Colorful birds

are providing some nice compensation for the incredibly gloomy weather we have had all spring. (Yes, I know it could be worse. We don’t have flooding or tornadoes to deal with.) Yesterday the high temperature for the day was 48°. (That’s 20° below normal for this time of year.) The sun was out on Sunday for an hour or so, but it was gone before it set.

Waaah, waaaah, waaaah. Before it’s time to call in the waaahmbulance, I’ll tell you about the cool bird activity which has been taking place regardless of the rain, fog and cold weather.  There really is something to see any time I look out my window. We finally have a few pair of cardinals on the island and two of them frequent our bird feeder. Even when I don’t get a sighting, I can hear them singing most of the day. When they come to the feeder together, they do something I have only seen cardinals do. The male brings seeds to the female, and feeds her.


Pretty darn sweet.

Most people on the island keep track of the birds. Some more than others. My sister-in-law, Karen, arrived from Baltimore on Thursday and she has seen tons of warblers, already.  I can’t identify them like she can, but I did notice a Magnolia Warbler and a Myrtle Warbler (aka Yellow Rumped Warbler), before she got back to the island.

Watching the warblers is not as easy as looking out the window at the bird feeder. They hop around from branch to branch eating bugs and barely staying still for more than a few seconds. This is a good time of year to see them, with the leaves not all the way out on the trees. Karen keeps her binoculars handy most of the time. Today she stopped over to borrow some yeast and to play a quick game of Banagrams. At one point she picked up her binoculars and looked out the window. “There’s a Chestnut-sided warbler.” He stayed around and jumped along the ground for a bit so I could get a good look at him.

As Karen left, she looked again at the tree tops and said, “There’s a Blackburnian Warbler!” I had never seen one before and it took me a while to see him for myself, but I did.

Our Postmaster, Joy, has bird feeders galore and half the birds on the island stop by at her Post Office feeders. She had not yet seen the Rose Breasted Grosbeak, who kept me company last week, when she decided to add some black oil sunflower seeds to her feeder. (She has been spoiling the birds with her “meaties,” the already-shelled variety of sunflower seeds.) She figured the Grosbeaks liked opening their own seeds. I got a call from her on Monday. She confessed to successfully luring my Rose Breasted Grosbeak away with her fresh, unshelled bird seed. I might have missed the Grosbeak if I hadn’t had an equally colorful visitor to take his place on Sunday.

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was enjoying the orange I had put out, in hopes of getting some of Joy’s Orioles to visit me.


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12 responses to “Colorful birds

  1. Love the sapsucker pics!


  2. i love the goldfinches….never saw them till i moved to this house in connecticut. also saw what i THINK was a red-winged blackbird, for the first time ever….
    and those birds start singing at about 4:35am around here….i can’t believe everyone in my house isn’t up as early as i am!


    • Barb Fernald

      You get to experience the best part of the day. Wish I could make myself get up earlier.
      The birds here have been incredible this spring. Many little goldfinches and purple finches. Those red-winged black birds are so pretty. Good sighting!


  3. Hi Barb! We may have had that same yellow bellied sap sucker on our lilac tree all morning on Saturday. We were able to watch her scoot up and down the branches from our kitchen window. She was busy! I love the pic of her head buried in the orange!!


  4. Susan White

    What wonderful and colorful birds you have. Great pics! I loved them all. xoxops…and I love the sun today!


    • Barb Fernald

      Karen is the best for spotting (and knowing!) warblers. I can’t claim any credit for the photos, except for the sap sucker.
      I loved the sun today. Went with Karen and Hugh into the marsh and saw lots of birds. 5 Great Blue Herons and many warblers. I had work to do inside, but there was no way I was going to miss the sun after waiting so long to see it!
      Did you spend the day on the deck?


  5. Wow, you get some great birds! I have a pair of cardinals that live in a tree by my driveway, they are really sweet! I have a bunch of others, little red ones, who are building nests in my boston ferns which annoys me to no end!!!!


    • Barb Fernald

      Nests in your ferns?? That would bother me too. But I love those cardinals. And the warblers are so great to see. Once the leaves come out all the way, they won’t be as visible. Your beads arrived today. Beautiful, as always. And thank you for the little sea foam-colored orphan. I’ll find a good spot for it in a necklace.


  6. Susan White

    Yep. On the deck yesterday and today. Windows open all over the house. Spring at last! xo


    • Barb Fernald

      You have the perfect spot, whether you’re in Bucksport or on Gt. Cranberry! I saw sun in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor yesterday. Apparently the islands were still shrouded with fog. Oy. Thank god for the birds!


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