Minor Notes To NBB's Guest Blogging

For the record, when Non Birding Bill offered to take over the blog when I had to leave town, I did leave him some photos to use in my absence to help him out, like the one above. Why, my goodness, what is that? Why isn't that a colorful bird on that bird feeder? Is it me or is that bird bright yellow and not brown? Right before I left, we had been at Mr. Neil's and he had tons of young bird coming to the feeders, learning how to eat at the big kid table. Here's a young downy woodpecker--his red cap on the front of his forehead distinguishes him from an adult male who would have the red on the back of the head. Oh, look at that--red and not brown. Harumph!

I even told NBB that he could do a post on all the young rose-breasted grosbeaks hanging out at the feeders. Look, another bird with some color, oh my. Here's a young male fresh from the nest. These guys were just thugs. Perhaps their larger size and demand for food made them so formidable to the other birds at the feeding stations. Titmice, nuthatches, and finches flew away on the young grosbeaks' approach.

Here is a young house finch minding its own business while feeding. This bird is fresh from the nest as well, not the yellow gape on the beak. Anyway, this guy was just feeding on a lower perch, there were plenty of other feeding stations around, and this finch even took the lowest perch--the least desirable to adults who would prefer to be higher up.

But, in flew a young grosbeak to the lower perch and the young house finch flushed. The grosbeak stayed on the perch where the finch had been, but then flew up to one of the higher perches and began to feed. The young finch watched and waited for the grosbeak to feed so it could have access to the food source. I think the adult grosbeaks were no longer feeding the young ones, and they began to feed themselves. They seemed to watch other birds feeding and when they noticed a species eating, they flew to where it was to try the food out. Their larger size flushed the smaller birds. Thugs.

Even though there were tray feeders that had large platforms to fit a grosbeak, all the young came to this tube feeder. Above is young female--now, unlike what NBB asserted, she looks very different from a house finch, she's larger, has different striping and look at that distinct eyebrow.

See how she bends and curves? It's interesting how in some yards, birds won't go the extra mile to feed out of a feeder that is too small, but in other yards they will.

Anyway, I do appreciate NBB filling in for me while I was away. He is a very talented writer and funny, and I'm lucky to married to such a man.