Birds of the Field and Forest

One of Our Largest Woodpeckers

And my favorite woodpecker is the large pileated woodpecker, a bird of mature forests. This crow sized bird is mostly black with a bright red crest. When I lived on Long Island New York, it was extremely rare there. Yet it is a common species just across the Long Island Sound in New England and […]

The Carolina Chickadee

When I moved from New York to Florida, I was a bit homesick. I found comfort in the chickadees that came to my backyard feeder. Up north the black-capped chickadee frequented our sunflower feeders. Here in Florida the Carolina chickadee, a bird that is almost identical, comes to our backyard feeders to eat sunflower seeds […]

A Surprise and Welcome Visitor!

  I always enjoy watching wild birds come to my backyard feeders. Regal cardinals, petite black-capped chickadees and tiny chipping sparrows are just some of the many birds that come to eat sunflower seeds, millet and safflower. Today, Anne shouts to me, excitedly, “What kind of bird is that? It’s beautiful!” I dart across the […]

Parasitic Birds

Brown-headed cowbirds came to my bird feeder yesterday. I am not a fan of this bird because it is responsible for the decline of many species of warblers. Cow birds were once restricted to the prairies of the mid-west. Although cowbirds eat seeds, insects are a significant part of their diet. These bird followed the […]

Wintering Chipping Sparrows

For me, seeing chipping sparrows in Florida in the middle of the winter is strange. That’s because when I lived in New York, the chipping sparrow was an indication of spring, not a sign of winter. Chipping sparrows  returned from their southern wintering grounds in March.  The sparrows  built flimsy stick nests in the white […]

Who Cooks for You?

“Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” –  is a bird call I never heard living on Long Island in New York. Barred owls are considered accidental species for the Island. Perhaps it is the water barrier; the island is separated from New England by the Long Island Sound since this owl does not […]

Straggler Hummingbird Welcomed

Just after my last blog on how the absence of Hummingbirds signals the start of autumn, I spied a ruby-throated hummingbird by our firecracker bush. A light rain was falling, but it did not stop the hummingbird from engorging itself on the sweet nectar. This world’s smallest bird needs to eat half its weight in […]