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A Friend’s Patio in Winter.

February 4, 2012

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.

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2012 4:39 pm

    You sure got some nice shots of those little birds!

  2. Northern Narratives permalink
    February 4, 2012 5:53 pm

    Wonderful bird photos 🙂 We have juncos and chicadees all winter. Have not seen any finches or sparrows yet.

  3. February 4, 2012 6:07 pm

    Great photos, Tracy. I love those Juncos.

  4. February 4, 2012 6:43 pm

    Lovely shots of these sweet little birds!

  5. John Northcutt Young permalink
    February 4, 2012 7:13 pm

    Okay, can’t resist—-you were watching “The Birds.”

    Great post as usual.

  6. February 4, 2012 8:24 pm

    Timing is everything my friend! Lovely captures. Margie

  7. February 4, 2012 10:43 pm

    Terrific series of photos!

  8. February 5, 2012 2:00 am

    I never tire of looking at your breathtaking photos. Beautiful!

    About the award, Thanks so very much. I’m honored, but I’ve stopped accepting awards. I made a post in my blog explaining why. I hope you’ll understand.
    Thank you for thinking of me. I appreciate it! 🙂

  9. February 5, 2012 3:01 am

    got here via Margie’s (latebloomerbuds) challenge for the topic ‘alone’. since you had visited there, i thought i should stop by again. it has been a while since i have been here. trust you are keeping well 🙂
    what a beautiful post.

  10. February 5, 2012 8:05 am

    great photos… made me smile. I love those little juncos. Jane

  11. February 5, 2012 8:34 am

    A most enjoyable set of pictures. I think a busy feeder beats the telly any day.

  12. February 5, 2012 9:23 am

    Love the footprints in the snow! That is such a wonderful detail to record.

  13. February 5, 2012 3:13 pm

    Great series of photos in an ‘ordinary’ setting.

  14. keekeepod permalink
    February 5, 2012 8:52 pm

    Great images.

    Funny story about the house finch. It looks like a sparrow with some red. Many years ago, when my mom first noticed one, she thought it was the result of “funny business” between a house sparrow and a cardinal 😀

  15. February 6, 2012 1:29 am

    I always enjoy the backyard show better than tv. We have a pair of song sparrows, and they don’t miss a day in the birdbath! Great shots of these. Isn’t it amazing how they can find a feeder?

  16. February 6, 2012 3:32 am

    I love the song sparrow – beautiful markings. Lovely photos!

  17. February 6, 2012 1:07 pm

    Gorgeous photos, Tracy. I’m betting you didn’t see much of the DVD. 🙂

  18. February 7, 2012 8:31 pm

    Love the pics.

  19. dianne comeau permalink
    February 8, 2012 8:15 pm

    wonderful : )

  20. February 8, 2012 10:30 pm

    Wonderful photos! We see lots of juncos and house finches here through the winter, too.

  21. February 12, 2012 4:19 pm

    Wonderful photos! I’m very impressed with the song sparrow navigating through those thorns on the rosebush without getting stabbed!

  22. February 16, 2012 10:00 am

    Love these shots… birds are tricky to capture, but the results are so worthwhile!

  23. February 18, 2012 9:48 am

    Thanks for the great comments everyone! 🙂

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