Birdwatching: Cardinals, Bluebirds and Woodpeckers Came Calling

A few minutes after I put up this mornings post, a male Eastern Bluebird stopped by…sooo cute!  The following photos were taken through the glass of my bay window with a Nikon D7000 and my 18-200mm zoom lens.  Hope you enjoy.

Bluebird on Feeder

Then along came Mr. Cardinal which didn’t please a little Nuthatch who waited patiently for him to leave.

Cardinal with Nuthatch on Feeder

Cardinal on Feeder

Mrs. Cardinal came by to check out the new seed…

Female Cardinal at Feeder

And while she was visiting, a Red-bellied Woodpecker came to visit, too.

Woodpecker on Feeder with Cardinal

I think it was a “he” since the red extended all the way over his head to the front.  Any birders out there know their woodpeckers?

Red-Bellied Woodpecker on Feeder with Cardinal

I loved this picture because you almost never catch a bird with his eyes closed.  So cute!

Woodpecker on Feeder with Cardinal


Woodpecker and Cardinal of Feeder

He was just about ready to leave and created a little flourish that sent Mrs. Cardinal up onto the hook holding the feeder.

Woodpecker on Feeder with Cardinal

He eventually flew off and Mrs. Cardinal went back to feeding.  Hope you enjoyed this little series of pics.  I so love feeding the birds.  They are a joy to watch.

Woodpecker on Feeder with Cardinal

If you enjoy feeding and watching birds, you may enjoy the other post that published earlier today.

Love Bluebirds?  Check out this post to see a Mom and Dad Bluebird feeding their babies in the dovecote in my garden:  Bluebirds Nesting in a Lazy Hill Dovecote

You’ll find additional birding posts under the category Nature/For the Love of Birds at the top of the BNOTP home page.

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  1. merle turner says

    It’s great to have visiting birds, I like their chatter and their funny ways.

  2. Oh, I wish I could share these with my mother. She would just be giddy.

    • My mother and my Aunt Marge loved birds and sharing the pleasure of observing them. I have a little story…I once consulted a psychic who told me that my late mother was near, though departed from me forever. She also said to be aware of a flock of birds that appear on my roof or property. The spirit of my mother was with them. That bit of advice rang a loud bell with me, and I did not tell the psychic what I am to tell you all. As a small child, my mother’s love of birds resonated with me and I called her Bird as a nickname and she liked it. It does seem ironic that the psychic mentioned birds and my mother in the same breath. I like to think there is something to it. Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Prosperous, Happy New Year!

  3. Oh lucky you! You have some beautiful birds to watch! I also love feeding them but don’t have quite the variety as
    you have. May I ask what seed you offer them? This past Tuesday I awoke before dawn and let our dog out. She was
    making a racket barking and I went to let her in and a bird flew in my house!!! Oh my!!! What a shock!!! I was screaming for my husband, the dog was running around barking and the bird was so scared and kept flying into the walls. It took 30 minutes to get him out…..all before my first cup of coffee!

    • Molly, it’s Choice Blend from Wild Birds Unlimited. You can see the bag in this post that went up earlier today. The birds love it! Good gracious! Wonder why he flew into your house. That is wild! I had one come down the chimney once and we had to get him out. We did it by covering all the windows and doors, except the door that went to the outside, so it was dark in the room. He flew out and went for the light which was coming through the open exterior door. What a way to start your day!

  4. Susan,
    Do you have your camera on a tripod for these photos?

    • No, but I probably should have. I was just holding it with my arm braced against the shutter and on a fast firing speed so it was taking like 8 pics a second or something like that. Forgot how many pics it can take per second but it’s a bunch. I think I’ll try getting some with the tripod. I need to find a good location where I can open the window and see the feeder at the same time. The pics would probably be better if they weren’t through glass.

  5. ummm….so I suppose I missed your previous post on buying your see at Wild Bird’s Unlimited! I feel like
    the teacher just called on me during class cuz I was day dreaming…HAHAH!

  6. Great shots! Thanks for sharing them with us. I don’t get that variety of birds in my courtyard – wish I did.
    Have a Great weekend!

  7. Norma Bethea says

    Love these pictures!!!

  8. Love your photos! Lucky you to have the Bluebird. Our neighbor says we have Bluebirds here but I’ve never seen one at our heated birdbath. We don’t feed the birds but we do provide water for bathing and drinking.

    • Sandy, I didn’t have them for years, then one day they decided they loved my dovecote for nesting. Now they come back every year…or I guess they never really leave since I see them during the winter, too. If you put up a bluebird house, you may get some. πŸ™‚

  9. How fortunate you are. Love the pictures too. I would love to do this. We have a lot of Blue Jays and Cardinals but we also have three cats who love birds. Any suggestions?

    • Bev, as long as the feeders are up really high and away from something where the cats could perch and jump from, you would probably be okay. Birds are pretty fast and adept at avoiding cats.

  10. Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing your lens type. Could you please tell me what kind of Nikon you own?

  11. I love to feed the birds and watch them too! We get many of the same ones, except bluebirds. I have only seen them maybe once. They are gorgeous! We get those little woodpeckers as well. They like to sit up on the roof, wacking away at the metal vent caps. Sounds like a jackhammer! Scared the heck out of my grandkids once – I think they thought the house was coming down! LOL! Love the socks in your other post- so cute!! Merry Christmas! Hugs, Leena

  12. Love the photos – we are addicted to watching the birds at our feeder! Bravo.

  13. Oh how I wished we had cardinals. Have only seen one bluebird since we moved here, but I do have a variety of other birds at the feeders. Funny you should come with this subject, because for the past five evenings, between 4.00 and 4.15 p.m., a little bird has settled in the channel of our patio cover. It is metal so I am sure it is cold but it is also out of the wind. I have never seen this before. He leaves about 7.30 a.m….must have a job somewhere!! πŸ™‚
    I sat there yesterday waiting for him and he was here at 4.10 p.m. We were out today until after that time and lo and behold, there he is. I think I now have a pet!! πŸ™‚

    • Awww, so cute! I was saying goodbye to a friend about a month or so ago. She was standing on my front porch and we noticed a little baby something up in the corner of the porch. I’m pretty sure it was an owl. It was so tiny.

  14. What a wonderful idea. I am going to look for one of those in New Zealand as we have lots of little birds that come into our garden but they never stay long normally because we are mainly patio and hedges no flowers. I most definitely am going to put one on my Christmas list.

    Lee πŸ™‚

    • Lee, you don’t have to worry about squirrels, either…right? I think a reader told me once that you don’t have squirrels, there, but I may be remembering wrong. You’ll love watching the birds, gives so much life and joy to the garden when they are there feeding.

  15. What is the name of your feeder? I assume it came from WBU ? I love it because it looks like squirrels
    cant eat! I absolutely love my backyard birds!
    And may I add….. I love your blog!

    • Thanks, Gay! Appreciate that so much! I hate to say it but the squirrels can eat from this feeder. The only thing that keeps them off is I have it hanging from a reallllllly long skinny pole so they don’t like going out that pole to try to get down to it past the baffle and it’s so long, they can’t comfortably get to it. I’ve seen a couple on it since I installed the long pole, but not very often. I bought the feeder at Home Depot a couple of years ago. I love the feeder because it can hold 3 different types of seed and it holds a lot. Plus it has a lot of feeding stations so several birds can eat at once.
      Here’s a post showing the really long pole when I first installed it.
      The feeder that’s hanging from it in that post is squirrel proof and it came from Wild Birds Unlimited. It closes down if a squirrel gets on it or you can set it where it closes down if a very heavy bird like a blue jay or crow gets on it. After 4-5 days if I see a squirrel on the big one that you saw in todays post, I usually change the big feeder out to the squirrel-proof one until they give up and go away, then I put the big one back out again. lol I prefer using the big one because the birds love it so much. The squirrels used to hang from the top of the squirrel-proof one (that you see in that other post) and eat until I placed a baffle above it. Now that it has a baffle and is out on a long pole, they don’t seem to be able to get to it anymore.

  16. Chris k in Wisconsin says

    I always have heard that if you have cardinals at your feeder, they are someone dear to you who has passed. We have them at our feeder every day, and I always talk to them….. just in case!!! I like to believe it is true! Your pics are wonderful. We have a bluebird that comes around Memorial Day every year. It is so funny. Like clockwork every year!! Just love feeding and watching the sweet birds. As a by-product of that, my husband says we have the fattest squirrels in the county. Well,,,,, guess everyone needs to eat!!

    • I like that, Chris. I’ll have to start talking to my cardinals…just in case. πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t mind feeding the squirrels except they can clean out my feeder in about 2 days! I should probably buy them some corn.

  17. Hi Susan,

    I love this post — you got some GREAT pictures!!! I don’t know if anyone answered your question about the woodpecker, but we get those at our feeder. I looked him up in our Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, and he’s a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. He’s one of my favorites that we get at the feeder. We’ve only gotten the Eastern Bluebirds to come to our feeder a few times last spring. πŸ™

    We love to feed the birds, too. They’re really fascinating. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!


    • Thanks, Denise. I was pretty sure it was a Red-bellied since I could see the red on his belly, just wasn’t sure if it was a male or female. I looked him up in my Peterson guide and it does appear to be a male. His belly looks kind of yellow, too doesn’t it? I’m surprised I didn’t get a Downy Woodpecker during the time I was watching. I usually see those more often than the Red-Bellied and the Red-headed. Don’t give up on the Bluebirds. I used to never see them but once they find a place to nest in your yard, they stick around and come back year after year. They especially come back if you give them meal worms. You may want to try putting up a bluebird box. They are pretty loyal to where they nest and will come back each year to the same spot, unless it gets taken over by a Chickadee or some other bird first.

  18. I can’t tell you how I envy your bird shots and your birds for that matter. Mostly I seen doves and bluejays in my yard, and they don’t hold still long enough for me to photo them. Good work!

    • Thanks, Lulu! I have the bluejays and doves, too. I don’t mind the doves so much. They seem gentle and I like their cooing. But the Bluejays are as aggressive as the crows and run all the other birds off. That I don’t like!

  19. What a wealth of knowledge out there in blog land about birds. I’m sure I could find lots of info online.
    So enjoyed your pics of all the birds at your feeder, they are wonderful. We had so many birds that came around when we lived in KY. We had several trees and bushes. For awhile one year I had some kind of little bird that liked to sit on our clotheslines and would give me a good hollering at when I hung laundry, loved watching it. Wish I knew what it was.
    In MT every early summer a bluebird would come to make a nest in the eaves of our pole shed. It would fly around with it’s mate all over the yard and when I was hanging laundry. Is there something about clothes lines birds like? I’m so glad you’ve shown your incredible pictures of so many birds. Has really inspired me.

    I’ve been wanting to put out a feeder by our shed and a big tree close to it. Don’t know if our cat climbs that tree or not.
    He’s getting older and has arthritis in his shoulders so I wonder how athletic he is when I’m not watching him.
    I have faux bird stuff in our room and bathroom but would love to feed them especially now when it’s so cold out. I don’t know if birds are around CO this time of year.

  20. Wonderful pictures, Susan. Birds are Sooooooo entertaining.

  21. I so love watching birds!…You certainly had beautiful birds that came to visit…you captured them beautifully!!!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family Susan!!!

  22. The different varieties of birds visiting your feeder is amazing. It must be so entertaining to watch. We don’t have that here in Florida, just mainly large birds like egrets & ducks or we would get a feeder and seed like you have. We do have one tiny, little bird that visits this time of the year. He lands on our pool screen enclosure and seems to want to come in. He’s so tiny that I love to watch for him.

  23. I really enjoy the birds at my feeders. The Wild Bill feeder holds a lot of seed and the 9 volt battery reminds the squirrels that the seed is not for them. I wish I could somehow discourage the doves. They move in with all their friends and family and eat me out of house and home and seed prices have gotten very high. Everyone that has bird feeders should participate in the Cornell U. Winter Backyard bird count. You will be surprised at all the birds visiting your feeders that you never noticed before. I will be off to WBU today to get more seed. I hope there is still a pair of th0se cute socks left for me.

  24. Wonderful photos, Susan! We too have a birdfeeder and at this time of the year (to the farrrrr North of you) our feathered-friends really do appreciate it when the landscape is covered with a blanket of snow, as it is now. Ours namely consist of sweet little Chick-a-dees and bossy male Cardinals. πŸ™‚ On occasion there may be a young squirrel however as I do feed a colony of them with unshelled, non-salted peanuts on a daily basis, it doesn’t take them long to catch on. (Some actually come knocking on my back door as it is not unusual for them to cling to its screen until they have been fed.)

    Before signing off, wishing you and your loved ones A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. May you all be blessed with the joys of this Season. Warmest hugs -Brenda-

  25. Susan your photo’s are fantastic…loven’ me some birdwatching.

    While growing up we called those red birds,”Santa Claus birds”,when we saw them,we always said,”better be nice,Santa’s got spy’s”

    Merry CHRISTmas
    ~Jo @ LoblollyLane

  26. “Your” bluebird is beautiful!! I await their return every year and the bluebird “homes” are ready! Just recently we have been hearing “owls” and there must be two varieties since the sounds are so different. I find our feathered friends antics very soothing. franki

  27. Oh Susan, such wonderful photos! Many thanks for sharing all your visitors with us. Just amazing that you have
    such a variety to watch.

  28. Pamela Moore says

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos! I’m not all that far from you, so I am fortunate that I see a lot of the same birds. This winter we are seeing Pine Siskins, and I’m wondering if you are too. Thanks for your wonderful blog!

    • Pamela, I haven’t seen any, yet. I’ll keep my eye out though…hope to see some! A few weeks ago I was seeing a lot of gold finches, though…love their bright color.

    • Pamela, I just saw a Pine Siskin at the feeder. I took some pics. I’ll have to share them sometime but I’m pretty sure it was a Pine Siskin. They are such a pretty silvery color. Goldfinches were out on the feeder today, too, as well as a female Bluebird.

  29. Pamela Moore says

    It probably was a Pine Siskin. For me at least, they’re easy to overlook because at first glance they resemble female Goldfinches. However, when I look at them more closely, I realize they don’t really look THAT much like Goldfinches at all, but I guess the size and shape and wing bars are close enough that my brain just doesn’t immediately register “Pine Siskin!”

  30. Ann Lankford says

    I also have that feeder I like it because it holds a lot of seed. I have 2 different stations and 7 feeders all at the same time I have several sparrows beside the pretty birds love them all. We had a snow Fri am and the birds were really active. Thanks for sharing your pictures they are great

  31. Mary from Virginia says

    Man, the word is out in Bird world that you have seed! What beautiful birds you attract and your photography is GREAT!

    Thanks for the tips about the bird seed and Wild Bird’s Unlimited.

    Merry Christmas Susan!

  32. Beautiful shots!!! We can’t wait to get bird feeders up here too, we have always fed and watched the birds. We have flocks of blue birds now!!!! Merry Christmas, Susan!!!

  33. It looks like you have a great bird feeder to watch!

  34. I love your bird photos Susan! I didn’t think Bluebirds were seed eaters! We have some that nest in our Lazy Hill dovecote too! It must be their preferred housing πŸ™‚ Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  35. I love bird watching and bird feeding so I’ve enjoyed all the conversation here and seeing your birds. We don’t get cardinals here in Oregon so I find them fascinating to look at through other people’s photos!

  36. GooseGrove says

    First- I know how hard it is to get those shots!
    Second- amazing camera – everything is so clear!
    Third-thanks for taking the time to photograph them! Wonderful post!

    • Thanks! Appreciate that! πŸ™‚ Wish I didn’t have to shoot through the glass of the window. When spring/summer comes, I’m going to see if I can find a window (I can open) that will work well for taking pics as they come to the feeder.

  37. The red bellied woodpecker in your pictures is a male.

  38. I have several bird feeders next to big windows and my 3 cats LOVE to sit and watch them…sometimes the cats will duck down like they are peeking at them…I’m sure the birds know that they are there the whole time, but it’s cute…you take wonderful pictures! I have never had a bluebird yet, but my friend gave me a carton of live meal worms…they are rather gross, but I keep them sealed up with an apple slice in sawdust and none have escaped…I don’t really have a yard that is open, so may never had bluebirds…we have “The Bluebird Man” Loren Hughes in our town…he has placed bluebird houses all over Illinois and at 91 years old, is quite the authority on everything bluebird.

    • Andrea, that is sooo cute about your kitties. I love that! It’s amazing how much enjoyment the birds give to us, isn’t it? I just love them!

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