Bird Feeder Survey 18Jan2016

Backyard wildlife activity continues to increase in response to frigid temperatures and accumulating snow cover. This, the second of my “bird” feeder posts, features a few more of the regular visitors to supplemental feeding sites around the house.

At least 6 Blue Jays feed aggressively and often, throughout the day.

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Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata; 1 of 2)

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Most active in early morning and late evening, cardinals tend to visit the feeders throughout the day as the winter weather becomes more severe.

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Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

The Titmouse is an irregular and unpredictable visitor. I usually see just one, and it rarely lingers for more than a few seconds. A dainty eater, it darts in, grabs a seed, and poof! It’s gone.

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Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

Tracks and traces in the snow tell the story of resident cottontails. They’re mostly nocturnal, sneaking into the feeders under the cover of darkness.

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Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

 

Foraging Bunny

A very young Cottontail rabbit – about the size of my coffee cup – has been living and foraging near my firewood pile and thicket at the far edge of the yard. After bumping into one another for a couple of weeks, I finally decided it was time for a formal introduction and portraits. The observations and photos gave me a good lesson in the feeding behavior of a youngster that hasn’t been out of the nest all that long. It was a weed-eating machine!

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Cottontail Behavior: Nursing Female

I’ve been bumping into this Cottontail a lot lately. I usually see her in late afternoon and evening as I’m working around a section of the yard that is bordered by dense shrub thickets and brush piles. The site is also high and dry and faces the morning sun – an ideal location for a Cottontail nest. Bunnies are generally active in low light or at night, but nursing females are apt to be seen any time of the day, grooming and foraging in close proximity to the nest.

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.