Thursday, August 31, 2017

Michigan Backyard Birds

Do you sense a theme to the items I purchased in Michigan?
I am most pleased with the Motawi Blue Jay tile.  Motawi Tileworks of Ann Arbor, MI are nationally famous.  They have lots of interesting tiles.  You can take a peek here.

My cousin has been feeding wild birds for 13 years now.  She has two nicely sited feeder set-ups - well protected - and also provides water.  The backyard has several mature plantings and a size-able Maple tree. As is common in the midwest, the yards are not fenced, so it is possible to watch the birds in the yards to the left and right. There is a large pond with shelter trees at the end of her yard.  All in all super good wild bird habitat.

So let's take a look at who flew in, or by, or above...

There was a very active male Downy Woodpecker working away on the Maple tree.

Downy Woodpecker being a woodpecker - upside down because he can.
We also heard and saw a Pileated Woodpecker fly by and I'm more than semi-convinced I also saw a Hairy Woodpecker.

The feeders were swamped with House Finches
Here's a male...

...and here's a female House Finch.
There were also Purple Finches.  

The House Sparrow swarmed the feeders first thing in the morning.

They were super busy feeding their fledglings.

On the last day there I spied a Song Sparrow.  I saw a House Wren on my first day in Michigan, but did not get a photo. 

As I enumerated the backyard birds, there were some surprises as far as my cousin was concerned.  She had no idea that she had Cedar Waxwings perched atop the trees edging the pond.

Mourning Dove sare ground feeders.  This one was watching my cousin's chickens to see if they'd allow it to feed with them.

Black-capped Chickadee were feeder regulars.

A pond = Great Blue Heron.
Crazy bird was perched on a neighbor's roof before flying into the pond.

The American Goldfinch were in their bright summer finery.

This photo is a bit of a cheat. I saw and hear Canada Geese flying overhead, but none lighted. (This was taken in Traverse City, MI).

And now on to the New to Me Michigan Birds!

I'm starting off with Chimney Swifts.  I did not get photos of the birds as they are constantly in flight, but we saw them several times flying overheard.  Their short fat bodies make them easy to ID and they were another new to my cousin bird.  

Here's a Common Grackle. I know they are considered a pest. Fortunately there was just a couple of birds.

The Gray Catbird is one of Cousin K's favorites.

They have a dark patch atop their head...

...and rust colored tail feathers. 

I got to add to my grosbeak collection with this male Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

I think he was molting from summer to winter feathers. So looked a bit ragged.

Boy oh boy but Blue Jays do not sound anything like my Scrub or Steller's Jays! 

They were surprisingly shy and hard to photograph.

Cutest Michigan Bird!
I was thrilled to watch a small flock of Tufted Titmice.

It appeared to be a couple of adults with their fledgling babies.

Cousin K has a couple of hummingbird feeders as well as shrubs like Rose of Sharon which the hummers loved.

So I got to add Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to my Life List.

There was a male and female bird, but I only got photos of the male.

And isn't this a lovely bird perched on a Tulip Tree?
It's a young Baltimore Oriole.

I suffered severe Oriole Envy as the birds were very active in Cousin K's backyard.  This is an adult male.

And here's the lovely female Baltimore Oriole.

I only see my Bullock's Orioles once or twice a year if I'm lucky, but Cousin K's Baltimore Orioles are regulars during their summer stay in Michigan.

The most iconic eastern bird has to be the Northern Cardinal.

Cousin K assured me they were much more handsome in the winter with a snowy background.  I thought they were well turned out as it was.

I even got to see a female Cardinal!

A super good backyard birding experience with a total of 23 species.  Sitting with my sister and cousin watching and listening to the birds was a lovely way to wile away the evening.

And look at my new piece of garden art!
A faux light house / bird house.  
Memories of Michigan.


LaNelle said...

Spectacular photos Beth! So glad you had such great birding on your visit....these are all the same birds I enjoy & love at my feeders in MN❤️❤️ Thank you for sharing your trip I've so enjoyed the journey....

Vickie said...

Love, love, love your tile Beth. Their tiles are fabulous! Love the art deco ones!!! I enjoyed seeing "my" familiar birds. :D

Maggee said...

So glad you got to experience lots of the same birds I see in Virginia and North Carolina. I LOVE the Tufted Titmice... some of my faves!! Your little light house feeder is so cute! Hope it outlasts the weather and critters! I could not help but notice that several of the drawings on the tiles were Charley Harper ones...? I love his stuff, so those tiles were more of a delight... Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

CalamityJr said...

Like everyone else responding here in the Midwest, I agree that this is a fantastic post! I may even be able to identify a few of my local birds that I had only admired before. Your lighthouse birdhouse is the perfect "souvenir" of your trip. Glad you had such a great time with your family.

RJ said...

What a delightful array of bird photos you have showed us Beth. They are quite wonderful. Have you ever thought of putting your photos together in a book? It would make quite a spectacular one. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever


LOve me those bird photos--and hopefully you helped answer a puzzle that I had--I see some of the cardinals here looking spotted like they are losing their feathers or something--so hopefully they are just mottling and not ill--
enjoy the moments, di

Carol said...

What great photos, Beth--and so glad you got to see the cardinals. I see them pretty much daily so I guess I'm a bit spoiled. But, it's true--they are much more striking in the snow :)

I have to say that photo of the young Baltimore Oriole is particularly endearing!

Barb said...

I grew up with so many of these birds, we miss the little tufted tit- mouse. We had many of those in our past yards.