Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Twas the Day After Christmas...

...and all 'round the house,
the snow was a-fallin',
no sign of a mouse.

the birds were all feeding,
on oodles of seeds,
the red birds and snowbirds
and some you can't see...

It was a beautiful snowy day, perfect for reading, watching the birds and relaxing, since we had nothing else to do--a fortunate fact given that the roads were terrible and it was pretty cold. Better to be inside, looking out.

Let's play count-the-birds. How many do you see in the following three photos?

If you're a birdwatcher, you probably have several bird books that you keep near the windows just in case a stranger arrives that you've not seen before. Do you have a favorite identification guide that you use? My favorite so far is the Audubon guide, for its detailed photos, but the Petersen field guide is good for the descriptions it offers. What books do you recommend for bird-watching?

My first bird book I remember well--I was 19, living in my first house and we had many birds coming that I never had seen when I lived at my parents' home in town. Evening grosbeaks, flickers, purple finches were all a revelation to me. My brother Bill bought me a small identification guide as a gift, and I was hooked. The little book is still around, living these days at my son's house so they can identify the visitors to their feeder too. That's the best thing about books--they get passed around and around; probably the best recycling item on the planet.


Farmchick said...

We have a laminated chart by the back door that we use for bird identification. We love to watch them at the feeders in the winter. Gorgeous pictures.

Granny Sue said...

That's a great idea, Farmchick. I think I'll look for one. I'm pretty good on them now, and we only get surprise visitors during migration, but Larry doesn't know them quite as well.

Angela said...

Great post Granny Sue!

I love watching and feeding the birds too! Unfortunately for the birds I didn't make it out this week to refill their feeders. Hopefully tomorrow since the snow is melting and it will be warmer. I'm pretty bad about it this year.... I did buy a 50 pound bag of seed for them and some suet because I ran out.

Have you ever seen a Woodcock? That was one of the wildest looking birds I've ever seen in our woods. I didn't know what it was and didn't have a book back then. Then a few years ago one came down to a spot in the yard where the other birds had sort of melted the snow from where they were there feeding off the seeds from the feeders. I seen a Woodcock there sticking his long beak down into the ground getting bugs! That was a sight to see!

Happy New Year!

Janet, said...

I have the National Audubon Society Pocket Guide. It's really good and my son bought me The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bible for Christmas. It's an A to Z guide and tells you all about their behavior and what they like to eat. I've learned a lot I didn't know in the past few days. I saw a different bird at our feeder a few days ago, I'm not real sure what it is, I think it might be a Towhee.

Country Whispers said...

We have a couple bird books plus we like this bird sight
You can find all kinds of info here plus listen to what sounds they make.

Granny Sue said...

Angela, I have never seen a woodcock! What a wild-looking bird. Now I'm curious as to whether they are in my area.

Granny Sue said...

I like the Towhees, Janet--they are such noisy birds to be so shy. They look a little like a robin with their coloring, but they're shorter and fatter, and love to scratch in the leaves. The Audubon book is the one I have, but I've not seen your new one--I'll have to look for it.

Granny Sue said...

Thank you for the site, Jessica. I also like Cornell's bird site--I go there a lot for identification and other information.

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