Friday, December 7, 2012

Strangers keep showing up at the barn

Word has gotten out that there's free food and water here for the taking. 
Strangers are showing up for a handout on a daily basis. It must be a drought thing.

Me: Hi, Pretty Bird. What's your name?

Pretty Bird didn't answer me.



Me: Turn your head so the folks at home can get a better look.

I figure he must be some kind of sapsucker or woodpecker. I think I'll call him Woody.




In all the years I've lived here, I've never had this many bird guests. 
Flocks of whatever these are swoop in several times a day for a drink of water. 
I love having them around. The bird poop? Not so much.



The squirrel family that showed up in late summer is still in residence.



They play in the wood pile, sleep in the hay barn, and eat in the chicken coop, 
judging by the amount of chicken feed I'm going through.

 As long as they all agree to pose for pictures, they can stick around as long as they want.

25 comments:

  1. It looks like a flicker (according to my American bird book - I have never seen one and am in Europe). Lovely pictures. The wing and tail linings vary in colour (yellow-shafted flicker, red-shafted flicked, gilded flicker) - the gilded flicker geographically most likely, male has a red moustache.

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  2. Perhaps a bag of Black Oil sunflower seed for Christmas -- if the budget allows? Apparently some equines are fond of Black Oil Sunflower seed as a supplement (I understand there are different grades -- less debris in the bag etc). The squirrels will certainly be interested. I have to spike my feeders with ground up hot peppers to curb their appetite (the birds don't mind it - but certain little rodent mammals aren't too thrilled with spicy food!) I have also used 'old' chili powder/cayenne powder too.

    The birds would probably appreciate some kind of suet feed also. Your Western Bluebirds especially, if they are anything like the Eastern Bluebirds that hang around mine. We have LadderBack WoodPeckers with similar coloring to your fellow along with a very small Downy Woodpecker.

    It all depends upon how much you want to encourage them. They might be just thankful for perches and water :).

    M in NC

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  3. Oh, your birds as so beautiful! I'm hoping to see some blue jays and quail this weekend when we go to a cabin in our local mountains.

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  4. The squirrels must love your hotel/bunkhouse - authentic rustic rooms, and free all-you-can-eat breakfast and dinner buffets!

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  5. Yep, word must be out, how gracious the staff at 7MSN is to guests.....feeding, watering, entertaining and letting them bunk in. Love the live and let live attitude and workings of the friendliest ranch ever. Oma Linda

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  6. The first pretty bird is a Northern Flicker. Looks like he is a male. They love ants. Keep him around!

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=woodpecker+black+belly+spots&view=detail&id=949BE36F84CCC47E66182D5EA0C828AF13E8E432

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  7. Your handsome little visitor is a male 'Red-Shafted' Northern Flicker.
    (Colaptes Auratus) He likes ants. Ants are 45% of his diet. He also catches insects in air, and eats fruit, berries, seeds, and comes to bird feeders. Looked him up in Donald and Lillian Stokes, Field Guide for Birds. (Great Book) Lucky you to have such a cool guest!

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  8. Folks are up early. You should name your new friend. Since it's a guilded flicker, maybe something obvious like Goldie. :)
    I love that you have two species of bluebird at your place.

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  9. Yup, I agree... it's probably some type of Flicker. But my "Birds of Florida" does not have the exact picture (duh!). I sent a page link to my expert California birdwatcher for a definitive answer. Great photos - great birds - great visitors.

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  10. Estella from Co.12/7/12, 7:18 AM

    Good Morning...it's a flicker and once he finds a place to start working on you will have holes in your wood. They are woodpeckers...they have done quite a bit of damage around here and they can make lots of noise at ALL times of the day. Owls love them, we have feathers from them around a number of areas on our place. Have a good day, hugs to all

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  11. How nice that the pretty ones are showing up! We have a few photo worthy birds here, but soooo many sparrows which breed like flying mice and eat tons of chicken feed.

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  12. That is indeed a Flicker, we have a resident couple here. I love the collection of different birds on the fence. Black Oil Sunflower seeds for them and raw peanuts for the squirrel and they will all stick around!

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  13. In southeastern Washington state where I live, that bird is called a Flicker. I call it a Flucker (excuse my language) because they love to make holes in the cedar siding on my house! I can hear their calls from miles away and I say grrrrrr. They are very beautiful... if only they would leave my house alone.

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  14. My Field guide says Common Flicker, Mountain Bluebird, and Western Bluebird. Not sure about the reddish one on the left, maybe a finch. We have the flicker here in AZ along with Gila Woodpecker. Flicker has the black bib. Looks as if you are in a migration route!

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  15. Yes, a Northern Flicker - we have lots of them here, and they are a member of the woodpecker family. I can't believe you have one down there in hot dry New Mexico! Perhaps they migrate south for the winter, though I have two on the hydro pole outside my house at the moment (I'm on Vancouver Island, southwestern BC Canada)

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  16. Yup its a Flicker!!

    I actually like Carols comment, because we have the same problem. I now have a new name for it! LOL LOL LOL

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  17. I agree with Margaret...a flicker from the woodpecker family. A very spiffy guy. Squirrels provide all kinds of entertainment if you have time to sit and watch them.
    If you build it, they will come. And they did. Word is out. The 7MSN is a good place to be.

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  18. In spite of the bird seed we've put out free for the taking, we have not a single bird partake of it here in our new neighbourhood. It's weird. Even kind of spooky. What gives?

    I do believe that lovely visitor with the rouge on her cheeks is a Flicker, a type of woodpecker.

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  19. We agree too - it's not a woodpecker, possibly a type of sapsucker, but most likely a Flicker. Beautiful shots! What a nice visit to have!

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  20. What a marvelous assortment of birds! I mostly have large flocks of the same thing. One day it will be Cedar Waxwings, the next day something else. Yours is a strangely integrated flock.

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  21. Wow those blue winged birds are pretty. Woody is neat, hope he sticks around.

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  22. We have a problem with ground squirrels stealing eggs from our hens. Better keep an eye on yours....

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  23. What a cool looking bird!

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  24. It is so interesting to see all these birds and the squirrel, most of them are so different from what we have here. Including the squirrel,

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  25. I think this might be my 3rd comment after many years of "lurking" as you call it. I love Hank, the donkeys, Smooch, and your former cats. However, this is a very good change of pace and I really like the bird and squirrel photos,a bunch. As some of the commenters said, the top pics are of a northern flicker, red shafted. The rest are a wonderful line up of left to right: a finch- species? the western bluebird, mountain bluebird, and the drab ones I believe are immatures although I did not look up those and the species of finch.

    Yvonne

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