Over the past few years I have really enjoyed watching the birds that frequent the woods around our tiny house and the feeders. I have to thank my good friend and fellow tiny house dweller Moose for giving me a bird feeder he had when he moved. The little birds that started to visit it inspired me to create the current bird feeder setup I have. (It's so far been bear and squirrel proof! Check it out if you are interested - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0zylzSISwE) There were birds around before for sure, but I didn't get to see so many or watch them as up close. Watching and listening to the many little feathered friends is so much fun, plus they do a lot of work for me. Constantly patrolling the garden in the summer for any little unhelpful bugs that might be trying to take over, searching out the larva and eggs over the winter, and eating a lot of mosquitoes! They are great neighbors to have. And the time to enjoy watching, photographing, and listening to them is one of the many things I enjoy about living a slower paced life, much of which has been made possible by my tiny house. So I thought it would be fun to share with you all someof the little feathered neighbors I see in the winter. Some of these are around in the summer as well, some are not, and there are other species that come only in the summer. But here's most of my winter birds.
The photos above and below are both Goldfinches in their winter plumage. Most of the early winter they were no where to be seen, but the past month or so there's been quite a few around.
The pair above was really exciting to me as I first saw them about a day ago! That's a male and female Red Crossbill that came to visit. I saw the male again today. They are common in this area, but I had never seen one. before By the way, I've found the web site AllAboutBirds.org to be a great place to look up birds who's names I don't know. If you look closely, you can see their funny twisted beaks which allow them to pry open unopened pine cones to enjoy the pine nuts inside. But occasionally they'll come check out things like sunflower seeds as well. They and all the other little feathered friends thank those of you who have gifted us bags of seeds from our wishlist!
Above and below with the stripped heads are Mountain Chickadees. One of the two varieties of chickadees around here. They both are here year round and always have such cheerful songs along with their bouncy flight pattern.
Above and below here with the solid colored heads are Black Capped Chickadees. Almost identical to the Mountain Chickadees above except for the color of their caps.
These are Hairy Woodpeckers which are very similar to Downy Woodpeckers. They mostly hunt for bugs under the bark of trees, but sometimes swing by the feeder for a sunflower seed too. The below photo was something else I'd never seen before, a napping woodpecker. He had been flitting around the trees, and the next time I looked out, he'd perched still, fluffed up his feathers, and tucked his head under his wing. A bit later he was back to flying about.
These are Pine Grosbeaks. The brighter red ones being breeding males, and the third photo of the paler one that's more grey and yellow/orange is a female. The bright colors especially of the males really stands out in all the winter brown, white, and green. They also have very lovely songs and I love listening to them as they gather in large groups in tree tops and mostly travel together.
Much larger than most birds here, a Ruffed Grouse. Kind of like a wild chicken, they do not come to feeders, but do forage through the woods and trees. This one was right outside the loft window at my head when I opened my eyes one morning.
Above is a Grey Jay, also called a camp robber for their habit of trying to make off with things from camp sites. They are relatives of the Steller's Jays and occasional Blue Jays that are also around, but these guys are usually higher in the mountains.
A very unassuming little bird in photo, this is an American Dipper. Also called a Water Oozle. Very plain in coloration, but with one of the most wonderful varieties of songs and sounds you've ever heard from a little bird. They love to bounce around the water edges and sing constantly. This one was along the edge of a creek not far from the house that we frequently snowshoe along. They also build the kind of nest I'd want to hatch out in if I was a baby bird. Look them up and check out how cozy they are!
This colorful fellow is a Evening Grosbeak. While I see lots of these in the summer, a few stop by every now and then in the winter.
Every now and then, a much much larger bird comes by. Like the Bald Eagle above. Burley is sure these guys do not belong in his air space! :) And below is a hawk. That part I'm sure of, I think it's a light morph Rough Legged Hawk. But there are a lot of different hawks that come in a lot of different shades, so I'm not positive about that. Either way, when these guys visit, suddenly every other little bird vanishes completely! And they don't reappear for quite a while.
I'd love if you comment below and tell us what your favorite birds are in your area! I know there is a wide variety around the world. If you've never noticed, I highly encourage making the time to stop, breath, and watch the birds in your area as they are quite fun to observe.