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Old Feb 18, 2013, 6:55 PM   #1
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Default Some little birds

A few weeks ago, I posted some shots of three different birds at the same nest-hole - a male Downy Woodpecker, a Carolina Chickadee, and a Hairy Woodpecker. Was wondering which would finally claim the den.

Well, I had a few moments to check the tree again recently, and found a different bird - a female Downy - busy at work. She sure can make those chips fly!
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 6:59 PM   #2
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Many of our smaller East Tennessee birds join mixed flocks for the winter. There is a definite safety in numbers factor - joining a flock means more eyes and ears alert for predators. Usually the flock includes Downy Woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadees, Nuthatches, Titmice, Brown Creepers, etc. All primarily insect eaters, but specialists in searching different parts of the tree - so there's not too much competition for food.

Here's a portrait of one of the common members of a winter mixed flock, a Tufted Titmouse.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 7:02 PM   #3
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And here's another frequent flock member, a Golden Crowned Kinglet. These tiny birds are such bundles of energy that it's tough (for a slow photographer like me) to get even one shot. For some reason, this one was perched rather still for almost five minutes (perhaps because it was a very cold day and a very sunny perch), and let me take a few quick snapshots.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 7:04 PM   #4
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This winter's up and down temperature cycles have been great for the Sapsuckers - with plenty of sap flow available nearly all winter long!

I spotted a likely location, and waited "semi-patiently" for his return. This Red Bellied Woodpecker was a surprise visitor to the sapsucker's tree...
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 7:06 PM   #5
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After a rather long (for me) wait, I heard the sapsucker behind me - I think he was laughing at me. When I turned around, he stayed long enough for just one very poor shot, and then took off. (will have to try again when time permits).
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 7:09 PM   #6
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On the other hand, our winter sparrows are not at all shy.

Here are several views of a very fluffy (fluffed against the cold) White Throated Sparrow. These birds are winter visitors to the hills of Tennessee. My wife says they look like they are wearing grey sweaters! And they sing about their summer home, saying "Oh sweet Canada Canada Canada."
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 7:11 PM   #7
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Last but not least, a year-round resident sparrow - the Song Sparrow. Perhaps not the brightest in color, but one of the sweetest songs...
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 7:15 PM   #8
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Hope you enjoyed seeing these "little feathered friends" as much as I enjoyed photographing them. And thanks so much for any comments and critique!
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 7:28 PM   #9
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Great shots-what equipment are you using?
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 10:07 PM   #10
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Love the downy pics..
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