They take up so much room (10-12" or so) on the deck feeder that a line forms of birds on the roof above waiting for a turn to get a seed or two.
The Glorious Goldfinch
Goldfinches eat scattered sunflower seeds they find on the deck from the feeder above. They also like to eat Nyjer Thistle out of our feeder that has six perches which are often full at feeding times. When the mood strikes them the Goldfinch will eat upside down. It's the only finch able to do so. Other birds such as the Nuthatches and Creepers are upside down eaters as well.
Cardinals are my absolute favorite birds to watch; the male for his red and black sleek ultimate power suit and the female who wears a soft brown and red trimmed fine feather coat. Together the two make a perfect couple on any perch.
If you hear "cheer cheer cheer," "whit-chew whit-chew" or "purty purty purty" whistles you may have a Cardinal or two visiting a nearby tree or at your feeder.
The cardinal was chosen as the State Bird of Illinois by Illinois school children, and it was made official in 1929 by the Illinois General Assembly. The Cardinal is not only the state bird of Illinois, but also, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Dark-Eyed Junco
The Dark-Eyed Junco briefly stopped by our feeder in search of fallen seeds on the deck before quickly flying away. It's gray and white feathers puffed out making it look like it had coat of soft fur. I've taken to keeping my camera on the kitchen table to capture infrequent visitors like the Junco. They drop in for a few seconds and are gone again in a flash so don't blink when they stop by.
Grosbeaks Stand Out
This sharp looking Rose-Breasted Grosbeak cruised in to sample the sunflower seeds and shared his find with a small House Finch. They left each other alone and ate at a steady pace cracking seeds open and tossing the hulls onto the deck floor.
The female Grosbeak is not as fancy as the male primarily brown with a white stripe by her eye and wing linings an orange yellow. I captured a few shots of her on my deck. She was either giving me her best "Angry Bird" look or played shy for the camera while she ate a banquet of seeds.
The House Finch with its slick red crown and shiny black beak is a regular at our feeder. A female usually accompanies this fine fellow and they both stop by a couple times a week to eat the sunflower seeds. They also like to eat fruit and insects, especially aphids. What would be really amazing is if they could add wasps, biting flies and mosquitoes to their diet. They are a joy to watch no matter what they decide to eat.
Coo, Coo & Woo Woo
This particular Mourning Dove doesn't seem to have a clue what time it is. Morning, noon or night it doesn't seem to matter to this silly bird. It will hang out on the deck for hours scavenging for fallen seeds and just watching other birds come and go. The tree next to the deck is a favorite spot as well. A dove friend/mate will chum around with him for awhile, but seems to get bored after a bit and flies off.
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