Thursday, April 8, 2010

FOY Brown Thrasher (Revised Post*)

I was right on time this morning. I  first heard the Brown Thrasher singing his beautiful melodious and varied song  yesterday at about 7:30 AM behind a shopping center where I do my grocery shopping. I didn't have my camera with me. So this morning I brought it along. As soon as I arrived at the appointed time I heard him singing from his perch on a big pine tree,  and giving me a chance to get a picture before he flew off 10 minutes later.

He arrived about 2 weeks early for our region, the earliest on record for the past 5 years. But then spring arrived early too with lots of warm weather. This morning the air is filled with a joyful noise from a large flock of American Goldfinches by the feeder and the trees around our yard. They are changing into summer plumage.

The goldfinches occupied most of the ports on the feeder but then a female Purple Finch took possession of  a perch and wouldn't budge until she had had her fill. (* I had initially misidentified this as a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak)

A female Yellow-breasted Sapsucker settled down on our Ash tree, a favorite with the sapsuckers. They always look like they are having a bad hair day, but I guess it's good camouflage making them blend in with the tree bark.....

 except when they cling to a telephone pole.

.....but of course she didn't stay very long

A Hairy Woodpecker had been working in upper reaches of one of the large trees. Her drumming rang through the yard for much of the morning. She finally flew down to inspect the activity around the feeder.

She must have had something orangey to eat, maybe ingesting some of  the wood from the crab apple tree, much ravaged by woodpecker activity?

I'd been hearing a Red-bellied Woodpecker calling in the neighboring trees and was waiting for him to show himself. They are occasional visitors to my feeder but are usually quite shy. They take flight upon the slightest unfamiliar movement in their periphery. Finally - it was a female - she came down briefly to investigate the feeder, but did not stay very long.

The yard has accumulated much flotsam over the winter, fallen branches, old leaves, and the mess  dogs make.  Here is my husband doing some raking ....

...and our dog Chance  is trying to help by breaking twigs into smaller pieces :-)

It's in the mid 70's, a perfect day to sit on the deck with a glass of iced tea and watch  all the activity in the yard.


  1. ...sounds like a perfect day. I haven' t seen any thrashers here yet. I'll be on the lookout! I wonder what the woodpecker got into to turn those feathers orange!

  2. Thanks, Kelly. I was sitting outside when a red-bellied woodpecker came visiting the crab apple tree. So I grabbed my camera, shot a picture and added it to the blog after you stopped by.

    Anyway, I tried to find something about the orange color but no luck. However I have seen it before in my yard. The way it looks it's probably something in their diet, not something applied to the outside.

  3. I am swooning over your photos Hilke. So nice!! Hoping to get a thrasher this weekend as I love that bird. You got a fantastic photo of it

  4. Thanks, Kim. I'd love to have a thrasher in my yard just for the beautiful song. Right now all we are hearing are the peepers and woodfrogs that can be truly deafening at night.

  5. HI Hilke,
    Sounds like a nice day you got. I love the woodpecker series, I'd like to get some over here but they have never reached the country!!!

  6. Chris, I guess you'll have to have woods first.


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