Bird Spying

When I'm not riding, I'm doing old lady things.

Like birdwatching.

I REALLY love birdwatching and feeding the birds in my backyard. Some people think it's a weird old lady hobby, but I don't care. My husband may say that I have a mild obsession with bird watching. Again, don't care.

I really love birds.

I have, so far, sighted 26 different species in my backyard alone, not to mention the others I've spotted at the barn and elsewhere.

I have been known to take my bird ID book on vacation with me.

When I use my binoculars, I feel like I am spying on them.

I am really picky about what birdseed I buy, and have been known to go through bags of it in the store saying, "Crap, crap, crap, this is millet-filled crap, OH THAT ONE HAS PISTACHIOS!"

It's not a problem. Yet.

Ever since I was little, I've always been a lover of wildlife. I was a strange child, and chose to watch nature documentaries instead of cartoons. Observing different species of birds is one of the most fascinating things ever, and I want to share it with you! Here are a few of my favorite visitors:

The Tufted Titmouse

These little guys can be seen year-round at my feeder. With their huge black eyes, soft coloring, and silly hairdos, they look like cartoon characters. They are small birds, about the size of your average sparrow, and have bright little personalities. Titmice are pretty bold, and will stake out the feeder and swoop in to grab a bite in between other birds, and also enjoy the suet block. Their call sounds like what I would imagine a baby dinosaur to sound like. Tufted Titmice are adorable and fun to watch.

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker

This bird is BIG and BRIGHT! I refer to the one that visits my yard as "That Guy" because he's always doing things that "That Guy" would do. Like making a huge freakin' mess of everything by literally flinging birdseed everywhere until he finds a peanut. Or swooping in awkwardly and knocking little birds off the feeder. Or just being generally obnoxious. I kind of love him.

The Cardinal

The Cardinals are like the Lord and Lady of the yard. Always classy, always elegant. This year I was lucky enough to have two breeding pairs visit, and was able to watch the male bring the female "presents" of seeds and nuts. The males are bright red with a black mask, and the females are a soft brown-tan with a vivid orange beak. They are both absolutely fabulous. Cardinals always seem to be above the squabbles and drama of the other birds.

The American Goldfinch

These little golden gems only come around in the spring and summer, and they are some of the most beautiful birds out there. They are bright and energetic, and often come to feed in groups of up to 8 finches; 4 male-female pairs. Occasionally, there is Finch Drama at the feeder during which they fight about... something. I haven't quite figured out what their problem is yet.  The Goldfinch is another species of bird in which the males and females have different colorations: the female finches have a much duller brown color than the vivid males.

The White-Breasted Nuthatch

These birds are hilarious! Nuthatches are closely related to woodpeckers, and climb up and down the trunks of trees instead of perching on branches like other birds. The ones in my yard have developed a feeding technique which involves them gripping onto the feeder stand with their feet, sliding down, plucking a seed out of the tray, and then flying off with their prize. Nuthatches are funny little birds with a very unique style of getting around, and they always make me smile.

There are a lot more birds that come to eat at my place, but these are definitely some of my favorites. This spring and summer I hope to spend a lot of time out by the feeder so the birds get used to me, with the goal of eventually hand-feeding them.

I hope you enjoyed this small glimpse into my weird hobby!


  1. Very cool! I love how you clearly watch the birds closely as well to see their behavior, that is very neat.

    1. Thanks! There is a part of me that's always wanted to be a wildlife researcher... and I get my fix with the birds. :)


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