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December Robins and Whimsical Cardinals

December 30th, 2013 by

robin up in a tree
I thought robins show up in New Jersey in the spring. Well, I’ve been seeing a lot of these fellas hanging around the neighborhood in December. Today, quite a few December robins were in my backyard. Above is one up high in a tree. Others were pecking about on the ground.

finch red bottom gray top bird
At first I thought this is a finch. But it looks a lot like a common redpoll. However, the beak looks like the house finch. OK, birders, what do you think? Conclusion: Michelle says it is a male house finch. “They do look like common redpolls, but the redpoll is somewhat smaller with a tiny beak. We do get redpolls coming down from Canada when the seed cone crops are bad, but this year was a good year.” Note the body size, color and beak.

house finch
This is a house finch: gray body, red capped head, not very big.

rabbit behind fence
Some of you may recall a rabbit visited us for a few days … I saw him again one day last week.

blue jay in tree
I’ve been seeing fair number of blue jays in our backyard as well. If you go to this Cornell page, you can hear various blue jay sounds. The page says: “Blue Jays are most often detected by their noisy calls.”

cardinal in tree
The cardinal is such a handsome bird – is he not?

cardinal says: Are you pointing that camera at me?
I was reading a book called The Muse is In: An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity by Jill Badonsky – the whimsical drawings inspired me to have fun with a bit of whimsy of my own. I imagine the cardinal is posing for my camera.

cardinal says yum as he reaches in the bird feeder

For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

18 Responses to December Robins and Whimsical Cardinals

  1. I’ve seen a few robins on the north side of Lake Ontario last winter…but probably won’t this year as the weather has been significantly colder.. The Jill Badonsky book sounds interesting. I must check it out at my local bookstore. I wish you all the best in 2014, Leora!

  2. Carver says:

    I enjoyed seeing your birds and also the cute rabbit.

  3. Lorri M. says:

    Great captures of the feathered ones!

    I enjoyed your creative whimsy! :)

  4. Wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing. Happy new Year to you. Dianne

  5. Oh wonderful series of birds and I too like to play with what they might be thinking. The birds is a male house finch. They do look like common redpolls, but the redpoll is somewhat smaller with a tiny beak. We do get redpolls coming down from Canada when the seed cone crops are bad, but this year was a good year. You are doing the right thing looking at body size, color and beak… Good observations….. Happy New Year… Michelle

    • Leora says:

      Thanks, Michelle. I added some of that information to the body of the post. I do seem to get repeat birds.

      • Oh my….you did quote me…. I was taught by birders and I am passing it on… Hope I am right, I think so. Something happened today as I had posted, there were probably 50 goldfinch fighting for a feeder spot. I put out two more thistle feeders for a total of 5 now…. Nobody else close has feeders….. Brrr is right…. Michelle

      • Leora says:

        Well, Michelle, if for some totally unexpected reason you got some detail wrong, one day a birder will leave a note with a correction. Or so it seems to go on the internet.

        Of course, how do we know who is really correct …

  6. eileen says:

    Happy New Year, Leora! Cute birds and photos. I enjoyed this post..Wishing you all the best in 2014.. Eileen

  7. Susan Cooper says:

    I love birds. I have a number of feeder spread out throughout out my garden because of that. We don’t have Cardinals on the west coast. I remember seeing a flock of them on a snowy bush. the red against the white was beautiful. I wish I had taken a picture of it but I didn’t have a good camera or the thought to do. I so miss seeing them.

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