Song Sparrow

Dark-Eyed Junco

House Finch

Recently, I visited a friend at his condo- and while we were watching DVDs, I kept an eye on his patio, where he maintains a bird feeder.  Sure enough, there were some avian visitors, and my camera was ready.

The little patio is neat and enclosed- almost a walkway between condo and garage.  Surprisingly, this little space has been the scene of some interesting natural events, including the hatching of a Praying Mantis egg case in the rose bush, the location of the dead preserved body of the Praying Mantis mother who had placed the egg case there, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird visits to the hummingbird feeder (where occasional dogfight squabbles happened), and- most amazingly- the appearance of a Bobwhite quail one warm-weather day.  How it decided to end up there is a real mystery!

The first visitor I noticed seemed to be very comfortable in this space, often sitting in the rose bush for extended periods of time, interrupted by occasional visits to the bird feeder.  This familiar guest is a Song Sparrow, quite possibly one that had nested on the other side of the building in a nearby bush last spring.

Here are some better views.  Song Sparrows are one of my favorite birds, being comfortable enough around human habitations, yet not overly-familiar like House Sparrows- a nice combination of often being nearby without being under foot.

This bird decided it was time for a bite to eat.  Keeping an eye upon the guy with the camera behind the glass door, it hopped along the bricks before fluttering up to the bird feeder.

The Song Sparrow flew off for a while, and in its absence there were other visitors dropping by to look for a meal.  The next one was a familiar winter bird, a Dark-Eyed Junco.  It first lighted on the patio wall, looking around.

The Junco decided that all was well, and flew down to the feeder.  This bird is typically a ground feeder, so I wasn’t surprised when after getting a few loose seeds from the tray beneath the feeder tube, it dropped down to the ground to feed.  It fed on rose buds that had fallen off the bush, before taking one juicy bite up to the roof of the garage.

The Junco left footprints in the snow, indicating that it liked to hop around on the ground.

The last pair of visitors were big fans of the feeder tube.  House Finches are familiar feeder visitors in Ohio- the males have wine-colored feathers on their breast and head.  A male showed up and looked curiously about from the wall.

His mate flew over to the feeder tube, and he followed suit, settling in for a hearty birdseed lunch.

I had as much entertainment from the birds on the patio that afternoon as I had from watching the movies inside!  It’s a big world outside, but even small cozy places can be popular spots for nature’s endless show.  I’ll keep you updated on any other developments there.