We invited friends over for Thanksgiving and I was looking forward to showing them some of the birds - particularly the Red-breasted Nuthatches - that constantly come to our feeders.
Wouldn't you know it! Although the weather on Thursday was beautiful, the only birds to visit the yards were male and female House Sparrows.
So our guests had to make do with a sighting of a Red-shouldered Hawk circling our house instead.
Of course, the next day, when our guests had left, our yards were full of visitors.
The Nuthatches were enjoying snacking on sunflower seeds.
The Orange-crowned Warblers preferred suet.
Our Ruby-crowned Kinglet went for the suet, too. (If you look carefully at the back of its neck, you can just see a tiny part of its ruby crown.)
We were even graced with a visit by a female Northern Cardinal.
We used to see several Cardinals every day but they have been almost totally absent for a couple of months. They may simply have been too busy raising another brood of babies to visit us. If so, I expect they'll start showing up again soon, bringing their youngsters with them.
On Saturday I noticed that the Chickadees in the yard behind ours were making a terrible racket. I walked over the fence to see what was agitating them. Just as I reached the fence, a Cooper's Hawk swooped in and settled on a branch just 4 feet away. We both froze for a few seconds, no doubt equally shocked by the encounter. Then the hawk zoomed away. I think that's the closest I've ever gotten to a non-captive raptor.
.he visitors ursday was o