Just thought i’d leave this here :) some field work i conducted over summer. First class marks!

a Carolina Wren in the first clip, followed by a resting Blue Jay :)

Help me out birders of tumblr!The only identification i can come up with for this new visitor is a Brown creeper- however despite similar body and beak shape, it completely lacks distinct striping on it’s back. Its quite a rusty reddish-brown colour. I’d love it if someone could confirm, deny, or correct this identification!Thanks!edit: Thanks to Fatchance i now know that this is a Carolina wren Thryothorus ludovicianus :)

Help me out birders of tumblr!
The only identification i can come up with for this new visitor is a Brown creeper- however despite similar body and beak shape, it completely lacks distinct striping on it’s back. Its quite a rusty reddish-brown colour. I’d love it if someone could confirm, deny, or correct this identification!

edit: Thanks to Fatchance i now know that this is a Carolina wren Thryothorus ludovicianus

Dark eyed Junco
Junco hyemalis

Seemingly evermore abundant as we head into winter, the dark eyed juncos are bold little birds that seem quite comfortable alongside sparrows. The females appear to be slightly lighter in colour with less distinct boundaries between the white of their belly and the dark feathers. There’s also 2 white stripes in the underside of their tail feathers which makes them easy to identify in-flight.
The males tend to spend winters in central New England, while females tend to spend the winter as far south as the Gulf of Mexico!

First snow to stick of the season! As you can imagine I have a lot of visitors this morning- one including a very cheeky squirrel stealing out of my feeder. As pretty as it looks it’s not going to last I’m afraid as the weather is meant to warm back up. Sounds like torrential rain for the next couple days :(
BUT that means I’ll still get lots of bird visitors. I’ll make sure there’s some freshly stocked seeds available!
Especially because thanksgiving is in a couple days- the birds deserve a feast as much as I do.

Blue Jay 
Cyanocitta cristata

Undoubtedly one of the most striking and beautiful birds in the area, I still get giddy when one of these beautiful corvids graces my back porch with it’s sapphire feathers. And believe me when I tell you that these guys are very common around these parts- once I learned to identify their call by ear, I found myself hearing them everywhere I went! I used to think they were among the less common species, but goes to show you what can happen when you actually look and observe rather than assume. They are also probably one of the largest birds I see on a regular basis, if we exclude things like hawks.

These guys can be quite flighty, if you’ll excuse the pun. Even subtle movements behind my closed glass door will typically cause them to flee- catching them on camera needed a bit of a stake out and an abundance of fresh seeds on the table!
Their call is distinctive, loud and unfortunate- similar to that of other corvids i.e. crows and magpies. When you hear the video, you’ll understand why I’ve found it difficult to catch them making more pleasant, song-like noises!

Turns out these beautiful blue birds are quite good for the spreading of forests, where they typically dwell- They often store acorns in the ground and forget to retrieve them, leading to the growth of new trees.

Blue jay call: 

Red-Bellied Woodpecker and Downy (or Hairy?) Woodpecker (female)
Melanerpes carolinus & Picoides pubescens

So I put up a new type of feeder the other day and the birds have finally take to it! I was really excited to get this type (suet) because I had a feeling it would get some more woodpeckers close up, whereas I’m usually viewing them from below as they peck away at the tall trees down by the river.
I snatched up my camera straight away when i saw the crimson-headed, yet oddly named, Red-bellied woodpecker- I’d never seen one so near, and their colouring is among the greats here in my backyard. Up there with the blue-jays and cardinals, but more of a treat due to rarity! I found this guy to be particularly majestic, but it was also quite early in the morning so most active things end up looking majestic to my tired eyes…

The other equally beautiful yet monochrome visitor pictured is a female Downy woodpecker, a rather more common sight around these parts if you’re actually looking. They are strikingly similar looking to hairy woodpeckers, so it’s possible I’ve mis-identified, however the beak does look to be on the shorter side. The male, like it’s Red-bellied cousin, has a dot of red colouring on it’s poll. Not nearly as flashy or gaudy, but it’s enough to let you know what you’re looking at.
I’ve never heard the call of either of these birds, as their giveaway tends to be the distinctive and repetitive beak-against-wood. Or if you’re like me you’ll get one right above your head and be alerted by falling tree debris…
I’ll do a more detailed profile of each of these birds individually one of these days, but for now I’ll keep this entry more brief because it was unanticipated!

Curiosity as always calls my name and so i leave you with these youtube videos demonstrating the calls of these two lovely birds :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iexYYpav6_0 (Red-Bellied)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7bhQwjUSq0 (Downy)
Turns out I’ve heard both of these, just out of context! It’s nice to put a voice to the bird.

Until next time my backyard birding friends!

The Tufted Titmouse
Baeolophus bicolor

shown mid-mating-dance in the first picture- this was interesting to watch. He ‘shook’ his wings whilst moving back and forth along the branch.

This is easily one of my very favourite birds I’ve met since stepping up my birding game back at home. These little guys strike me as rather expressive yet reptilian in their movements- often stealing a single seed from the feeder and taking it elsewhere to crack open. I often hear them tapping away at the iron table on my back porch.
They’re often found migrating in mixed groups with black-capped chickadees and white-breasted nuthatches. It’s thought that these not-of-a-feather birds flock together in order to improve foraging, possibly being exposed to foods they wouldn’t have found themselves by teaming up with other species. This is especially important for little birds like titmice as they have to maintain a delicate balance of eating enough food without expending too much energy during winter so that they don’t freeze to death. Trust me- it gets colddddd up here in Massachusetts! I’m happy to provide all the seeds they can munch!

I think it’s the tuft that really gets me! They often flick it up and down, turning their heads at all sorts of angles and unknowingly melting my heart into a puddle on the floor. Their song on the other hand has two very distinct variations- in short, pleasant and unpleasant. Their alarm call is a hideous screeching noise that you’d never expect from such a sweet little bird- whilst their mating call is quite a lovely, gentle whistle.

Here’s a great youtube video showing both! In the beginning is their harsher song, but at 1:24 is the mating call :)

I’m looking forward to seeing these guys later in winter to see if their colouring gets any more prominent! These photos are from August/September.