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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Love is in the Air

Spring has finally arrived in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  The birds, like many of the rest of us, seemed relieved.  "Busy" is the buzz-word of the season.  One of the first things I notice with the warmer weather is that the birds aren't at the feeder as much. The main reason is probably because the nights aren't as cold so they don't have to consume as many calories as in winter. 
But they do still come.  This (I think) downy woodpecker is making the most of its feeder visits by filling up on a high suet mixture I have offered.  The pink color on the mixture comes from raspberries.
The woodpecker, treating my feeder as a breakfast bar, carried bits of the stuff up into a maple tree and once she deemed there to be enough, she perched and ate.
It must have been more relaxing to eat up in the tree rather than hang on to the feeder while watching out for other birds.
The Eastern Towhee ignored my feeder this winter but has finally made an appearance. I saw and heard it often in the woods right behind my house, but it was content to stay hidden.  My theory is that there was no need to take the risk of going to my feeder because there was plenty to eat in the woods this winter.  It's the same reason the deer weren't out in the open much this year and I only saw the turkeys a couple times.  I never saw one come to my feeders.  Last year it was pretty common.
A second reason the birds aren't coming to the feeder as much is that they have better things to do. Spring is the season for love!  I caught this pair of flickers flirting in flight and circling a poplar tree.
They were often on opposite sides of the tree, going round and round. Do you see them both in the left photo?

The birds would eventually meet, fly together in mid air then fall to the ground and act as if nothing had happened.
Even now, as I write this, I am having trouble as a pair of phoebes try to build a nest while chasing another pair away from the nest sight. More about that tomorrow. 



Naturedigital said...

It looks like spring is spreading everywhere now.

RedPat said...

Great shots - what fun to watch everyone!

Kerri said...

Ahhhhh -Spring! How cool to watch the Flickers :)

Sharon Creech said...

Love these photos and these birds! I, too, like to hover outside and watch the bird action.