A couple of weeks ago, I began again to fill the bird feeder outside our kitchen window. Over the summer, I figured the birds had other sources of food. But I had seen an occasional bird check it out. So with that and the onset of autumn and cooler weather, it seemed like I should start putting out seed.
The other day, I also say a red-breasted nuthatch for the first time in awhile. I used to see them more often before we cut down the oversized tree in our front yard. So I got a real kick when one showed up. I hope it’s not the last time.
It took longer for the English (or house) sparrows to show up. So far, I’ve seen only females, no males. I’ve noticed that they tend to bully away other birds and monopolize the feeder.
Then, this afternoon, I happened to glance out the window to see a completely new bird. There was more than one, and they featured a very distinctive black and white pattern on their wings.
I tried to identify them using the bird books I inherited from my mom, but did not see a good match. I’ve emailed this photo to the Seattle Audubon Society for an identification. I did this a few years ago, and they were very helpful.
UPDATE Jan. 2, 2016: The friendly people at Birdweb.org identified the two birds on the right as American goldfinches that have molted into their drab winter plumage.