Monday, December 27, 2010

Window Blind White-throat In The Snow

As you can see from my backyard, we had a bit of snow Sunday night into Monday. Portland only had a total of about 10 inches but the wind gusts were strong enough to knock over one of my heavy wooden chairs.
I spent most of Monday shoveling snow and making homemade chicken noodle soup but managed to sneak in a little backyard birding. I set up a simple blind by hanging an old blanket over my breezeway door and putting a piece of cardboard in the window with a hole cut out for the camera lens. Surprisingly, we didn't have a lot of bird activity. There were lots of juncos, 1 Carolina Wren, 1 Mourning Dove, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 2 Northern Cardinals, and a few White-throated Sparrows. Normally, I see a lot of birds at the feeders during a snowstorm.
I set up branches for the birds to land on but they always seemed to land in a position where they were obstructed by other branches or were facing in the wrong direction. I know there are certain methods to control the way the birds land so that is something I'll work on in the future. At least the White-throated Sparrow cooperated by landing in the snow near the window blind. They breed mostly in Candada but I look forward to their return to Connecticut each year in the late Fall.
It's interesting how different a bird can look when it changes it's posture. This photo is of the same bird as in the previous photo but it looks a lot taller in this photo. There are two different forms of the White-throated Sparrow. There is a tan-striped form and the white-crowned form seen in these photos. I think the white-crowned form are more striking to look at. I learned this interesting fact at whatbird: "Individuals almost always mate with a bird of the opposite morph. Males of both color types prefer females with white stripes,and both kinds of females prefer tan-striped males." Don't worry, I didn't set up a secret snow trap just to get this photo. Little birdy did it all on his own.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I want to wish you all a Happy New Year!

14 comments:

Ruth said...

I usually see at least one White-throated Sparrow who forgot to fly south each winter. Are you doing the January count again this year??

madcobug said...

You got a few good pictures. That snow looks so cold but beautiful. Helen

Andy said...

Snowbound too!

Larry said...

Ruth-I was debating whether I wanted to do it or not and then I figured why not? it's a good way to motivate yourself to get out of the house in January.

Hlen-A few good pictures is better than none at all. At least I remembered to take the lens cap off.

Andy-I'm guessing you have a good picture posted so I'll be sure to have a look.

Chris Petrak said...

Wonderful photos of the white-throat - and you're so right about the change of posture - almost that of a white-crowned. But in that snow depth, you have to strain to look over the top!

Larry said...

Chris-thanks-The sparrow and I had something in common.I was straining to look over the top of the snow drifts in my yard too.

troutbirder said...

I've only been to Portland visiting my cousin in the summer. Thus surpirsed you got that much of the white stuff.
Happy New Year!

Larry said...

troutbirder-Portland CT? Small world if you have a cousin here. We get a fair amount of snow.

Kathiesbirds said...

Oh Larry, great shots! Will you be doing a Big January this year? I am thinking about it. If you do, at least we will be more evenly matched this time! Happy New Years! Thanks for all your comments on my new blog. I am still trying to get it off the ground!

Christine said...

I love those bird photos! The bird in the snow is so cute.

Lana Gramlich said...

I remember when I read that, about the white-throated sparrows. Pretty cool! Happy New Year. My best to you & yours. :)

Larry said...

Kathie-I debated about doing the Big January this year for various reasons.I'm keeping count as of January 1st of all the species I see. At this point I'm just going about it at a casual pace.If the mood hits me later on in the month I may put in more effort.

Christine-thanks
Lana-Yes-interesting little tidbit about those sparrows.

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

adorable White Throat picture!

JosephAlsarraf said...

Lol! A little late, I just found this picture while searching for birds on Google, I thought it looked funny. Poor bird I hope it got out! : )