Monday, January 14, 2013

Carolina (Wren) On My Mind

We have lots and lots of birds visit our feeders every day. At any given time you can look out the window and see cardinals, goldfinch, chickadees and titmice, nuthatches (red and white-breasted), doves, jays and juncos. For the most part the birds are the same as the ones who were here yesterday, and will be the same as those who will come tomorrow.

But every now and then we get a bird who is not so common, like the Golden-crowned kinglet we had last week, or the beautiful male flicker who paid us a visit yesterday.

A few days ago, late in the afternoon, I spotted a Carolina wren checking out the suet.

Carolina wren.

Not a wholly uncommon bird here, it is a winter visitor, and I've never seen more than two at once. Some winters we don't see one at all.

He needled away at the edge of the suet.

Big feet for such a small bird!

Fast and twitchy, they are still easier to photograph than titmice and chickadees, who like to swoop in, grab a seed, and swoop out. This rusty fellow showed himself from all angles.

I noticed the leading edge of his flight feathers are ragged, like an owl's.  I wonder if he has need of silent flight?

After a few minutes a downy flew in, and the wren departed...

...taking refuge in our Christmas tree, which will live out the rest of the winter on the balcony to provide the birds with a little extra shelter.

The wren's patience finally ran out, and he executed a sneak attack, flying under the radar and sidling past the downy, who was now fully engaged with the suet.

Such a sweet face--I hope to see him again soon.

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