Water is a key element to attracting birds, and creatively designed water features are not only pleasing to our senses, but they are appealing to the birds' senses as well. The sounds and sights of moving water — dripping, gurgling, bubbling, flowing and splashing — attracts birds to drop down from their migratory flyways to layover, refuel, drink and bathe.Read More
A major achievement of my new Outback Garden is having Eastern Bluebirds nesting. Only once in 46 years did a bluebird visit my backyard. Since establishing the garden they have nested three consecutive years and this year produced three broods of baby chicks. I have observed the full cycle of their nesting, including nest box selection, nest building, laying and incubating the eggs, and nurturing the young chicks.Read More
In late summer most song birds shed old feathers and grow new ones. This molting process greatly changes the birds appearance. What many people think is a disease on the birds is actually a natural process of replacing worn with healthy feathers in preparation for winter cold or the long flights of migration.Read More
The Bubbling Rock water feature in my Outback Garden attracts many birds wanting to cool off on hot summer days.
A pair of Northern Flickers enjoyed bathing, preening and sunning in the morning.
Spring is coming early to Huntsville, but the winter months of December and January brought a special group of migratory birds to my backyard wildlife habitat. These birds migrate from northern latitudes and remain in the Southern states until March and April. With the warming weather our winter visitors will soon return to their northern breeding grounds. I have had several opportunities to photograph them in my backyard and on my deck.Read More
Leucism results from a partial loss of pigmentation causing a white, pale, or patchy coloration of the feathers. Sometimes a bird’s plumage will be totally white which if often mistaken as an albino.Read More
In 2015 over thirty regional and Neotropical migrating birds visited my backyard wildlife habitat during the spring and fall seasons. Generally these birds are not attracted to feeders. Only the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Red-breasted Nuthatches fed on sunflower seeds, and the Pine an Yellow-rumped Warblers fed on suet. While my garden plantings and structure that provide security attracted many of the species, my water features provided the major attraction for these short term visitors and afforded me close viewing and many photo opportunities. Focusing on their natural feeding sites such as in the tops of spring budding trees and fall berry laden trees and shrubs also provided many delightful migration bird sightings.Read More
Cedar Waxwings on their northern migration are visiting the Huntsville Botanical Garden to feed and rest.
Flocks of 10 to 40 birds were photographed feeding near the Visitor Center on berries of the Eastern Red Cedar and Chinese Holly, and on insects found on tree buds.
An unusual form of the Common Grackle visited my backyard today.
First time I have seen a Grackle with a white tale.
An example of leucism: “an abnormal plumage condition caused by a genetic mutation that prevents pigment, particularly melanin, from being properly deposited on a bird’s feathers”
Over the last four days, flocks of Cedar Waxwings and American Robins have visited my water features including one on my deck. On one day I counted over 400 robins in three hours. Several of the flocks had 100+ waxwings. The flock visits occur mostly in the mornings between 7:00and 10:00 am.Read More