Friday, May 11, 2012

Lots Of Backyard Critters

Nothing makes me happier than to see my backyard brimming with life. There’s something so soul soothing about watching wild animals scurrying about in their busy lives, trying to survive like the rest of us. I often think about how boring our world would be without all the diversity it has to offer. And how boring my backyard would be without the furry and feathery critters that stop by for a snack, a drink of water, or a bath.

Here is another round of photos of some of my favourite furry and feathery visitors...

The American Goldfinches are such a joy to have around. They zoom about from tree to tree, and every now and then one of them stops in for a snack. They are simply adorable.

This little dude has donned his lemon-yellow mating gear. I wonder if he’s landed a Mrs. Goldfinch yet, being all handsome like that.

Starlings are not the most beloved birds; they are perceived as being nuisances. But new research suggests that the slurs are unwarranted. Here is a very interesting article about these birds: An ode to starlings, our most misunderstood bird

In any case, not that many of them visit my bird feeders, so they are hardly a nuisance to me.

The grackles drop by whenever I put food out, but the number of visits is not as high as a few weeks ago. Most of these birds have settled into their breeding grounds, and they are busy with their families.

This grackle looks a little peeved, doesn’t he? I wonder what he’s upset about.

He remained annoyed even after he flew down to have a drink of water.

He seemed a little happier after he got some food. Maybe he was irritable because he was hungry. Don’t we all get that way when we want to eat?

Snapping a photo of this white-crowned sparrow was quite a challenge. This little critter was a feathery ball of energy, and wouldn’t sit still long enough for the camera to focus properly. This is the best I could do that day, but at least I managed to get a shot.

Of course, there is always Mr. Robin. He practically throws himself at my camera to get his photo taken. This is one little critter that is far from being ‘camera shy’.

I really enjoy listening to him sing as he sits on a tree nearby.

Our friendly neighbourhood chipmunk never fails to appear. As long as there’s food, he’s there.

Even after living in Kingston for three years, I’m still amazed by black squirrels. I’d never seen any before I moved here, so it’s quite a treat.

The squirrels are especially thrilled when I put out bread for them. They seem to love baked goods.

The mourning doves are a little less panicky around me now that I’m spending more time in the garden. They still keep their distance, and they will fly away rapidly if they feel threatened, but they don’t startle as easily as they used to.

Cardinals are my biggest photo challenge. They are shy little birds that scare easily and fly away at the slightest sound or movement you make. I sat in a chair for the longest time before this little red ball of feathers finally emerged. Even so, he didn’t stick around for too long. I managed to capture one blurry photo, but it was better than nothing.

I saved this photo for last because I was ecstatic that this white-crowned sparrow sat still while I zoomed in on it with my camera. Maybe this one is like Mr. Robin and likes his/her photo taken.

And that’s all for today. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday, and a terrific weekend.


  1. What fabulous photos! I never saw a black squirrel either until I visited Ontario for the first time. We only have red and gray ones on the prairies. I love to see the black squirrels too!

    1. Thank you, Debra. I love sitting outside and photographing this cuties. It takes a lot of time and patience, so I try to think of it as my meditation period!

  2. My that finch was a handsome fellow, wasn't he? I'm sure someone has snapped him up by now. And i laughed at the starling. He really did look quite irritated, like a movie star who can't be bothered to sign a kid's autograph book.

    1. Ha ha ha...that's so funny, Francie! Yes, just like an irritated movie star.

  3. I have never seen a black squirrel, until now! All these cuties must think you run the best hotel in town - free board & lodging ! Wonderful photos. I'm really enjoying your swanky camera. Have a great weekend!

    1. Whenever I put out food, it get crazy in my backyard. They definitely love my place. Sometimes they watch me from the trees as I fill up the feeders. I barely have time to step away before they 'CHARGE'

      Hope you are having a lovely weekend, Kitten!

  4. We just got back from my sister's and we were doing this exact thing there! Watching the birds and squirrels.
    We seldom have Cardinals visiting the city maybe....but never where we live.Just look at that colour!
    Do you ever see hawks around? They will sometimes linger in the trees with all these little birds around. We did a few years ago.
    Great post.

    1. Oh yes, once in awhile a hawk will come by to investigate why there are so many critters hanging around...and to grab a snack while he/she's at it. I have seen one hawk swoop down and grab a bird. I'm not sure what kind he caught, but it was somewhat big and light-coloured. I believe it may have been a dove. It left me really disturbed, to be honest with you, but what can you do? It's all part of the cycle of nature. But I've been here for three years and since there's only been one incident, it's not that bad. I keep the feeders under - and close to - trees, so the birds can hide if need be.

  5. I really like the black squirrels. I wish we could see them here.

    1. We're overloaded with them. I'd be happy to send you some! :)