In honor of the last day of 2008 I decided to do a post as a tribute to the birds of 2008. This definitely was the year of the birds. It all started in Feb. when we took a vacation to a little log cabin in the woods in Grayling Michigan. I've always liked the birds and for my whole life have set up a feeder here and there, but would quickly lose interest. This year was different.
We visited Hartwick Pines a state park in Grayling and the Chickadees stole my heart. This is my favorite photo of 2008. It is also my profile photo.
Who does not love the Chickadee?
I cannot describe the feeling when this little delicate creature lands on your hand. Try to do this without a smile on your face, it is impossible.
And so it all began....
When we got home I immediately went to work setting up every kind of feeding station.
And read all about the birds... learning to identify them, what they ate, what their habits were. I've even learned to identify many of their songs.
This simple common House Finch photo is also one of my favorites.
Nuthatches amaze me with their dances and acrobats.
I attracted two nests in my yard this year also. A House Wren and a Robin.
Not a day goes by that these big beautiful Blue Jays are not around.
They live in harmony with the smaller birds. The smaller birds seem to have accepted them.
I almost had the Titmice eating out of my hands. They would land on the feeders each morning as I filled it.
Hummingbirds are true jewels.
They never fail to entertain me.
The Red Bellies and the Downy's greet me daily.
I even had the pleasure of watching a pair of Red Bellies raise this beautiful young male. For weeks I watched the parents lead him around the yard from tree to tree feeding on the oranges and suet.
I'm not sure how many Downy's I have. I have counted as many as 8 at one time.
One of my biggest surprises was the appreciation of Robins that grew on me.
They are such a common bird that I never paid much attention to them before.
But look how beautiful they are! And they sing beautiful as well! They are brave birds and would hop around the yard within a few feet of me always allowing me to have amazing photo shoots with them. And the Robin is the Michigan state birds so I should love him!
One pair even gave me this pleasure on the back porch.
Here is Daddy Robin watching me closely from a tree as I stand on the back porch by his babies.
And of course there were my Dad's Bluebirds.
He successfully attracted several nesting pairs to his yard this year. I would take my camera over there every few days and chase those poor birds all around the 7 acres.
I'm hoping that I can attract my own Bluebirds this coming year.
And last but not least were my Orioles!!
I still remember the first one that landed in the back yard. The first thing I said was "What is that!!". I had never seen a more magnificent bird.
Much to my pleasure several pair stayed around all summer raising their families.
I have even higher expectations for 2009....
I would like to add a lot of new birds to my life list including Scarlet Tanagers, Warblers, Owls, Loons and many more.
I want to set up some nesting boxes for owls and woodpeckers.
I'd like to add moving water to the yard for the birds... some type of small waterfall or something.
I want my own Bluebirds!!
I have so much to be thankful for this past year. All of it gifts from God.