This past week was capped off by some new bird sightings and more fast and furious bird feeding activity! Our new bird sightings included the belted kingfisher, a mockingbird, and the first yellow-shafted flicker sighting at our feeder (I caught sight of one in a backyard tree on 18 September 2020 but never feeding).
The bird feeding activity centered on the almighty peanut! I have been incredibly surprised at the fact that tufted titmice are incredibly excited, and perhaps even more so than blue jays, when peanuts are available. The speed with which they grab peanuts, store them, and return to grab another is also surprising. I would imagine the fact that they are smaller than jays allows them to dart in quickly and make their move more seamlessly than the much larger blue jay. Jays have a more lumbering approach and have left our platform feeder spinning as they hurriedly plop down to grab a nut and fly off.
As far as more details on our sightings, this past Sunday my husband spotted a belted kingfisher while birding at the Glenn Thompson Reserve (along the Little Miami River) and waiting for me to finish a 10-mile training run. He was able to take a quick but unfortunately blurry shot but we’ll definitely return to the area to get a better view and see if we can capture a better picture of this interesting looking bird! My husband stated that he first heard something that he had never heard before and went to investigate what was making this noise. The call he heard has been described by some as a “strident, mechanical rattle.”
My mockingbird sighting occurred while I was on my run on the Creekside Trail right after I passed Kil-Kate Speedway and Drag Strip. The bird flew across the running path and landed on a branch. I have seen mockingbirds in my parents’ backyard in San Antonio, Texas but this was my first sighting since beginning my birding journey here in Ohio.
Our yellow-shafted flicker sighting occurred earlier that same morning. My husband had never seen a flicker on our property and I was so excited to see the bird at our front yard feeder that I grabbed my husband’s arm with excitement! I was happy we got to see the flicker together. Unfortunately, the flicker seemed quite skittish and did not even stay long enough to grab any seeds before it flew off.
The bird feeding activity included a tremendous variety of birds to include titmice, cardinals, chickadees, blue jays, Carolina wrens, finches, goldfinches, sparrows, mourning doves, red-bellied woodpeckers, and downy woodpeckers. It is so wonderful to see such a variety of birds sharing the feeder and interesting to see the frenzy that occurs once one birds darts down to grab some sunflower seeds or peanuts and the rest of his or her companions follow suit.
I hope you feel the same way when birds visit your feeder.
Image credit: Laura Y. Ceville @BirdHouseLove