Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Neighbors

Black-capped Chickadee?

Yesterday was, if not the first day to hit 70 degrees, one of very few.  After walking home from the pool in shorts & a tank top (woohoo!) and running a bunch of errands, I decided to take advantage of the lovely day and clean up the deck. I rearranged all the plants and swept up a whole winter's worth of dirt & debris. When I had nearly finished cleaning, I paused to answer the phone. I stood leaning on the railing, and suddenly a bright green Anna's hummingbird was hovering about a foot in front of me, right at eye level.  I looked up and realized that there was a chaos of bird activity going on all around me.  I didn't get any good shots of the hummers, but I did get decent pictures of a few of the common visitors to my neighbor's feeders.
I've assumed that the bird in the first picture here was a Black-capped Chickadee, but on closer inspection, all of my bird guides show them with black bills.  Hmmm.  When I leaned over the railing to watch a hummingbird, I noticed this little guy coming out of a hole in the corner of my deck railing.  Later I saw his mate come out of the hole to take food from him.  Whne they were both away, I saw a tiny white egg in the bottom of the hole.  Later I looked down and saw his mate sitting on the nest.  The white stripe in the hole in the second picture is a chickadee!

This little guy looks like a sparrow, but it's got a lemony yellow breast, which doesn't match any of my bird book photos either. Hmm.  It's got a bright white stripe right down the middle of his head and behind each eye.

I'm guessing that the other birds below are either House Finches or Purple Finches.

I also spotted but did not photograph a Golden-Crowned Sparrow.

Hooray for spring!


Pair of finches

House finch, or maybe a Purple Finch?

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