Meet Peep

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Sometimes as birdwatchers, we find that the tables turn and we are actually being watched by the birds instead!

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Peep is a male American goldfinch who especially likes people watching.

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He shows up at our windows, sometimes knocking on the glass with his beak. Then he just stares at us, making me feel guilty about not keeping the windows cleaner.

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After a minute, he moves on to a different window and stares some more. If he weren’t so cute and yellow, he might come across as creepy!

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Eventually, Peep gets hungry and joins his darling little wife at the feeder. They make such a cute couple all dressed in bright yellow feathers.

Oh, and if you want to share the love of birdwatching with a small person or two in your life, check out this great list of 10 picture books about birds over at House Full of Bookworms. I found many of these are available at our library and will be perfect for summer reading.

Happy reading, happy summer and happy birdwatching!

 

 

 

Backyard Birdwatching

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” -Matthew 6:26

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female grosbeak

 

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downy woodpecker

One of our family’s favorite hobbies is birdwatching. And since we have a variety of birds that visit our backyard, we hang several feeders on our deck. These feeders are easy for us to see from the windows in our dining area, and it’s delightful to watch the birds eat while we sit together as a family. We usually keep our binoculars and a bird identification book right on the windowsill.

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pileated woodpecker

Whether they are woodpeckers, orioles, hummingbirds, grosbeaks, red-winged blackbirds, goldfinches, or something else, they all seem to appreciate the food. As we watch them eat, it is entertaining to imagine what each bird might be saying or thinking about his meal, his feathers or that day’s weather.

This rose breasted grosbeak looked rather dapper in his red tie. He ate first while his beautiful wife perched nearby.

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male rose breasted grosbeak

Isn’t she lovely?

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female rose breasted grosbeak

Certainly the way to any bird’s heart is through its stomach, and nearly all of our bird friends love this particular suet feeder.

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suet feeder – raccoons keep out!

 

We usually don’t see robins eat from our feeders — they find plenty to eat chasing worms in the grass. But one day I caught a brave robin trying to eat the suet. He kept flapping his wings madly — pretending to be a hummingbird, I think — as he attempted to hover near the feeder and stick his beak into the suet to steal a bite. He’d often watched the woodpeckers and red-winged blackbirds do it and was feeling left out, I suppose. It wasn’t easy, but he did manage to get a few bites and then afterward he perched on the deck long enough for me to capture his picture.

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American robin

 

Do you see the bit of food still on his beak? He really needed a napkin.

Coming up next is a story about people watching — and it might not be what you think!