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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Yard Birds

Painted Bunting, male

Northern Cardinal, female


Palm Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yesterday we spent the morning in our friend's yard, sitting on their deck, sipping coffee with them and watching their bird feeders. They must have the best backyard birds in Sanibel because we saw such a wonderful variety of birds. I sat with my camera and took photos, not staged portrait perfect, of these wonderful visitors, just as they were. The Painted Bunting, stunning in the sunlight, peeked from behind some vines. This is one of my favorite birds and one which I call the "Monet" bird because he wears an artist's pallete of colors. The shy female Cardinal took her time approaching the feeders. A Palm Warbler foraged on the ground, it's yellow undertail coverts so obvious. Palm Warblers look as if they "sat in mustard", and constantly bob their tail, as if trying to get rid of the mustard. Yellow-rumped Warblers are still everywhere and it is not time yet for their northward migration. The best surprise was an Ovenbird who strutted out in the open. This shy warbler with the orange-and-black streaked crown is usually secretive and gets its name from its oven-like domed nest. It, too, will migrate back north in spring, maybe to Bobolink Farm, our NH home, where so many Ovenbirds nest.

Our friends enjoy the same type of birding that we like, where you sit back, quietly watch and let the birds come to you, loosing yourself in the moments these beautiful creatures are before you. Thanks for sharing, W and G.

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