Daily Archives: December 15, 2014

Not so gold in winter

3 goldfinches

Three American Goldfinches at the tube feeder.

cardinal and goldfinches

Two goldfinches and a cardinal at the hopper feeder.

American Goldfinch

One goldfinch on the ground under the hopper feeder.

This handsome little finch, the state bird of New Jersey, Iowa, and Washington, is welcome and common at feeders, where it takes primarily sunflower and nyjer. Goldfinches often flock with Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls. Spring males are brilliant yellow and shiny black with a bit of white. Females and all winter birds are more dull but identifiable by their conical bill; pointed, notched tail; wingbars; and lack of streaking.

Belly up to the suet bar

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker savors snowy suet cake.

This one is a female.

Adult males have a red cap going from the bill to the nape; females have a red patch on the nape and another above the bill. The reddish tinge on the belly that gives the bird its name is difficult to see in field identification.

Looks like we are lucky to have them, if this map is right, because we are at the limits of their range.

ra4090

 

The Red Bellied Woodpecker Feeding PreferencesThe Red bellied woodpecker forages on limbs and tree trunks of deciduous trees. They prefer eating beetles, grasshoppers, ants, acorns, beechnuts and fruits. During winter, their diet is mostly seeds and can often be found at birdfeeders. They are also able to store food in crevices of tree bark for later consumption.

So maybe it’s eating the seeds as much as the suet in the suet cake? And a suet cage is an easier “perch” for a woodpecker?