The Downy Woodpecker!
A frequent visitor to my suet and sunflower filled feeders. It's the smallest woodpecker in North America. Look for them climbing up and down tree trunks, hanging from flower stalks and clutching on suet feeders.
and, the Eastern Gray Squirrel!
It's a too frequent visitor to my backyard winter feeders. It's quite an acrobat and will go to great lengths to get to the food. Its acrobatic antics are often entertaining, but, they do gobble up seed quickly, hoarding it in caches all over the garden for scarce times.
I feed the birds all winter, even though my garden has native trees, shrubs and perennials that provide seeds, berries, nuts and are host plants for insects (many birds primary food), because some winters are rough and the extra seed and suet/fat can help the little birds. But, really, it's about me, I love watching all the visitors (well most) and sometimes, the only color in my other wise brown garden are the birds!
Keep gardening for wildlife and have fun watching the critters in your garden.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.
My daughter set out a special saucer of food, just for the squirrels. She was quite indignant when the birds helped themselves to the food in it, particularly since we have several feeders on the balcony. "Payback," I told her. I love feeding the wildlife. Like you said, it really IS for us, too, isn't it, Gail? (Love the photos, as always!)ReplyDelete
She's a sweet girl for thinking about the squirrels and what a fun way to get involved and learn about garden visitors.Delete
You can almost hear them thanking you for the extra food Gail :)ReplyDelete
Sometimes they actually come up to the patio door and scratch when the feeders are empty!Delete
Lovely photos! I especially like the last one.ReplyDelete
Hope you are having a wonderful day!
Thank you Lea, hope your day is filled with wonder.Delete
Hah! I had the same two visitors -- downy woodpecker and gray squirrel -- at my bird feeder the other day. I have to admit, I rapped on the window and chased the squirrel off.ReplyDelete
I do, too, sometimes Alison, especially when they've been piggies!Delete
Thank you for these beautiful photos. I fill the feeder all winter, too.ReplyDelete
Thank you Debra!Delete
I too love watching the birds at the feeder, especially during winter. I realllly like your last photo. Nice composition.ReplyDelete
They give me so much joy...and thank you for your kind compliment.ReplyDelete
Hi Gail, I just got the post read, and see it included a squirrel, or at least part of one. :o) I need to be looking out the windows more to see what all birds are there. Larry is the one who has been filling the feeders and providing dried corn for the squirrels, even though they continue to eat the bird food. He does put suet out, and we have had woodpeckers, but I don't see them often. What I do see, are sparrows, doves, blue jays, and a few cardinals.ReplyDelete
The woodpecker is a handsome fellow. My squirrels play hide-and-seek like that too - they also freeze in place as if, in not moving, they become invisible.ReplyDelete
When I lived in the city I had gray squirrels galore, and remember my Dad's consternation at their raids on his birdfeeders. Out here in the country we haven't had very many (few trees, just crops), but I expect if I live long enough, the developers will remedy that and provide the gray squirrels habitat,ReplyDelete
Actually I kinda miss them!
Wonderful wildlife photos, Gail! We have similar visitors here, too. I'm a little concerned this year, however, as the birds seem to be scarcer than usual. I cleaned out the feeders and added new seed, but they're still not visiting much. I hear them in the trees, though. So, I'm thinking maybe there's a fox or a predator bird in the area that I just haven't seen myself. I know we've had hawks in the past. Anyway, enjoy your beautiful garden visitors!ReplyDelete
I love the downy woodpeckers and have a couple that frequent my feeders along with the squirrels. I have 7 feeders I keep going in the winter and I love watching them. It's very calming.ReplyDelete
The Downy Woodpeckers are one of my favorites! This winter has been mild so far, so the birds would probably be find scavenging, but, as you say, I feed the birds a lot of times for me! They are such a cheerful presence and so much fun to watch.ReplyDelete
We frequently get downy woodpeckers at our feeders also. I'm quite fond of them, they are cheeky little birds.ReplyDelete
Love the birds! What would our gardens be without them?ReplyDelete
Great captures!!!! I love to sit out back and watch them at the feeders. So relaxing.ReplyDelete
I do not have a feeder but I will say because of all the seed head I leave up for the winter - there are lots of birds that stop by here to feed. Nice to see them, and nice to help them survive the cold. JackReplyDelete
I throw out seed for the squirrels and birds too, as well as for the mice and chipmunks. They even ate a banana I threw out for them just to see what they'd do with it. But I am rotten at ever capturing any photos of it all.ReplyDelete