Monday, June 4, 2012

Country Birds


As many of you know, Bruce and I are currently in the process of building what will someday be a permanent residence for us in northwest Indiana. What I find so appealing about our 21 acres is that this property landscape is rich with habitats that support a wide variety of birds and wildlife.

The front area of our property used to be a Christmas tree farm, thus we have an abundance of different types of evergreen trees. American Goldfinches, Black-capped Chickadees and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are often seen in these trees. We also have a large grassland/prairie area favored by Eastern Bluebirds, American Robins and Chipping Sparrows. Shrubs and forests edge the grassy areas where Tufted Titmice, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Northern Cardinals, and White and Red-breasted Nuthatches flit freely about.

The middle area of our acreage is mostly forested with deciduous and coniferous trees. There is also a lovely meadow filled with wildflowers which is frequented by beautiful butterflies, various sparrows and flycatchers, White-tailed Deer and Woodchucks.

The back end of our land edges a cattailed-filled marsh. Sandhill Cranes, Great Blue Herons, Green Herons,  Red-tailed Hawks, beavers and various turtles can be seen in this thriving wetland area. It's no wonder why we have chosen to build a home on this stunning piece of land.

Below I feature birds recently seen on our beautiful country property.


Yellow Warbler ~ These golden beauties fill the marsh in May. They can also be seen foraging in shrubs, bushes and trees.


Male common Yellowthroat ~ These sightly birds are seen close to the ground, often hiding amid marsh vegetation.


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher ~ I most often see these tiny, active birds feeding near the tips of tree branches in the forest.


Eastern Bluebirds can be seen perched above the grassy areas of our property on electric wires, posts and tree limbs. This male bluebird and his mate chose to raise a family in one of the eight nest boxes on our property. The healthy brood of four recently fledged and can be seen begging for food from mom and dad in the locust grove area.


The young bluebird on the left is an offspring of the male bluebird in the previous photograph. This little bird seemed fascinated by the Indigo Bunting perched on the same branch. Currently, this bunting sings his little heart out all day long in the locust trees.


Swamp Sparrow ~ I frequently see these pretty birds feeding at the water's edge of the marsh 


House Wren ~ A most loquacious bird seen on low branches at the forest edge. These tiny, aggressive birds compete with Eastern Bluebirds for ownership of nest boxes.


I have seen American Goldfinches in the marsh, forest and grassland areas of our property. Their swooping flight pattern and cheerful warbles always brighten my day.


Like the goldfinch above, I have observed Gray Catbirds on all areas of our acreage. Catbird tunes are especially exuberant and spirited including sharp whistles, high pitched squeaks, cat-like mews and imitations of other bird vocalizations.


I regularly see Brown Thrashers belting out a tune on the highest point of many of the pine trees on our land, though I see them feeding on the ground. Like the catbird previously mentioned, Brown Thrashers mimic songs from other birds. They have quite the extensive repertoire!


Eastern Towhee ~ These vocal birds are frequently seen along the woodland edges or feeding on the ground. They seem to sing from higher perches, though.


Female Red-winged Blackbird ~ Red-winged Blackbirds are quite abundant in the marsh at the back of our acreage.


Baltimore Oriole ~ I'm always delighted to see these radiant birds on all areas of our property


This Eastern Phoebe has chosen to make her nest inside our house (currently in the process of being built). She and her mate scoped out the house for 2 1/2 weeks while Bruce and his carpenters were framing it. Fortunately, the pair chose the inside of the garage for a nesting sight. This will be the last area completed. Surprisingly, the phoebes don't seem to mind the constant din of Skilsaws, drills and hammering. What a perfect spot, free from gusty winds and rainfall. The young phoebes hatched recently as Bruce spotted the parents bringing insects to the nest. On a side note, If you look closely, you can see the nest is made of moss, grass and dog fur. I hung an old, empty suet cake feeder and filled it with dog fur from Honey and Bear (both Akita/Husky/German Shepherd mixes). The female phoebe emptied the feeder of downy fur and now her nestlings are resting comfortably on a fluffy, cozy contribution from Honey and Bear.


~ Update ~
Bruce positioned a ladder so he could get a good look at the Eastern Phoebe nest. This is what he found! He was kind enough to take a photograph for me using his phone. 

76 comments:

Joop Zand said...

Julie, you are a great photographer......look at these colors, WOW these are really BEAUTIFUL !!!!

greetings, Joop

Guy said...

Hi Julie

What splendid photos, your property sounds like a wonderful spot. The variety of the birds is amazing and your captured them beautifully.

Regards
Guy

Kerri said...

Oh Julie - what a GREAT Variety of birds you have! Absolutely fantastic captures and a wonderful post!! How exciting to be building a new house and have such wonderful wildlife surrounding! Lucky You!

MoiCLouLou said...

Hello Julie,

Like you often say: "I recognize many birds that we have here too" :)
Your pictures are all stunning, perfect. You are really a great photographer and from what I read, you will have a very nice place to pursue your talent.

Birdwatching is nice but when you can take a souvenir as well, it's priceless!

We also have a couple of Eastern Phoebe nesting again in our old sheld; we think the same couple comes back every year or perhaps their progeny!

I really enjoyed this series; thanks for sharing it with us, it's always a pleasure for the eyes!

Have a great day and week!
Louise

Herman versteeg said...

Hoi Julie
een ongelofelijke serie vogels wat zijn ze mooi ik heb er van genoten.
groetjes Herman,

Melissa Crytzer Fry said...

Oh my GOODNESS, Julie. What a bird wonderland! Your photos are GORGEOUS, and I can only imagine what fun it is to traverse your property! I grew up in NW PA and have relatives who live in Indiana. You're making me miss the GREEN summers!

We have so much in common (the house-building; the birds BUILDING in our house; and wanting to live in an area filled with wildlife! We have 40 acres in SE Arizona and can't ever imagine living in a city again).

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos... What I also find amazing is that I could almost name several of them because their southwest cousins bear striking resemblences (our canyon, cactus and rock wrens; our towhees, our Say's Phoebes)... Fun!

PoetessWug said...

As usual, a beautiful assortment of colorful birdies. My favorite this time?...The female phoebe nesting on the fluffy, cozy contribution from Honey and Bear. :-)

CMSmith said...

Absolutely stunning photos. I love that you have so many different birds there. What a lovely spot you've chosen to live.

warnon1 said...

Bonjour,je trouve vos photos magnifiques d'autant plus que nous n'avons pas ces merveilleux oiseaux
Continuez le partage surtout,ça me comble de bonheur.
Patricia

TexWisGirl said...

loved this post! the description of your land and every one of your photos. :) we have bluebirds, phoebes and red-wings, here, and i've been lucky enough to see a yellow warbler this year and an oriole (fleetingly). but most of these i don't get to see!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Deares Julie,

Congrats with your own piece of heaven! What a possession for having such an abundance of wildlife at your doorsteps. Your photos are high class, love the Baltimore Oriole, Yellowthroat and Yellow Warbler most. The others we encounter here as well, being it for the Goldfinches just passing through after winter time.
Enjoy your week and whatever your endeavors are.
Love,
Mariette

Robin Clifton said...

Excellent work!

Lasse said...

A gorgeous series this Julie ! I take my hat off :)

Debbie said...

what an incredibly beautiful description of your property, i understand why you love it so much. it's wonderful how much you appreciate all of it's wildlife and charm.

your images are magnificant, most of these birds i don't get to see. i tried to pick a favorite photograph, but that would be impossible.

thank you for always checking in at "it's all about purple" and leaving me such kind comments!!

Isidro Ortiz said...

Preciosas aves y preciosas capturas.Saludos

Derek & Chris Thomas said...

The usual wonderful images and such beautiful birds!

Wanda..... said...

So enjoyed your beautiful photos...it's wonderful to own a large piece of land to view the wildlife. Chickadees used to pull hair from our sleeping dog's tail for their nests!

Elijah Goodwin said...

Great images as usual Julie!

Bob Bushell said...

Wowee, beautiful loads of birds, you gave them space in photos, your's is such a fantastic.

Mia McPherson said...

Wow Julie, you have an amazing, birdy property! Wonderful images and story!

Cynthia White said...

Incredible beauty, love this wonderful array of gorgeous images Julie!

Ellie said...

Your new home sounds very exciting. I bet you can't wait to move in!!!
What wonderful pictures you have here - beautifully sharp and the colours are amazing.

Laurence Butler said...

Stunning images, as always Julie. This property looks amazing and will be a birding paradise. Maybe you all should host your own convention in the spring!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I can see why you would want to live there.All those birds would be reason enough,but the landscape you describe sounds wonderful.

Nature in the Burbs said...

What a lovely post. Your property sounds so beautiful.

punkychewster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
punkychewster said...

oh my lucky you! To have such a great variety of wildlife around you! It would make my heart burst with joy if i could only see half the birds you have listed in this post!! i love seeing the brown thrashers in my yard. They literally thrash around when they feed on the ground! Too cute!

Jim Braswell said...

Wow, you have your own little zoo there! You will enjoy it when you are able to step outdoors and photograph all the beautiful creatures that live there. And great images, as always, Julie!

Robin R Robinson said...

Gorgeous set of images. Makes me want to spend every minute out in the bushes. Wait, I think i do now! Great pics.

Linda Rockwell said...

Lovely birds and lovely photos Julie! It's always a treat to read your blog. :-)

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

Wow Julie! You have out done yourself again! Wonderful post! Especially enjoyed the young bluebird/indigo view :)

RVDaalen said...

Wonderful birdpics with lovely colors and great sharpness.

Greetz,

Remco

dreamfalcon said...

The variety of birds is so wonderful to see. And such great portraits. The little Bluebird is very cute.

ShySongbird said...

Oh how wonderful! What an amazing variety of beautiful birds you have there and such lovely photos! Twenty one acres!! I can't begin to explain what that would mean to me, it truly sounds like paradise. I would be more than happy with a third of it. The 'ordinary' person here on our small island would be lucky to own even half an acre!!!

How lovely that you already have a family living in your house ;-) It looks and sounds like they have the perfect home made even more comfortable by the addition of cosy dog hair. Thank you Julie, I have so much enjoyed my moment in paradise...

John's Island said...

Hi Julie, What a great post! You and Bruce are certainly building in a wonderful area. As always, your birding photos are top notch. I do hope that some day you will think about publishing a book filled with your photography. I just know it would be a good seller! In the meantime, I just consider myself lucky to have found your blog. Best regards from Seattle, John PS...Thank you for such a kind comment on my blog!

Ben said...

Hi Julie,

Wat een bijzonder mooie serie laat je ons van meegenieten. Mooie scherpe en kleurrijke beelden van prachtige soorten vogels. Prachtig werk, Complimenten!!

Grtz,
Ben

stardust said...

Whenever I visit this blog, I sigh in admiration and contentment, Julie. Especially the yellow warbler took my breath away. I’m happy for you that you’re going to live the rest of your life surrounded by such a rich wildlife. Look forward to more stunning photos from your new environment.

Yoko

Lorents H Blomseth said...

Hello Julie, a great collection of all your beautiful american birds, well done again !

Tinie said...

Prachtig al die verschillende vogeltjes. Er zitten echte beauty's bij, dit is genieten.
Groetjes Tinie

eileeninmd said...

Julie, these are all beautiful birds. And your photos are awesome. too hard to pick a favorite I loved them all. Have a great weekend!

JM PHOTO said...

Exellent bird picture! My favorite is number 3 from the top.

JM PHOTO

Helma said...

Hi Julie,

what a great blog with beautiful beautiful birds. Beautiful color and very sharp. This really enjoy these colorful birds.

Sincerely, Helma

LNMP298 said...

I particularly enjoyed this post because of your photos and text about the Eastern Phoebes nesting inside your house. We recently moved "to the country" as well. A phoebe built a nest by our back door, under an overhang that protects the nest from wind and rain. Yesterday I discovered that the phoebe's eggs had hatched!

JRandSue said...

Another superb display of stunning photography.
Outstanding as always.
John.

Kelly said...

...these are all beautiful photos...just gorgeous! Your property sounds wonderful!!!

Digi-Irma said...

Wonderful birdpics with lovely colors and great sharpness.
Greetings Irma

Marco Alpha said...

Hello Julie,
What a great images of all these birds. Wonderful how you get them in very nice poses on the branches. Beautiful all the colors and good sharpness, it's enjoyment as usually!!

Many greetings from the Netherlands,
Marco

Gillian Olson said...

Absolutely gorgeous series of birds, such a variety of colours, and a treat to see the nest too.

JM PHOTO said...

Beautiful picture and blog you hae.

JM PHOTO

cindyzlogic said...

Wow! Your property sounds like a naturalists paradise AND by the looks of your photography...it is a birders paradise!! Great captures, Julie, perfectly framed!!

Nancy's Notes said...

Julie, your photographs are exceptional! I'm so happy I found your blog! I blog about quite an array of things, but I love great photographs of the outdoors and nature. Again, happy I found your blog, it's great!

Nancy

Rohrerbot said...

Really nice clear shots of these birds. Amazing detail. If you only knew how many times I've tried to capture these little birds out in the open....?:) Love it! Too much shade, too much movement...you name it. Nice captures!

Floortje said...

I really like you blog dear!
Keep posting, you do it great! :)

XO

Larry Ostby said...

What fabulous acreage you must have that supports such a variety of birds. As always your post is absolutely wonderful. Each of your photos all terrific. Thank you.

Noushka said...

Just wonderful!
A very beautiful and eclectic series of pics!
I love each one! :)
Congrats Julie!

Red Rose Alley said...

These pictures are amazing, Julie. The first picture of the yellow bird is special, and the color is so vibrant. I always wonder where you get a chance to see these spectacular birds. That last picture is just priceless. Jess just bought the Cannon Rebel. I am looking forward to seeing some of the beauty she will capture. You are so talented, my friend.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Pam :) said...

Julie, you live in a birders paradise. These captures of your fine feathered friends living among the Christmas trees are gorgeous and make lovely tree adornments.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a kind comment.

Manuel Luis said...

Um lugar para viver, alimentar, nascer e encantar.
Boas fotos
Abraço

Geraldo Maia said...

Hi dear Julie,

Thanks for your visit and kind comments on our space.

I love nature! And among those species that fly, without a doubt that I have a great passion for birds.

I am very impressed with the large amount of photos of various species of beautiful birds that are shown in your gallery. I really enjoyed.
...This is really a NATURE'S SPLENDOR.

From Natal, Brazil
Receive my kind regards: Geraldo

elizebeth said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Alena

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Geraldo Maia said...

Hi dear Julie,
As a consequence of your recent visit I remembered that I had a photo taken by my brother
of a little bird that was resting on a rock on the beach. I do not know his name (I mean its kind, species).
I posted on my blog and when you have some free time, please take a look on it.
Kind regards: Geraldo

Debbie said...

you always leave such nice comment's julie, i really appreciate your kind words!!

Daniel LaFrance said...

Wow... you and Bruce will be surrounded by nature. Gorgeous neighbours too! :)

Larry said...

Ok Julie, I am jealous on so many levels. Your variety of habitat is just incredible. I wish I had a swampy area on my property but not enough rainfall here. The Yellow Warbler is stunning but I am most jealous of the Brown Thrasher! And I love the fact that you used one of my favorite words to describe the House Wren, loquacious ;-) Very apropos!

Larry said...

Oh, and congrats on the Phoebe youngsters!

Kathie Brown said...

Julie, this place is a birder's paradise! How fortunate you are to live in and love and protect such a place! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos with us! I have yet to see a towhee this year, though I keep on looking for them!

Chris said...

Hi Julie,
Hope everything is going fine with the construction ;-)
That set of pictures is terrific, they are all perfect, beautifully composed... And you got a huge diversity there! That's incredible... Well done!

Julie Brown said...

Hi Julie,

I found your site through Mia McPherson's blog. Your bird photos are gorgeous! I also live in Indiana and try to observe and document the local wildlife throughout the seasons.

Maria said...

They are all very high quality images. I real enjoyed the Swamp Sparrow.

Subra said...

Congratulations and good luck in your endeavors. The photographs are fabulous as usual.

Marco Alpha said...

Hey Julie,
What a fantastic shots you show here!! Wonderful to see all these special birds in great poses. You can do this very well.
These shots are real enjoyment, I like it!!

Many greetings,
Marco

forgetmenot said...

Your property sounds perfect for your interests--I know you will love living there. Once again, awesome photos- great subjects, amazing photographs. Mickie :)

Didier 85 said...

Oh, very nice too...
So long Julie
Didier

Jessicaygtk said...

Um lugar para viver, alimentar, nascer e encantar. Boas fotos Abraço

Anonymous said...

Julie,

I am extremely impressed with your
bird ohotographs! You have lifted me up.

P V Ariel said...

OMG!!!
What a lovely post,
amazing pics.
you are a wonderful photographer too,
some time back i visited this page, and I thought i posted a comment, but i could not find any.
Keep up the good work.
Best Regards
Phil