Showing posts with label bird facts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bird facts. Show all posts

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review of Facts and Photos of the Dark Eyed Junco

Snow Bird
I think I must have gotten my love of birds from my Mother.  She loved to watch the birds in her yard and one of her favorites was a small grey bird with a white bottom that she called the "Snow Bird".  I have found this bird to be one of my favorites.  They are called Dark Eyed Junco's and it is particularly interesting to watch them hop around on the ground on a snowy day.


Identifying the Dark Eyed Junco

  • Slate Colored mostly grey with white belly
  • Medium Sized Sparrow
  • Round Head
  • Small pale bill
  • Prominent white outer tail feathers
There are other Junco's in North America whose coloring varies across the continent but all are a dark grey or brown and have white outer tail feathers the flash open in flight.  In the western US Junco's have a dark hood and a brown back. These are called the "Oregon Junco"

The Dark Eyed Junco that I show in this article are found throughout Canada and in the eastern US.  I live in eastern Missouri and they are plentiful in my backyard.


Feeding Behavior

These birds feed primarily by hopping around the base of trees and shrubs looking for fallen seeds.  In the spring and summer they will eat mainly insects.

In my back yard they usually are found beneath the feeders picking up seeds that have fallen when other birds have been at the feeders.  Here is a photo taken on a snowy morning when two Junco's decided to stop at a feeder.  The ground was covered with snow and there weren't any other birds around to knock food off the feeders so they had to go get their own.  Later in the day when more other types of birds were around they were again on the ground pecking away at fallen seeds.


Breeding Behavior

In order to court the females the males will fan and flicker their tail feather and hop up and down.  The males and females will make a nest together and they defend their territory together.  The male however is a bit fickle and is known to mate with several females.

The females usually have between 3-5 eggs at a time and they are incubated by the female for 12-13 days.  The baby birds are ready to leave their nest in 9-13 days.

Habitat

Junco's are ground nesters and prefer to make their nest on the ground sheltered by either dense shrubs or rocks.  Their nest is an open cup made of fine twigs, rootlets and leaves.

References

  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology online
  • Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America by Jonathan Alderfer and Paul Hess





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Review of Facts and Photos of the Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal is one of my favorite birds.  They frequently visit my backyard feeders and birdbath and I never get tired of photographing them.  I find both the male and female to be very photogenic.

Fun Facts About the Northern Cardinal

  • State bird of 7 US states
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Kentucky
    • North Carolina
    • Ohio
    • Virginia
    • West Virginia
  • Diet consists of seeds, insects and berries
  • Also known as redbird
  • Featured as the name of numerous athletic teams including my favorite St. Louis Cardinal baseball team.
  • Beautiful songbirds who sing year round.  Loud whistling song that has many variations including: cheer,cheer,cheer and purty,purty,purty.
  • Male sings to defend nesting territory.
  • Cardinals do not migrate and live their entire lives within a few miles.
  • Cardinal lifespan can be up to 15 years.
Thanks goes to my granddaughter Kate for sharing some of her Cardinal facts with me.

Differences between Male and Female Cardinals


The male Cardinal is perhaps the mostly widely recognized bird in the USA.  Male is completely red except for small black mask and a black chin.  These birds have heavy bills to deal with their diets.

Although the female is duller in color, I think they are equally beautiful.  They are a tawny brown with a small amount of red on the crest, wings and tail.  I love their bright orange/red beak.


Photos of Cardinals in my Backyard

This little guy is all puffed up against the cold winter winds.


I like the look on this Cardinals face.  He seems to be saying "it's my turn here now...stay away!"

Products with Northern Cardinals

Because they are such a colorful and popular birds you can find numerous products that feature cardinals.  A search on Amazon will show you toys, household decorating items and much more.  Here are a couple that caught my eye.

I love this colorful Cardinal trivet.  What a great way to bring this colorful bird into your home.


                                                           
If you are looking for some decorations with Cardinals for your deck or patio this beautiful wind chime is just for you.  I love the sound of chimes in the wind and I'm sure you will love this colorful decoration.
                                       

Cardinal Magnet from my friend Vicki's Zazzle store




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