Just a typical day in the backyard

Photo by Chris Bosak
A white-breasted nuthatch perches on a pole as a downy woodpecker eats suet from a feeder, New England 2019.

The word typical can have a negative connotation. It is usually used to describe something boring or mundane. Or worse, as a word of exasperation to draw attention to a recurring negative behavior: “Oh, that’s so typical of him.”

But I’m going to use typical in a positive way here. Yesterday, all the typical birds showed up at my feeder. And that’s a good thing. My ‘typicals’ include chickadees, titmice, white-breasted nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, and blue jays. You can throw juncos in there, too, in the winter. Other birds come from time to time, but those are the birds that are always there. Many people write to me about a lack of chickadees at their feeders lately. It’s definitely a trend to keep an eye on, but thankfully, I still have plenty of chickadees visiting my feeders.

Not that I’m boasting about my feeders. There are some obvious bird species that I hardly ever see. Cardinals, for whatever reason, are Continue reading

More snow photos: Blue jays are still hard to resist

Photo by Chris Bosak A blue jay perches in a tree in Danbury, CT, March 2019.

There was a time when blue jays were my favorite bird. It’s not that I don’t like blue jays anymore, but I was a youngster then and only knew a handful of birds. Their size, color and boldness intrigued me. I’ve since discovered 100s of other birds and, while blue jays remain a valued sighting, other birds have replaced them at the top of my list. That doesn’t mean I can resist grabbing a shot of one when it poses for me during a snowfall. So here you go …

How do Blue Jays eat acorns? And the answer is …

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck's Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck’s Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

As shown in the photo above and the photos below, they break the shell and eat the nut in pieces. I’m sure most of you knew that anyway. Just wanted to provide photographic evidence.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck's Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck’s Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck's Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck’s Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck's Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck’s Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Quick quiz on Blue Jays

Photo by Chris Bosak A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck's Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Blue Jay eats an acorn at Selleck’s Woods in Darien, Conn., April 2016.

Here’s a quick quiz on Blue Jays for you. The answer will be revealed in photos tomorrow, so time is limited to give this question some thought. The question is: How do Blue Jays eat acorns?

Do they swallow them hole? Break the shell and then eat the nut hole? Break the shell and eat the nut in pieces?

No need to officially cast a vote. Just give it some thought. Answer coming tomorrow morning.

Latest For the Birds column: Tracking down a towhee

Here’s my column from this week in The Hour and Keene Sentinel.

Photo by Chris Bosak An Eastern Towhee at Selleck's/Dunlap Woods in Darien, Nov. 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An Eastern Towhee at Selleck’s/Dunlap Woods in Darien, Nov. 2013.

 

It was one of those walks I probably shouldn’t have taken. I had only a smidgen of wiggle room if I wanted to arrive at an appointment on time. The woods beckoned, however, and I’ve always felt that a few minutes in the woods was better than no minutes in the woods. The danger, of course, is that I find it very difficult to spend only a few minutes in the woods. One good bird to follow and there goes my couple of minutes. Oh well, I figured, it’s cold and breezy. The birds will be hunkered down and making themselves scarce. I can knock out a quick walk no problem. The plan was working Continue reading