Thursday, May 19, 2011

More feathered friends

We may be getting days and days of incessant rain, but spring iz sprung and the birds are busy in the garden!

I had to shoot this through glass, so it's a bit dark. Looks like this American Robin has food for the young-uns in his beak! My English mother used to bang on incessantly about how our robins were not REAL robins, like English Robins. Oh no, they were merely THRUSHES, not robins at all, blah blah blah. I guess that many moons ago, some homesick Brit got off the boat, saw one of these, and proclaimed it a ROBIN, feeling pangs of nostalgia for the cute little red-breasts across the pond. Decades later, or perhaps centuries, my mother was not amused. She seemed personally offended that someone had defiled her own vision of a robin by naming these thrushes after the sweet little birds of her youth.

Me, I love our robins. They are a sure sign that spring is on its way, and I love hearing their cheery song at dawn and dusk.

I also love the American Goldfinch:

Cracking open a sunflower seed!

I love these little guys! In winter, the boys turn from bright yellow to a dull olive-green shade. But now they are in their full, fancy breeding plumage.  They have a pretty song too.

Now if only it would stop raining, I'd be happy. It feels like it has been raining for weeks. Probably because it HAS been raining for weeks!


  1. Your post lifted my spirits this morning. They are such sweet little things and always bring a smile to your face. You seem to know a lot about birds, Natalie. That is something I have yet to learn. Thanks for your nice comment about Gin. I miss her so much I ache. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x4

  2. just catching up
    hum a handy and attractive're one lucky gal

  3. The rain is doing wonders for my gardens and the birds are prolific around here. Seeing lots of different ones I don't normally see around here this year.

  4. Anonymous3:02 pm

    When we moved to Texas about 15 years ago, we were amazed to discover a bird called the Painted Bunting. It's a gorgeous combination of many bright colors.

    Here's a link to site about them:

    One of the "fun facts" on this site is that a group of Buntings is called either a "mural" or a "palette." I've never seen more than one or two at a time, but I can understand why they would give them that name!

  5. Anonymous3:12 pm

    For some reason, that link doesn't seem to want to work. If you go to and type in "painted bunting" in the search, it'll take you to the right page. Sorry about that!

  6. Ah more delightful photos. More please!

  7. we've had so much rain here too! I'm ready to build an ark. I love our Robin, but must admit, I do have a fondness for that English Robin as well!

  8. That American Goldfinch sure brightens up a rainy day!

  9. Anonymous11:03 am

    It rained cats and dogs here all night ... and now it's drizzling and gloomy. We have those "thrushes" too and their song belies the gloomy weather. Love those goldfinches - we get those too.

    Funny story (sort of). I was jogging around here last spring and saw a red winged blackbird for the first time ever. I texted Mike who knows his birds and asked if he knew what it was? He was amused at my excitement - they are all over Iowa where he grew up. And they are apparently all over around here. I simply had never noticed them before.

  10. Lovely post. It was great to follow the links and hear the birds singing. I don't get much of that on Yonge Street. But I plan to go to the Islands this weekend. I'm sure Toronto birds will congregate and give me a concert.

    Thanks for your cheerful posts. You always boost my spirit.

  11. Deb, years of bird-watching! :) And I was so sorry to hear about Gin. SHe had been in your life for such a long time. :) Sweetie-girl.

  12. John, I am indeed! He's a good lad, does what he's told! hahaha!

    Paula, I feel like we have more birds around this year too. ANd on the weekend I saw an oriole at the hummingbird feeder So beautiful!

    TTPT, I would LOVE to see a Painted Bunting. (I got your link to work fine!) WHat a gorgeous bird (and a perfect name!) I have seen Indigo buntings, which are pretty, but not a Painted Bunting. Lucky you!!! I love that they collectively call them a "mural" or "palette." :)

  13. Jams, more coming! I have a backlog now.

    Shelley, those English robins are adorable.

    LBM, they never look quite real to me, they are so bright.

    CogDis, I love that story. We get gazillions of red-winged blackbirds. But you know, they are pretty and amusing! I guess it's all what you're used to. Gordon's cousin was here from Scotland and was going nuts over the Bluejays, because she'd never seen anything quite like them.

    Claude, Gordon's Mom was on the Islands this weekend! Maybe you shared a ferry. :) And your cheerful comments always boost MY spirit. xoxox


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!