Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's Blooming in January 2011?

Once again it's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens and I'm going to show you what's been 'blooming' in my Virginia garden this month. Normally the 15th of the month is reserved for actual blooms...a.k.a. 'flowers' that appear in the garden or on plants indoors. Well, since there are no blooms on plants in either location I have decided to share my avian-blooms (which I also did in 2008, aptly naming the post 'Garden Bloggers' Blooming Bird Day'). It was okay with Carol then so I'm hoping she'll approve this year, as well;-)  Most of the photos are from the past few days, but some were taken within the past couple of weeks when there was a bit of snow.

I love watching  these 'blooms' because they bring color, whimsy, and lots of delight to my garden. I get a kick out of seeing the birds 'break' standard stereotypes (ie): that many birds we think are not 'snow' birds--are; that many birds we think are not 'feeder' birds--are; that many birds we think are only seasonal--are here year-round; and that many birds we think would never share or 'get along'--really do. Nature never ceases to amaze me. How about you?!

Carolina Chickadee

Dark Eyed-Junco

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse and Goldfinch (L)

Tufted Titmouse and Bluebird

American Robin

American Robin and Pine Siskins

L-R: American Robin, Bluebird, House Finch and Goldfinch

American Robin

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin and Bluebird

White-breasted Nuthatch (these come to my feeders, as well)

House Finch

male House Finches

female House Finches

female House Finch with male in background

male House Finch (L), Goldfinch and female House Finch (R)

 male House Finch (R) and Goldfinches

Downy Woodpecker

male Downy Woodpecker

female Downy Woodpecker

I am not always able to correctly distinguish between the Downy and the Hairy Woodpeckers but I think this is a Downy. The main difference is size, with the Hairy being slightly larger, and the beak of the Hairy being slightly larger in relation to the size of its head. Sometimes they are tough to tell the difference between, especially at a distance!

male Downy Woodpecker and male Eastern Bluebirds

Hairy or Downy?

I'm guessing a female Hairy Downy Woodpecker here...

Eastern Bluebird

Blue Jay

Blue jay and female Cardinal

Northern Flicker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker and female House Finch (L)

Red-bellied Woodpecker in flight

Pileated Woodpecker

Carolina Wren


male Cardinal (R) and Carolina Chickadee (L)

male Cardinal (R), Carolina Chickadee and Goldfinch (L)

female Cardinal and Blue jay


American Goldfinch

American Goldfinches and House Finch (R)

Cooper's Hawk
(As much as I enjoy seeing the hawks, I have to admit that they are usually here to see what's for dinner...and it doesn't involve the feeders). Well, yes it does. But not the 'contents' of the feeders. It's what's 'on the feeders' that the hawks seek out. Am I in some way, guilty of creating a death-trap for tiny birds? Perhaps...but I don't feel it's a bad thing to 'feed the birds'. While I don't enjoy seeing a bird 'captured'  I understand the dynamics of 'the circle of life' and feel that it's all just part of the larger picture which is LIFE itself. Feeding the birds in the winter is important to their survival. I also benefit by being able to enjoy their colors and antics.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove...Napping!

Today I'm thankful that backyard birds visit me often and provide winter delights when other 'blooms' are sorely lacking.

Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble
Written by Jan @ Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.


  1. The birds are as pretty as any flower. What a great variety you see. You'll have lots to count in a month during the GBBC.

  2. Quite an impressive collection of feathered flowers! Did not know that Bluebirds would come to feeders. And even a Pileated Woodpecker - very nice. Lots of good shots.

  3. very colourful birds.... your red cardinals look similar to our chandik

  4. Now they are some really pretty 'blooms'. It looks like counting is going to be hard for you because you get so many. And incredible variety too.

  5. Love all your wonderful bird photos! Especially the tufted titmice and the blue jays, I miss them, I'm pretty sure they are in Eastern U.S. only, I haven't seen them out here in Washington, but of course always saw lots in Massachusetts.

    I would love to see some bluebirds here, they are so pretty!

  6. I've enjoyed seeing your feathered blooms! I am envious of your bluebirds.

  7. You're blessed with such a great variety of birds to watch! I've been toying with the idea of adding a suet feeder...I think you've just convinced me! Great blooms!

  8. Jan,
    Do tell us how you get Bluebirds and Robins at your feeders. I know the bird bath will attract any bird just about. Looked at you Hairy and could not confirm it, the one on the suet feeder is too small unless that is a huge suet feeder. Never seen a Hairy Woodpecker visit a feeder they specialize in finding beetles under rotten bark on standing dead trees.

    PS Meg is getting a birdbath fore her birthday like yours except I'm replacing the bowl with a clay bowl and we are installing a 150 watt heater!

  9. I also turn my attention to the wildlife during these dreary days of winter...wonderful captures here...God's free entertainment...(other than buying the birdseed)

  10. I love your Garden Bloggers BIRD Day!! Wow, that's a lot of birds!! How fun to watch them in winter when there's not much else going on in the garden.

  11. Such WONDERFUL bird blooms, Jan! You know I love the birds, too, so you know I loved this post! Totally jealous of your bluebirds! We're just north of their winter range, so we'll have to wait a bit before they come back here. Really great photos!!

  12. So many gorgeous avian blooms! I loved it! Those Bluebirds, the Cardinals, the Woodpeckers ... so many stunning birds! A real treat seeing these unfamiliar (to me) beauties, thank you!

  13. Dear Jan, I am with you about the hawks ... I don't think we need to feel guilty. Your photos are stunning as always. My husband is so envious of your Pileated Woodpecker as he always wanted to see one. I am so thankful we have birds in winter when there are no flowers to enjoy. P x

  14. Oh Jan! Your birdies have made my night! This was an incredibly enjoyable post! I have always longed for a Bluebird to visit my garden. Without a doubt I will visit you here again!!

  15. gosh, nature abounds at your place. I love these gorgeous birds. Every time I visit your blog I decide I want to learn more about birds and butterflies. These such a variety but when you don't know anything about them, they fall into 2 catagories, regular birds and cool looking birds. I really need to learn more!

  16. Your place sure is popular with the birds! I love the variety you get, and enjoy seeing these photos as much as flower ones. I can understand your concern about the hawk, but you are helping the birds stay healthy enough to fly strong to get away. If some are caught, they will be the weaker ones. Does that make sense?

    I keep forgetting to check our suet in the squirrel proof feeder to see if any birds have eaten off of it. It's been under 32 for quite awhile, but could get there for a few days. Does suet spoil if not eaten?

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. I love the fact that you showed everyone all of those beautiful birds "blooming" in your garden. They certainly add beauty to our landscapes any time of year, but by feeding them, we add a lot to their lives as well.

  19. Love your precious little blooms.

  20. Hi Jan. What beautiful pictures of all of your visiting birds.Last Spring was the first time a Flicker had visited my feeder that I noticed anyway. I almost didn't spot it just at a glance I thought it was a woodpecker until I saw it was not marked quite right for one.I love how your Bluebirds stay around in the winter. Mine seems to leave every Fall for some reason. I think they are so pretty. Have a wonderful week.

  21. So beautiful, Jan. You are certainly blessed with a variety of precious blooms, especially your handsome woodpeckers.

  22. It must be thrilling to get a Pileated at the feeder. They are such amazing birds.

    My 2 cents -- I think all of the (Hairy or Downy?) Woodpeckers are Downeys except for the one with the two bluebirds. But I agree, it can be hard to tell those two apart!

    I always love your bird posts -- they are such a delight and you get so many beautiful shots.

  23. Well, they may not be flowers, but i'm happy to see them all the same. We share many of the same birds, but I never get the bluebirds to come up to the yard and I rarely see them at all in winter. My surprise and delight this winter has been a little red-breasted nuthatch that has been a repeat visitor to the feeders.

  24. Jan,
    What an amazing variety of feathered blooms at your feeders! I am jealous about the pileated woodpecker, one of my favorites. I hope to see them visit my feeders one day. The Northern Flicker has such beautiful markings. I am left wondering if it is the water source that has helped to attract this large variety? Something I have yet to add - a heated water source. Thank you for sharing these beautiful "blooms". :)

  25. Wow, you have quite a nice variety of birds in your garden still. I suppose I might have a better variety if my birdbath hadn't gotten buried under a mountain of snow. I'm hoping that next year I'll have enough money to heat my bird bath and start feeding the birds all winter again. They're always so interesting to watch.

  26. Thanks for taking the time to upload all these pictures! I loved looking at all these birds on a cold, dreary winter day, it made my day way more cheery.

  27. Beautiful, so colorful. I just love that bluebird, Jan.

    Happy bloom day!

  28. What a parade of blooms and plumes Jan! Fabulous! I had no idea Bluebirds would go to a feeder. Wonderful post on your feeding station! You are pleasing many many birds!

  29. How clever, Jan! In terms of color and winter interest, your avian blooms certainly beat out anything most of the rest of us have on offer at this time of year :-). -Jean

  30. Such abundance!!! Thanks for sharing!

  31. What an amazing variety of birds you have, Jan! I always love seeing the bluebirds, which we don't have in my area. And I smiled at the photo of the robin and the little pine siskins on the feeders; they all seem to be getting along so well. I've been missing the woodpeckers this year, which haven't been around here; glad to see they are visiting you. I do think these are the "blooms" of winter!

  32. Love the bird "blooms"! Wow, that's quite a collection! And thanks for your very kind words about my Fern photos. Looking forward to getting to know you through your blog and Blotanical! Beth

  33. Lovely post :-) I love seeing the birds that visit people's gardens.

  34. Wow. I'm really impressed Jan. You're definitely doing something right. Beautiful "blooms"!

  35. Our bluebirds fly away from here in northeast Kansas in the winter and head to warmer climates. We won't see them again until next summer.

  36. very colorful. They are certainly blooming

  37. Wonderful photos! We have most of the same birds here, though I haven't had any luck attracting bluebirds.

    This is the first year I've noticed Carolina Wrens at our seed feeders. I'm not sure what they usually eat, but maybe it's not as available right now??

    Hope you're having a great 2011!

  38. What a great set of photos, Jan! I know you've spent a bit of time taking them, but aren't they wonderful? I now can really see the difference between the Cooper's hawk (which you have) and the Sharp-shinned hawk (which I have).

    I'd forgotten where you live, and it set me back a moment when I saw your bluebirds!! :-) Happy Winter!

  39. A perfect way to do a winter bloom day, Jan! As always, I am filled with joy at seeing all the visitors to your feeders and birdbaths. And as always, those dear little bluebirds just touch my heart. Hoping it's a good day down there, from me up here on the soggy windy hill...

  40. Gosh, such a beautiful collection of spectacular birds! Love it! Thank you!

  41. Wow, quite a popular hangout you have there in your garden. And, they all seem to mingle well.
    I just recently learned that our Robin moves south in the winter and the Canadian Robin comes here (MA). I love watching birds and looking at your pictures I get inspired to try to invite more birds in to my yard winter time.



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