Highland Park Backyard Birds

It’s the time of year when people post cumulative posts. You know, usually the ones that say Favorites of 2014 or Best Posts of the Last Year or that sort of thing. I decided to post Highland Park backyard birds that I have seen since I started bird watching. Let’s see – I first bought a bird feeder in February 2010; I did find some of my bird photos from 2009. The birds below are listed in alphabetical order – enjoy.

Blue Jay

blue jay on deck
Blue jays visit every now and then. When they do come, they are sure to make noise and hog the bird feeder.


Cardinal: backyard bird in Highland Park, New Jersey
I took this photo about two weeks ago – cardinals love to visit my backyard when I fill my feeder with black oil sunflower seeds. I see the red in my backyard, and it warms my heart.

Cardinal – Female

Female Cardinal Highland Park New Jersey backyard bird
Mrs. Cardinal is usually nearby when I spot Mr. Cardinal (above) first. She indeed was there at the same time as the photo taken above.


catbird on tomato plant holder
I seem to get catbird visitors in summer months. Pleasant birds: I enjoy the “singing.”


black capped chickadee goes into bird feeder
I don’t often see a chickadee – the one above is from February 2012. But they are handsome birds – so I love seeing one!

Downy Woodpecker

downy woodpecker
I am more likely to hear a woodpecker than see one. The one above was sighted in February 2014.


house finch
This rare beauty (rare for my backyard) was sighted in December 2013. Maybe if I am more diligent this winter with my camera and my feeder, I will find more.


bird on echinacea
If you look very carefully, I believe that’s a goldfinch hidden in my echinacea. I saw a few goldfinch this past summer on other echinacea in my neighborhood. I suppose it’s the seeds they are after.


grackle on roof
I only had the chance to photograph grackle once my backyard. Turns out I had also photographed a grackle way back in 2008 while visiting Ein Gedi in Israel.

Mourning Dove

brown dove
Mourning doves are birds I see a few times a year in my backyard.


robin on wire close up
When I looked up “robin” in my photo collection, I had quite a few choices. We do have robins as fairly frequent visitors in our area.


Sparrows three backyard birds in a tree in Highland Park, New Jersey backyard
Sparrows are by far the most common bird in my backyard. I believe most of the ones that I see are house sparrows. I should study the different types of sparrows so I can appreciate them a little more. These three beauties were hanging out together in my backyard tree last week.


starlings in a tree
The few times I’ve seen starlings it’s been in a swarm like the one above. I still remember Michelle calling them “snarling starlings.”

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse in Highland Park New Jersey
I saw this tufted titmouse in my backyard last week. Tufted titmice aren’t frequent visitors, but when I do see them, they seem to pose and look at the camera. I find them quite cute.

Turkey Vulture

turkey vulture flying over Highland Park, New Jersey backyard
What fun, a swooping wide-winged bird in one’s own backyard. Here is the turkey vulture that visited this past October.

If you want to see a full list of Highland Park birds, and not just the ones I’ve seen and not just Highland Park backyard birds go to Highland Park, New Jersey: Bird Sightings. We have been putting those online since 2001.

For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

Bird with Speckled Breast

bird with speckled breast
What kind of a bird has a speckled breast? I found out that some thrushes do, but this bird is a juvenile robin. Makes sense, since last summer I asked the same question about the speckled breast. Thanks, Michelle, for identifying my young robin.

bird on wire speckled breast
Just last week I saw baby robins in a nest; when my daughter and I checked on Saturday, they were still in the nest, cawing away, and just a bit bigger. She counted four baby robins.

Do you know of a bird with speckled breast?

blue eggs in a robin's nest
The photo shows a blue robin egg. Then the robin babies are born, and they depend on mama and papa robin. After a while, the baby robins get more feathers and fly off from the nest. A young robin is a bird with speckled breast. The mature robin has a red breast. I’ve seen robins with worms in their mouths. I’ve also seen them eating my raspberries.

Uncle Sam and Baby Robin

Uncle Sam at the Highland Park Street Fair
Way back in May I took this photo of Uncle Sam at the Highland Park Street Fair. The fair always seems to announce, summer is coming, summer is coming.

uncle sam points
My daughter and I enjoyed roaming Raritan Avenue and taking in all the many booths. As you can see from her pink sweater, it wasn’t exactly summer weather.

baby robin
The highlight of my summer thus far is the nest of robins growing on our front porch. Here’s a shot of a baby from last week. This week the robins already have many feathers and don’t seem as scared as they did earlier.

Nature Notes: The Path

woods in Highland Park near path to RPRY
There is a path at the edge of Highland Park by the Edison border that leads to my children’s school. On one side are houses, but on the other side of the path are lots of brush and trees and weeds and who knows what else. The brook runs alongside all this woodsy brush.

brook by path with green

Anyone able to identify these large leafy plants growing on the path?
large leafy plants

I spotted a robin! There’s something green in the robin’s mouth: a worm, catepillar or a leaf?
robin with green caterpillar

Nature Notes: Tulips and Robins

two wet tulips
These two wet tulips are relaying the weather we have in New Jersey today.

pink petals dogwood
The pink petals of my neighbor’s dogwood are showing off.

robin in a tree
Yesterday I spotted this robin in a tree. Do you think he spotted me?

in the gray a robin and another bird
Today in the gray I saw two birds in a tree – the left bottom one is a robin. Can’t make out the right one – he’s so far off! Michelle suspects the one on the right is a “she” robin – the males have the brighter breast. Mating season?

We still have a bunny rabbit living in our backyard.

Nature Notes: Birds in Back

It seems the time to see birds in my backyard is midday on a warmish day after a cold spell. Then they come in groups. All of these photos were taken through a window, so they are a bit fuzzy. The robins were bouncing around from tree to tree a few days ago.

male cardinal
A male cardinal was in the far end of my backyard. The telephoto lens on my camera allowed me to see this little guy.

blue jay
I don’t often see blue jays in my backyard, but last week a group visited. They had a female and a male cardinal with them, too.

I wasn’t the only one birdwatching; I got a fuzzy photo of the neighbor’s cat, but you’ve all seen a cat before. This one was just lolling about in my garden, watching for possible prey. I bought a bird feeder in a sock at the supermarket (that I haven’t seen touched by bird or squirrel), and I found a window bird feeder online that I will order soon. After I get some work done.