Friday’s Feathered Friends-Lifers + update

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

April was a stellar month for birding, and I added 5 Life Birds! A Life or lifer is a bird you’ve seen for the 1st time.  I’ll share 4 of the 5 birds with images, but the 5th one… let’s save that story for a little bit.

Two of the new birds for me are Nuthatches. First up the Red-breasted Nuthatch.  The image isn’t upside down, the bird is! They spend a lot time upside down hunting for bugs.Red-breasted Nuthatch

The next Nuthatch was the Pygmy Nuthatch. They’re so little and quick. I confess I took a lot of images of them as long as they stayed within my sight hoping for a few decent images. I had better luck with the Red-breasted Nuthatch than the Pygmy, but hopefully, I’ll see them both again.

Pygmy Nuthatch

Next up keeping with the small bird theme was the Caliope Hummingbird. He is quite the character. 😀

Caliope Hummingbird Male

Caliope Hummingbird Male

Ensuite, the Black-headed Grosbeak Male. I was excited to make this ID! At first, I thought it was a Sparrow of some kind.

Black-headed Grosbeak

and lastly the Red-headed Woodpecker. I was so excited to see it and I got my camera up to my eye and he moved! Behind the trunk and never came up higher than this before he flew away. Woodpecker 1, Deborah 0!

Red-headed Woodpecker Male

I’ve been to this trail a couple of times since, but haven’t seen it or one again. 😭

But it’s a new month and I’ve already seen one new bird! Same story though, no picture. They’re fast and skittish! I’ll keep looking though.

All in all, April was a pretty great month of birding.

Oh, owl update, there are 2 Owlets! I’ve only seen one and I did post a pic on Instagram so, if you follow me there you’ve probably seen that already.  I’ll share that image here too so not to tease you.  Mama and Owlet. They blend into the tree so well don’t they? My neighbor went over on Tuesday to do some birding and told me the Owls are gone. That happened awfully fast!

Great horned Owl and Owlet

The Goose had her goslings and is out of the nest, but I didn’t get a good image of her and her mate with them. There were only 2 goslings. I hope to see them again. They were swimming up the river which is running pretty high and fast right now. I worried that the goslings wouldn’t keep up, but Mom was in front and Dad behind so all seemed to be going well for them.

I hope all is going well for you too, and you have a lovely week-end!

Fujifilm X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 21.1.2

more to come…





71 thoughts on “Friday’s Feathered Friends-Lifers + update

  1. Congrats on your lifers. Red heads can be fun to chase. About 3 weeks ago, we saw at least 10 in the span of 8 hours but it was all day long. Flying in and out of the pines. Messing with us. We were looking for the red-cockaded woodpecker. Still don’t have that bird on our list. 😊

    1. Thank you, Lisa! I hope you get to see and photograph the Red-cockaded woodpecker! I’m going to look that one up. It would be a lifer for me too. Sounds like it would look like Woody Woodpecker with a name like that. 😉😀

      1. The only one that looks like Woody is the pilliated. The red-cockaded looks like a downy but has horizontal bars on the back feathers. It’s larger than the downy, smaller than the hairy. 8 1/2”

  2. Amazing photography, Deborah! Yes, a stellar month! I initially wondered whether the Nuthatch was a reflection. You definitely get points for a partial Woodpecker! 🙂

  3. How come you suddenly see all these new birds? Or do you have a different camera? Or gotten guidance from a birder? Just curious!
    This mothers day was different, because we have gotten into the habit of going to a botanical garden, or something like that. We connected on the phone with my middle daughter (at Easter we had a skype session with her whole family), and will be going to her oldest birthday celeb. next week. She decided the corona is over (I am perfectly okay with that!).

    1. New state and areas to bird in are why I’m seeing new birds. Isn’t it wonderful! 🥰 Last May after I’d settled in a bit I hired a bird guide to give me a tour and he showed me many wonderful places to bird, and I joined an Audubon society here and they’ve showed me new places to bird here as well, and my next door neighbor loves to bird and hike and she’s shown me some new trails with lovely birding possibilities.

      It’s been such fun!

      We decided the same thing after sheltering in place for months. We did a great job as a nation of flattening the curve and not overwhelming the hospitals. With everyone in our families healthy and missing each other so much we decided to go to Baby Girl’s for a night to celebrate our birthdays and Mother’s Day. It was so needed and long over due!

      I hope you have a safe journey to your oldest’s home and have a lovely visit! 😍

      1. Happy for you, that you like all these new discoveries in your new area! Actually it’s my middle daughter we’ll go to, in Auburn. They are the ones who have the family farm – never boring!

  4. Nice! It has been a long time since I seen a Red-breasted Nuthatch, I have never seen the Pygmy Nuthatch or the Red-headed Woodpecker, so it is a joy to see them on your site, thanks! Owlet, so cool to watch them grow up.

  5. I always have my camera on the counter in the kitchen. I took the screen out and now I have a perfect shot of the birdfeeders. I have learned about so many birds just this year. I think I could name most of them: Nuthatches, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Downy woodpeckers, Hairy woodpeckers, Northern Flicker, Grosbeak male & female, Cardinal male & female, chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Blue birds, Blue Jays, Ruby throat humming birds, Sparrow, Robin…I’m sure I am missing some but I love watching them every day!

          1. One thing that I never payed attention too, I guess, since it is not new is listening to birds from far away respond to the birds in my yard. “Hey, she’s got some decent seed. Get over here!”

  6. The nuthatch, hummingbird, and grosbeak are so cute!! They all look so tiny. Congrats on finding a red-headed woodpecker. We have some around here. I love to see them in the trees. Not so much on my house! Awww…owlets. Lovely photos, Deborah!

    Stay well! xx

  7. It is a treat to see these birds, like the red headed woodpecker. I’m surprised at how fast the owls moved out. Hopefully you will get a photo of the goslings. Thanks you, Deborah!

    1. It’s stunning how fast the owls left the nest. They must have been inside the nest for their whole owlet life then came out and fledged!

      It was a treat to see them all! Thank you so much, Jennie! 😀

    1. Thank you so much, Judy! Baby Girl and I also celebrated our birthdays on Sunday. We couldn’t take it anymore and went to see her, the boys, and the Handsome Surveyor. It was so good to see them in person!

      I hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day, and your week is a good one despite the dreaded S word. I bet it looked pretty though. We’re under a high wind advisory until late tonight. It’s been pretty gusty!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Paul! You know a friend and I have a long running joke about who will actually get a book done first. He will. Even though we’re both procrastinating on it for different reasons, but we are. 😀 This has been talked about since 2010.

  8. Hummingbirds can be so tricksy! The one that comes around our backyard only shows up when I don’t have my Nikon and even a good camera phone won’t get a decent shot without extreme luck! The owls are adorable and the nuthatch position? Possibly another metaphor for life these days. Hmmm, just looking at “nuthatch” and realizing it could just as well be “nu thatch”, whatever that might be. Yup, those are the sorts of things I think of and the lockdown/shelter-in-place/do-whatever-you-want has nothing to do with it. 🙂 Cheers and happy Friday!


  9. Such amazing detail, Deborah! Yesterday I saw a tiny black & white woodpecker in the tree they trimmed next door. One day (weeks ago) I saw a huge brown one in my back yard pecking away at an old stump. I never found a picture that looked exactly like him (and only saw him from the back). That’s the only time I’ve seen him. Otherwise, the pigeons took over last fall, and are still here, crowding out most of the other birds. Hugs on the wing!

    1. OOH, I wonder if you saw a Downy Woodpecker the little black and white one? The big brown one maybe a Flicker? Both can be found in your state.

      Thank you so much, Teagan for telling me about your sightings. I am excited that saw the woodpeckers too!

  10. What a wonderful collection of images, Deborah! I can’t get over how well those owls blend in with the tree. And out already! We’re still shivering inside, here. Red headed woodpeckers used to be fairly common here but have nearly disappeared so it was nice to get a peek at this one. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa! I know right! I thought there would be a few weeks to see the owlets branching out before they fledged! It seems awfully fast to me too.

      I hope I get a good look an image of a Red-headed woodpecker! There’s a white one too that’s eluding me as well. Stinkers! 😀

      1. It was good to hear that the goose was able to hatch out her babies too.
        A white woodpecker? Cool! They are stinkers. There is a hairy woodpecker that gives us fits here at home, and when I go talk to him he peeks at me from behind a large branch. 🙂

        1. A White-headed woodpecker yes! My neighbor sent me a text over the week-end while I was away celebrating our birthdays and Mother’s Day at Baby Girl’s that she saw and got great looks at 3 white-headed woodpeckers! Figures right! 😀 It’s windy and stormy looking here right now and might be all week so not much birding will be happening this week for me, unfortunately.

          I like that the Hairy Woodpecker is peeking at you. He must be shy, but likes your voice no doubt since he’s still there playing peek-a-boo! 😉

          1. I had never heard of a white-headed woodpecker until you mentioned it. For heaven’s sake! How fun to learn of something new in the natural world. (New to me)
            Yeah, it is chilly here and rain is predicted. Brr but at least we aren’t getting the snow and cold I hear New York and Boston are getting! Yesterday I was at a nature preserve with my son and daughter and we were able to watch at least 3 species of warblers flitting about a small stream. I wished you were there with your camera! They were darling.

            1. So they’re not there, the white headed woodpeckers? I’d never heard of them before moving here. It’s been so neat being here this season and seeing so many new to me birds!

              The wind stopped before midnight last night and it’s so calm and beautiful right now.

              3 types of warblers in one place! I’d would love to see that! I’ve only seen Yellow-rumps here so far. Your time at the preserve with your children sounds lovely. 🥰

            2. Nope, not here….although I’ve been remembering my dad saying he was seeing an odd bird with a white head and wondering if I knew what it was. He lived still on the small lake where I grew up, and there are lots of birds there. I wonder if one could have been blown here by storms or something. Every once in awhile we’ll see something that doesn’t usually turn up here.

            3. It could happen. There’s been a Vermilion Flycatcher in CA for several Springs now. Myself and a friend drove 5 hours to see it the first year it showed up, then there’s a Ruff that shows up in the Winter, and once for several years there was a Falcated Duck that would turn up. I went to see both the Ruff and Falcated Duck. The year after I saw the Falcated Duck it stopped coming. I don’t like to think about a sad ending for it so I like to think it figured out how to get back to Asia where it belonged. 😀😀

            4. I’m with you in hating the contemplation of a sad ending 🙂 It is exciting to see a bird you wouldn’t ordinarily see.

            5. I saw and got a decent photo of the white-headed woodpecker yesterday evening! Plus I saw another lifer bird!! The Green-tailed Towhee! Have you got that bird there?

            6. Woohoo! That is awesome. I don’t believe I know the green-tailed towhee but then, I’m not that experienced of a birder.

  11. These are great photos, Deborah. I love seeing birds upside down and I really like seeing the owl. I’ve never seen one in the wild.

    I don’t go birding, but I saw a woodpecker that we’ve never seen around here. I think I’ll be sharing his picture on Monday. It’s always fun to see something new.

    I hope you have a great weekend. Thanks for sharing your new finds.

    1. Thank you so much, Dan! Oh, I am excited for you and to see what woodpecker you saw for the first time. I’m looking forward to that post on Monday. I can’t get over how fast these owlets fledged! I do need to go over there and see if they’re gone or just in another tree nearby.

      I hope you and The Editor have a good week-end too!

    1. LOL! He wasn’t. He took off like a shot right after I snapped that one. Stinker! 😀I only got two frames of him and both look like this one.

      Thank you so much, for the comment, Ally! Have a lovely week-end.

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