I've been getting really into bird watching again. Right now, with the migrations and whatnot, we're getting a great number and variety of birds at our feeder. Yesterday, there was a huge flock of dark-eyed juncos (which really sounds like a slur) in the yard. At least 30 of them, scratching for food on the ground. When I went out to refill the feeder, they all took flight, and it was really quite amazing.
My new favorite at the feeder is the red-breasted nuthatch. I was always fond of its bigger, white breasted cousin and his habit for going down trees face first. This little guy has a cool racing stripe across his eyes that looks just like our state bird, the black-capped chickadee.
It's kind of cool actually, these two birds seems to have a verry friendly relationship in nature. It might have something to do with their similar markings, or maybe it's because their calls are alike, but there's lots of evidence that nuthatches are able to understand the distress calls that chickadees make. There has also been instances of the two species sharing nests and child rearing duties. And as a matter of fact, the nuthatches at our feeder seem to roam around with a gang of chickadee buddies. BFFs forever!
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