Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Your (My) Usual Snow Birds!

OK, maybe a few of them, like this goldfinch, are but they are all so darn cute they deserve there 15 minutes. With the snow here now the birds are coming into the feeders by the score. I started shooting at about 3:00 p.m. and by 4:00 p.m. it was already starting to get too dark to get decent shots:( But I guess that's OK since I took over 250 in the one hour period and saw 13 different species. Because of the poor lighting I was having to shoot at 800 ISO which is why some of these are a little grainy. Also, most of these are shot at 1+ exposure to compensate for the bright snowy backgrounds.
Of course, there were lots of noisy little chickadees!And the quintessential "Snow Bird", the slate-colored junco.But then, I spotted this fella, which I am fairly certain is an Oregon Junco!According to Sibley's this species is a rare visitor to the eastern US.

I can always count on this white-throated sparrow to show up with the juncos!

Not to be outdone, there were the always-entertaining tufted-titmice!And this downy that waited patiently for his turn at the suet.

And last but certainly not least, guess who's not gone after all. That's right! The Carolina Wren is still hanging around. I was very pleased and a little surprised, but I thought I had been hearing him in the mornings.
He looks a little mad doesn't he. Bet he's upset that he's here in over a foot of snow! Maybe next year he'll take off sooner.


Toni said...

I absolutely love that last picture of the Carolina wren. If looks could kill. Hehe

Ok now you got me curious about the Oregon Junco. Is he/she in their normal range? If not what is happening because I've heard of other birds not in their normal range also.

Toni said...

ok because you got me curious about this Junco I did a little research.
After looking at Cornell's site I thought it might be a Pink Sided Junco but still it wouldbe out of range.So then i came upon this older forum

The birds like this at Powdermill are calling this bird a Cassiar Juncos. Check it out.

Shellmo said...

Wow - just great shots - the lighting was perfect. And I love how your junco was puffed up like a little feather ball!

Leedra said...

Great post. All of the photos are wonderful. Well worth being out in the snow.

MicheleRF said...

Hey Toni-
Good question! I did review that thread you referred to but I still am not sure what it is. I think it is a female though, whatever the form because it lacks the stark contrast between the hood and torso that males of each of these forms has. There have been reported sitings of Oregon Juncos in Erie, County so it is not unheard of. I guess the jury is still out and by jury I mean Jerry McW:) He will arrive home from Texas tonight and I'm hoping he can help with the ID. I also plan on taking the pics to the Audubon meeting on Friday night and let some of those well-seasoned birders put in their two cents. I bet there is no consensus though. Maybe it will start a riot!! Do you plan on going to the meeting?

Nick S said...

I'm glad I found your blog , Its very much like mine :-)
Lovely pics !

Toni said...

Hey Michele thanks for reminding me of the meeting. yep will mark it on my calendar and meet you there. Let me know what Jerry says.

HANNIBAL said...

Congrats on the Oregon Junco! Great image thruout!

NCmountainwoman said...

Great photos of the winter birds. You just have to love the wren!

MicheleRF said...

Toni-Looking forward to seeing you at the Audubon meeting!


Leedra-Do you want some of our snow?

Nick-I made a short visit to your blog this morning, looking forward to spending more time there. How's the weather up there is Saskatchewan?

Hannibal-Thanks, I'll let you guys know what I find out about the junco ID.

Carolyn-Yes, your wrens are still around. I hope they are hearty like the juncos!

Bird Girl said...

One lovely portrait after another - and your 800 ISO did quite well for you!
How exciting to find what may be an Oregon Junco - can't wait to hear what Jerry McWilliams has to say - I'll be sure to check back. Great images, Michele!

Kallen305 said...

I just found your blog and wanted to tell you that your tufted titmouse picture is the most precious one I have ever seen.

I just Love it.

Mary said...

Your bird friends must love you. How do you do it? That little Chickadee is fabulous (well, all of your photos are...)

Great job.

I'm curious about the Oregon Junco. Is there a force moving birds from where they belong? I think so.