Artist’s Date: Neighborhood Birds & Critters

The Byrds: Bella, Rocky, Angel III, Ziggy

Animals are a superb antidote to PTSD intense episodes.  My Byrds are excellent music critics.  Three are named for composers:    Pachelbel (Bella), Rachmaninoff (Rocky), and Ziegfeld (Ziggy).  Bitzie is my faithful companion and muse.


This pair of Mallard ducks (Drakes) are permanent residents.

Mallard Ducks: Hen and Drake

When I go out to my porch to scribble in my journal in the morning, I put out peanuts for the resident critters.  It doesn’t take long for a party to start.  This week I decided to photograph and learn the names of the birds who are the most frequent visitors.

Oregon Junco

This flicker is one of my most favorite birds.  It has brilliant orange feathers that I can see when it flies or perches on the suet feeders.

Northern Flicker

We have two kinds of chickadees in the Puget Sound region.  They love peanuts, and it is a hoot to see these tiny birds fly off with a peanut in their bills.


I’m not a fan of the crows. 


The seagulls are magnificent when they fly against the backdrop of a brilliantly blue sky.  I cheated and used this photo of a California gull at the beach because I’m not quick enough to capture the soaring gulls.

California Seagull

We don’t get many robins here.  So, I was thrilled to spot this one in the willow tree outside my apartment.

American Robin

The starlings visit in flocks, and their feathers glisten in the sunlight.

European Starlings

My favorite daily visitors are the Stellar’s Jays.  Elena Hanajenko captured this photo on Mother’s Day a few years ago.  They call their buddies when one sees the peanuts are available.  Then, they line up like airplanes waiting to land and swoop in when it is their turn.  Each takes two peanuts.  The jays swallow one whole and fly off with the second in their bills.

Stellar’s Jay

The squirrels are another daily delight.  They keep the pigeons at bay.

A green hummingbird ~ I think it is a female Anna’s Hummingbird ~ visits frequently, but it is almost impossible to photograph.  I don’t have a digital photograph of the egrets that come from time to time.  The birds are huge, and it is always startling to see one swoop in.

Update:  Since I posted this, a male Varied Thrush has become a frequent visitor.  Gorgeous!  I’ll post a photo when I’m able to capture this shy fellow digitally.

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